family practice issues and general life events

Taking time for yourself

I have been meaning to get back on here and post for the past couple of days, but sometimes you just don’t know what to say.  There are plenty of medical conditions out there that I could write about,  but none of them seemed quite right, and those that are currently on my mind the most, cannot be written here due to privacy concerns.  So I waited a few days, and decided on something that we all need to do, take some time for ourselves.


In today’s world everything is fast pace.  When was the last time you went somewhere without your Blackberry, iPhone, Android, etc?  Do you even know?  I do, but mine is somewhat cheating.  While I was aboard the cruise ship last month.  We couldn’t get a signal anyway, so it was locked up in the safe.  Though we still took it with us while on shore, for emergencies, though both my husband and I did get online to connect.  But in the daily life, I don’t know.  In my husband’s case, he will not be leaving it behind at all until next Friday afternoon, when he can pass off call to another physician.  However, this weekend, he will be firmly attached to that phone.


Even being attached to the cell phone, we should take time for ourselves.  Time that we don’t have to worry about the kids, work, your significant other, and any of the other numerous obligations that we have.  I would say it should be a top priority, however, it is probably the most neglected aspect of health and well-being out there.  I cannot tell you how many times, I see an overstressed patient in tears in my office that when asked what they do for themselves, they look at me like I am crazy.  Almost all respond with there is no time for me, in some form or variation.  It is either their kids (the most common reason for females), their spouse, their job, and the list goes on and on.  This does not mean I don’t think that they have legitimate reasons for not tending to themselves, but the question remains, “How do you take care of everyone else without first taking care of yourself?”  The answer, you can’t very well.


I am not saying you have to go away for an extended weekend by yourself.  I have not ever done that.  I hear about trips with friends and believe that sounds wonderful, but while that could be taking care of yourself, it is not what I am actually saying.  I am more talking about smaller periods of time daily, or at least weekly, that is all about you.  You are free from worrying about making dinner, getting the kids ready for school, working, and just taking care of yourself.  Some people go to the gym, some for a walk, and some it could just be quiet time.  Whatever helps you to alleviate stress.  It needs to be a time that you can take a break from the world, and say “What about me?”


This time for yourself does not have to cost anything, and could be at your own home.  It is merely the time to recharge your batteries.  Many times I suggest some form of exercise, because it will release endorphins and help with many of the symptoms of depression the patient may be feeling.  It is also a health conscious activity, and does a lot to help alleviate the stress they may be feeling.  And it does not have to be running, or require a gym membership, for some a simple walk is enough, for others a full out run does the trick.  The important thing is that this is time for you.  Time that allows you to de-stress.  It allows you to become the person you like, and not the over-stressed individual who is crying because there is not enough hours in the day to accomplish everything you need to do.


It is an easy thing to forget, to take care of yourself.  However, if you don’t all of those other things that you have to take care of start to suffer.  To be the best you can be, you have to start with yourself.


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