I firmly believe the Universe sends you what you need – whether you like it or not. That could be a ray of sunshine or an afternoon of rain. What you do with that gift is up to you. This is the Universe’s gift to me today:
Taking care of yourself doesn’t mean ‘me first.’ It means ‘me, too.’ You matter. Your happiness matters. Your health matters. Your dreams matter.
Today do at least one thing for you. Take a walk in the rain. Meet a friend for coffee. Write in your journal. Read a book. Plan a trip. Hug a tree. Help a stranger. Create something. Grow something. Sing Something. Learn something.
Whatever it is that makes you smile, do a little of it each day. Your children are watching. Let them see you happy.
—L. R. Knost
During the last month, I’ve worked with quite a few pet parents struggling with self-care (and if I’m honest, I should be included in that count.) Their dogs’ needs continue to grow but their capacity to provide what’s needed dwindles. Their reserves are low because they haven’t set aside the time to care for themselves.
You’ll notice I didn’t say ‘taken the time.’ ‘Taken’ implies another party has lost something, is lesser for your gain. I said ‘set aside’ – made a conscious choice to participate in even the simplest self-care activities. When you pay attention to and honor your own needs, you are refilling your own cup so that when your dog needs your support, you have a reservoir from which to draw to meet those needs.
I know. So much easier said than done. But what if you set aside just 5 minutes of your day? What would that look like for you? Enjoying a sunrise in the quiet of the morning. Listening to a soul-soothing song while you’re making dinner. Going for a walk outside with all your senses engaged. Recognizing one thing you’re grateful for as you climb into bed.
For me, it’s a walk outside in the early morning, letting my mind follow its own path as a wonder through the park. In these moments, I feel like my executive mind (the control-freak part of my brain) goes on autopilot so my creative mind can run and jump and play with new ideas.
Whatever it is for you, please make the choice to take care of YOU. Your cup can still be refilled even if it’s a teaspoon at a time. And your dog will love you for it. I promise.