Here's what I loved about today's appointment. I went in looking for next steps, having successfully adapted to the prescribed diet. I was (for no good reason) anticipating strict instructions to quit smoking and start exercising with vigor. But that's not what I got. Instead, I was met with gentleness, patience, and general kindness from the doctor. Through her treatment and conversation with me, she provided a good example of how I can treat my own body.
To my smoking she said, "Not worried about it. When you're ready to quit, you'll quit." To my minimal exercise she said, "Don't stress about it. Keep walking and when you're ready add another walk or go a little further." Her whole approach was to keep the stress down and the success up. Each little step was praised and encouraged. Talking to a therapist? Applauded! Connected with a community? Right on!
We're not shredding my body to be a bikini model on some urgent, immediate schedule. We're building sustainable changes for a healthy, happy, stress-managed life. So we're not going to make the things that are good for me into new stressors.
Her last question of the appointment was the hardest for me to answer. "What are you doing for self care?" Blank stare. "What are you doing for you?" I wracked my brain. But there are several things I'm doing for me: the healthy diet, walking, book club, Ritual, and visiting with friends.
What are you doing for self care?