Why Self-Care Is Even More Important On Difficult Days

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I think it’s pretty clear that I genuinely enjoy taking care of myself. I like living independently in the insanity that is New York City. I like nurturing my body by eating healthily (and indulging on occasion to feed my soul). And I like staying active to keep my quality of life as great as possible for as long as possible. From the running trails to my yoga mat, I know how much my chosen methods of self-care impact my existence as a person. (Hint: it’s a lot.)

But when I’m feeling down or having a difficult day (or series of days), I willingly let go of these routines that I know will bring me joy. I lose the motivation to get up for a morning jog, I couldn’t care less about cooking a real dinner, and I abandon my yoga mat.

That last one in particular really gets me, because I never lose sight of all the peace and clarity and empathy yoga has brought into my world. I never regret taking time out of the day to meditate or move through a flow mindfully and recalibrate the connection between my mind and my body. The experience is so simple, but it’s also profound.

And I think that’s why I find it so hard to choose to practice when I’m already feeling out of sorts. The hardest time to go inward and stay there for a while and truly reflect is when you already know you’re struggling with what’s in there. You’re choosing to face demons and feel pain and fight. And some days, I just don’t know if I can fight.

But these are the times I need yoga the most. When I just commit and show up, even if I’m carrying around bad vibes, I’m making a promise to myself to start healing. I’m working on myself. I’m taking care of myself.

May was full of challenges, but I’m choosing to show up in June. And no matter what I’m working through on any given day, I know that practicing self-care is only going to get me closer to where I want to be. That’s my endless motivation.

Maybe you have a similar experience — with yoga or something else entirely — in your life. You know what you love, you know what you want, yet a challenge comes along and makes you question the power of what you already know is powerful. I hope you’ll make the choice to still pursue what you love and want anyway. And I hope you come to find that’s never a regrettable choice.

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