From The Top: Take Some Time For Yourself

Let’s carve out enough “me time” to recharge and refocus priorities

By David Zurfluh/National President

 

October has always felt like a transition month to me.

Historically, October is the time of year when farmers reap their harvest and hope that their crops will prove to be abundant and enough to get them through the winter. 

Autumn brings with it a noticeable weather change almost everywhere, while Thanksgiving and Christmas start coming into closer view.

Crowds seem to grow, traffic starts picking up with shopping and travel plans, and everyone seems to be getting ready for the holiday season. We tend to look at our calendars to schedule ample time to spend with family and friends in anticipation of the holidays.

To me, October is also the month when our lives slow down just enough so that we can focus on our own well-being and take time to recharge our batteries to move forward for the remainder of the calendar year.

Some time ago, I listened to a man who gave a lecture about how in today’s era, young men and women spend a majority of their time within social groups, athletics, clubs and online, etc. This same group is being pushed by parents and peers to be more active, which prevents them from having any significant time to reflect and contemplate exactly who they are and where it is they fit within their faith, family, community and the world as a whole.

Listening to this lecture got me to thinking that as adults in today’s world, we do the same things within our personal lives and our Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) community.

We’re constantly setting expectations, trying to keep up with the Joneses. We get involved with so many different things entailing our jobs, social media and personal goals that we often forget the importance of personal reflection and contemplation on where we fit in the grand scheme of things.

This October, I suggest finding a day or two or a weekend to get away from it all, from work and everything else in your life that demands your time and energy, to reflect and contemplate on who you are and where you’re going. Some people go on spiritual/religious retreats, but how about trying a “me retreat”?

Consider the following self-care options for your “me retreat”:

1) Schedule time to pray, meditate, reflect and contemplate on your inner self.

2) Say “no” to others and “yes” to you; treat yourself with the gift of time.

3) Exercise, move around and do something physical.

4) Go outside and enjoy the change of seasons; take a day trip somewhere.

5) Cook at home and use a new recipe you’ve been wanting to try.

6) Organize and balance your mind, body, work and home life schedules.

7) Read a self-care book or watch a video.

You may choose to do all, some or maybe none of the above. Do whatever you think is best for you, and I’ll take action on what I think will best suit me. Let’s carve out enough “me time” to recharge and refocus priorities.

I grew up with a strong religious faith as a child and was taught to reflect on my relationship with God, family, community, friends and coworkers. As an adult, I try to deepen this reflection on the world and the environment around me.

Each one of us has a different lifestyle, both within our PVA work and within our own environment. We all can, at times, get run-down, burned out and fatigued. I hope that this month you’ll be able to reap the benefits of self-care and reflection by making yourself a priority, improve your balance in life and keep it going.   n

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