Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Taking Care

My vigor for paying off our student loan as quickly as possible led me down a murky path where it felt like everything was denied. It wasn't that we couldn't afford things, but rather we had to make a choice about money going towards student loans or not. Student loans won almost always.

It was depressing. I felt trapped.

I have found a personal prescription for overall health and well-being. It isn't super fancy but has been proved over many many years of trial and error.

I need exercise.

I need creativity.

I need spirituality.


This is on a personal level, there are obviously other things necessary like good food and time with family. But on a basic, human survival as I spend each day in charge of two little lives, these things are an elixir.

They nourish my soul and that translates into mental clarity and fortitude.

I let exercise slide because everything seemed so expensive and anyone can exercise for free right? You just have to run! But that required dredging up motivation to get up early or bundle up children. So I decided that I just didn't get to exercise to my fullest ability for awhile.

I don't recommend it.

Last week I decided my mental and physical health is not worth sacrificing. As soon as I started exercising consistently and intentionally I realized how flawed my logic had been. The elixir was already working! Today I sweated as I lifted weights and was pushed to do more squats than I would have ever chosen for myself. It felt so good.

I believe we are all made to create. That looks differently for each of us; building, painting, composing, sewing, gardening, or a myriad of other ways. Creativity stretches us and gives us a glimpse of the depth and complexity of our minds. I have found a love in creating through writing. Through exploring thoughts and ideas and composing them in a way that feels enlightening. I enjoy this space and sharing it with others. As I have put more into this blog, with no one compelling me but myself, I have found so much joy. I continue not because I believe that I have radical ideas that will change the world, but through writing I understand the world.

Spending time to connect more fully with my Heavenly Father on a spiritual level has never been something that costs money, but I experimented sacrificing it nonetheless. I justified that it wasn't making that big of a difference in my life to read my scriptures or say a morning prayer daily. But it did. There is a visceral hope as I spend time communing with God. As I seek to understand Him, His plan, and my role in it, I find peace. Days without are marked with a fog that clouds my mind, every small annoyance expands to monstrous proportions. I am irritable and distant. The scriptures bring light and dispel the haze. They bring the brightness of July to a murky January day.

I am done holding unofficial test trials regarding the necessity of exercise, creativity, and spirituality in my life.

The results are conclusive.

I need them.

If I want to grow, I need them.

If I want to have peace, I need them.

If I want to be the mom I hope to be, I need them.

If I want more to give, I need them.

I want to take care of myself and turns out I don't need permission from anyone to do that.

But I am curious...what is it that feels necessary for your your overall health and well-being? On your best and brightest days, what makes it so?


  1. I love this...such a great post! And so well written as always (: I completely agree. My personal list also includes a shower. Crazy days where caring for a baby doesn't afford me a shower are always the worst days.

    1. The glorious shower. I was that way for a long time too until sleep won out. It used to be my wake up signal each morning. Now I do some yoga flows to get the blood moving again. Works almost as well. I miss daily showers though!

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