This is my last week at the Idaho cabin. Today’s trek took me off the beaten path, through a green gate, around a couple of bends, across a small creek, and then uphill where the deep prints left by elk in the soft spring mud have now hardened into pitted landscape.
I didn’t plan to stay six-and-a-half weeks, but the time spent here has been creativity-inspiring and rejuvenating and stimulating on all levels – physically, mentally/emotionally, and spiritually.
Which is part of practicing what I preach about self-care — that thing we should do to take good care of ourselves so we can better care for others.
Here are 4 ways I’ve
saved psychotherapy costs practiced good self-care these past weeks:
1. Get outdoors.
The first order of business after getting outdoors is to inhale deeply. And then settle in for some leisurely day-dreaming or brainstorming.
Listen well. Be in no hurry.
This is best done from a front porch swing. Or claim a park bench. Or perch near a creek dancing in the sunlight (the creek; not you … well … unless you want to dance in the sunlight).
2. Throw in some movement with the outdoorness.
Stroll around the block. Roller-skate in a nearby park. Hike a local trail. Or—if you have access to a cabin on a couple thousand acres—walk the high hills.
3. Count wildflowers.
Actually, this could (should) read: Count blessings.
Count how many of our senses are in good working order: Sight, sound, taste, smell, touch.
Count the variety of bird songs we can hear from our front porch swing.
Count how many years our husband, wife, children have been in our lives.
Count the number of friends and family who keep in touch with us.
4. Swing with a toddler.
There is something about the wind and surge and soul-freedom that only a swing can produce. Add to that the delight of cuddling with a toddler and you have a recipe for robust mental/emotional self-care. No exaggeration.
Go ahead; find a swing. And borrow a small child, if necessary. And let the whoosh and the fresh air sweep away all cares you may be packing around.
Photo: Michelle Sanders
And there you have it: 4 healthful ways to avoid the costs of therapy.
It is with reluctance I give up my place as hostess and ranch-hand (although I’ve heard possession is nine-tenths of the law, so possibly the law would side with this squatter?).
I am so very grateful for this unexpected, health-producing, restorative time. (Thank you, again, bro- and sis-in-law.)
Time with family. And time alone. Time to write and walk the hills and pray and listen for God’s voice and sing loudly, howbeit a bit off-key, but who’s to hear me?
Physical, mental/emotional, and spiritual self-care — all wrapped up as one lavish, unexpected gift of six-and-a-half weeks in a remote cabin surrounded by amazingness.
Which begs the question: How are you taking care of yourself today?
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