This past week, I was hit by the flu. I picked it up somewhere, and my immune system was weakened enough that I ended up noticing a sore throat as my first symptom, and then things went on from there.
While there’s never a good time to be sick, I was upset that this struck during “mid-term exam time” at school…but I was thankful that it didn’t interfere with any musical performances I had scheduled. Being sick gave me the opportunity this week to really practice self care and self love in a way that I hadn’t before, so that is the blessing that came out of this.
Many spiritual teachers remind us that everything we experience can be seen as an opportunity to learn more about ourselves and to learn about life. This was a growth experience for me, because I went about being sick differently than I had in the past.
Before, I had never been a person to slow down. I had always tried my best to keep going – not wanting to miss time from school/work, not wanting to cancel lessons I was teaching or plans I had committed to, not wanting to take a day off from working out.
This time, the flu left me with no energy, and the fact that I couldn’t get much sleep because of the cough left me even more weary. I decided to listen to my body and take care of myself by resting…a lot. I used sick time I had available at work; I cancelled students’ lessons; I skipped my morning workouts; I didn’t even go to InterPlay – and participating in that active, creative improvisation-based class that centers around movement, storytelling, and song is something I truly love to do. Instead, I spent a lot of time in bed; I took hot baths; I drank countless cups of tea. I took it easy.
And it worked. I am now feeling better and slowly reentering the routine – but with a focus on self care and self love. I’m taking it slowly and remembering that my body needs to be treated well in order to perform well in the world.
I sure hope that you do not have this terrible flu. It really was not fun. But if you do, or if you’re feeling that your health is compromised in any way, I encourage you to follow my example and treat yourself well. This was new to me, and I now am grateful for this experience and the lesson I learned from it. In the beginning, it was almost like I needed to be given permission to slow down and take care of myself. So I give you now permission to treat yourself with care and love. It will leave you feeling healthier and more alive and will lead to you to be better able to go out into the world and do all that you do. And even if you are feeling at your peak, I still encourage you to practice self care and self love. Please feel free to share in the comments any ways that you practice self care and self love.