Sunday, March 31, 2013

What's good for us

Why is it so hard to do the things we know will make us feel better when we're feeling down?

I know, for example, that the following things are both good for me and feel good:
taking a walk
reading a book

But when I'm sad, stressed, worried, or otherwise feeling like crap, I tend to plunk down on the couch, watch tv, and eat chocolate.

It's not that I'm saying those activities are bad. I just know what opens me up, makes the world feel a bit bigger, more possible. And while tv and chocolate give me pleasure, they also numb me, make me sleepy--not just physically, but spiritually and mentally.

I'm not judging here. I'm not into self-judging or other-judging. I just wish I could remember to take care of my whole self better, including when I need it most. Perhaps I should get a tattoo inside my wrist--the right one, the one that reaches for the tv remote--that says, "Take a walk."

I also wish I had an answer for my own question. One thing that comes up, for me, is the thought that when I'm really depressed, I tend to feel worthless. (Break that down--"worth less"--and you'll see why the whole equal pay thing is so important, as well as the problematic ways in which we view worth/value in our materialist/consumerist society.) And so I feel I'm not even worth the effort to take care of myself. It's a stupid cycle of pain.

One small moment of good can break that cycle for me. One person saying she likes my poems; one blooming gardenia; one shared smile with a friend or stranger.

And I'm lucky: I get those moments, frequently. So let me say it back to you--friends and those I don't know--you are worth it, worth that tiny bit of extra effort it takes to truly give yourself some meaningful care. Take a walk.

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