Work, or my relationship with it, is one of the central challenges to my quest for better self-care and stress management. As I was on the long journey to find healing from chronic pain and illness, I realized how much impact I could have in the healing process. I learned the role that stress plays in making us more vulnerable to injury and how relaxation facilitates our bodies self-healing ability. I now understand that our eating, sleeping and exercise habits also contribute to our stress levels and our ability to heal. When I was not able to work, while that itself was stressful, I had the time to relax, take walks, fix healthy meals and generally focus on myself. When I do that my symptoms diminish and become manageable. Then I happily return to work and find it difficult to put taking care of myself first. Self-care very quickly and easily returns to the bottom of the list. So my ongoing challenge is to create balance in my life. I don’t think it is only my challenge, since I live in an overstressed society. However, because I have chronic health problems, it has become a critical issue earlier in life and is something I cannot ignore when my pain levels other symptoms increase.

So I continue to wrestle with this work vs. self-care dynamic. I hungrily seek and consume resources about work, spirituality and stress management. As the old marketing adage goes, I often need to hear things more than once to really get my attention. One of the blogs I like to read is Surviving the Workday: How to use spirituality at work. I noticed a recent post about Beliefnet’s Top Ten Quick Ways to Pray, but didn’t read it until I received one of my daily Beliefnet emails highlighting the same article. I like the ideas for ways to weave a spiritual focus into your daily life. Focus is a big part of stress and shifting your focus to relaxing and uplifting thoughts, rather than ruminating about your endless to-do list or other stressors, helps your body and spirit to heal and be well.

One thought on “Learning to Work and Be Well

  1. The battle between relaxing and uplifting thoughts and the to-do list is eternal. For me, as you know, the to-do list usually wins out. Sigh.

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