Growth requires some level of self-awareness, right? I feel like this year, I started to understand myself in a way I didn’t before. While I felt like I had grown a great deal a few years ago, I can now look back and see that I didn’t grow much in the last year or two. I was stagnant for a minute but I’m grateful 2018 was a year where I was challenged to become more conscious of who I am and to push my limits.
One of the things that I realized about myself is how important it is for me to get outside and live. I’ve said it here and on social media many times before. I am guilty of staying inside for days at a time, sometimes for as long as weeks during the cold months. I cringe thinking about how proud I was of that fact now because this year, I’ve been forcing myself to be outdoors more, to live, breathe and to be uncomfortable. The cold weather makes me very uncomfortable. But pushing through, getting uncomfortable and braving the cold has helped me to feel much better than staying locked up in the house for days at a time.
Actually, it’s a really effective form of self-care and it’s so basic that I’m ashamed that it’s just becoming this clear to me that I need it. I’ve heard other people say that they need to get out every day, but I would usually smirk and let them know that I didn’t. The cold air on my face always feel incredible and the beautiful fall foliage isn’t something I should be missing because I want to hibernate.
It’s not just the beauty and the refreshing feeling of the crisp fall air on my face though, it’s the stress release I experience when I spend time in nature. I’ve noticed that as I get older, I literally feel like I am carrying my stress in my body. It feels heavy so I do my best to shake it off of me. Some days a YouTube dance class does the trick and others I need a long walk through the forest.
Anyway, I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Do you feel like you’re self-aware? Does your self-awareness help you determine the best self-care practices for you?