A brief PSA:
Take care of yourselves. Manage your stress. True self care is necessary. Ask for help and support. Make dates to laugh with people. Get outside and breath in the freshly made tree air. Nothing is more important than this.
The cardiologist let me know at my last appointment that 2019 was essentially so stressful and traumatic that I broke my heart. I damaged it. I could not control what was coming at me – not working for nearly 7 months, Imri having a stroke, Grace having a chronic illness that was incredibly hard to manage and painful to watch, and her eventual death – but I could have asked for help more often. Someone to watch Grace for a few hours so I could get away.
I could have sat in the trees more. I could have tried to get out and laugh more, even if I didn’t always feel like it, and even if holing up was easier.
I did the best I could at the time, and I know better now. I’ve always had PVC’s with stress, but this time, I went so far as to do actual damage to my heart by pushing too hard, and “shoulding” all over myself. Learn from me. Your body and mind are connected. That mental pain and suffering you are just trying to push through? May be doing more damage than you think.
We can break our own hearts.
I honestly thought I was handling things. I was dealing with things. I was “managing” things. Because I was still moving. I wasn’t laying in bed and giving up so I was handling things. I clearly wasn’t.
Learn from me. Prioritize your health and mental welfare over any money or strain. When you tell yourself, “You don’t have time,” or you, “Can’t right now,” realize that you are in fact saying, “My health is not a priority. My wellness doesn’t matter.” Say it aloud, repeat it to yourself. “Running this errand is higher priority than my health. This matters more than my heart.”
Don’t break your own heart.
This is so timely for me. I have been guilty of exactly these dismissive thoughts, I literally thought yesterday: I don’t have time to start therapy right now, I have so many other things to take care of!
Yeah, not going to take care of any of those if I don’t remember to keep myself alive and healthy.
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