Self Care

The forest heals. The fresh air infuses life. The sights and sounds of nature refresh and revive.

After a busy time with unexpected challenges, I could feel the fatigue building as I plunged into final preparations for and all weekend reading and writing conference. I did something quite smart that I don’t usually do. I took a day off and enjoyed life. A full day of hiking, happy hour and even a football game, with my husband, refreshed me.

I had way too much fun at the conference, despite the fact that it had to be online. I gave presentations. I went to presentations. I helped host others. It felt good to be part of something that has been fundamental to my writing success.

By the end of the three days, I was cooked. I did something smart, that 9 don’t usually do. I read in bed and binged Shudder (if you’re a closet horror lover like me, check out my other website, KillersAndDemons).

After two days, I felt better. I decided to continue to be smart. I did a bunch of work, then, I went outside into the sunshine, and walked for two hours through the forest.

Am I finally learning to listen when my being needs something? I hope so.

Do you listen when you need some self care? I find having a list of things that I know I love thay make me feel good, and being setup to easily execute on them, sets me up for success. For example, having good hiking clothes clean at all times, a great pair of shoes by the door, and pack ready to go with snacks and sunscreen. Or having books or movies on hand so I can chill. Or having my bathroom stocked with bath salts, candles, and aromatic bubble bath.

Take care, and be sure to stop and be nice to yourself when you need a break.

Nature Walk and Happy Hour

I have recently fallen in love with nature walks.

Through the various phases and stages of lockdown, my husband chose a fantastic way to deal with closures and isolation. He walked. Everyday. Sometimes for hours.

He even got a rotation going where he would walk with different friends on different days. It was a fantastic way to achieve both mental and physical health.

I started going with him. Two or three times a week, even during the coldest winter days. With the right gear, and right attitude, a dose of physical activity and nature can be good for the body and the soul.

Today I had my head buried in a couple of writing projects. Late afternoon I realized my brain was done for the day and I felt blah. I decided to put on some walking gear and do a beautiful forest loop close to home.

My hubby ended up joining me. Two hours later, forest loop done, I feel revived and relaxed. Time for a home brew on the patio.

What do you do to stay healthy, physically and mentally?

Racing and Climbing, Fierce and Strong: Ania

{Welcome to my feature series on those who have inspired me on my journey.  Today’s post is about a very strong, supportive and encouraging person who loves to climb mountains.  She has been there riding with me and supporting me for years.  If you missed My More Aggressive Twin, or Crazy Wild Infection Positivity, be sure to check them out!}

‘Oh, you are the one that my wife has been following on Strava’.  This is the first thing that Karel said to me upon being introduced at one of the local bike races.  ‘She would like to go riding with you’, he continued.  The rest is history.

The first time I rode with Ania, I was nervous.  I had seen some of her riding data, and in every picture she looked so strong, so athletic.  Was I really in the same realm?

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Continue reading “Racing and Climbing, Fierce and Strong: Ania”

The Importance of Appreciating the People that Push You

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I will admit it, there have been times when I have gotten on my bike, and I did not try. It has happened. When I am riding alone, I am the only one who suffers the consequences. I have been in situations where the ride wasn’t just about my bike and me, but there was also a team aspect to it. Driven by fear of not living up to expectations, I have chosen a defeated attitude that paralyzed me from performing as well as I could have. I have learned some very important lessons from these experiences. There was one ride in particular that I recall during which my husband and I were out in the open desert, only had so much water with us, and were up against a fairly aggressive head wind. If I had stuck with him and drafted, then we both would have made it back to our vehicle within a shorter amount of time then I could make it on my own. Due to some communication breakdowns, and some lack of understanding on my part, we ended up separated during the last leg this ride. I was really battling to finish. I was so caught up with the fear of slowing him down that I chose to ride on my own. I was so blinded by my fear that I didn’t even see the support that was being offered. Continue reading “The Importance of Appreciating the People that Push You”

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