More on self-care

Note: This is a repost from Facebook from last Friday. 

It’s been a weird week. I don’t know all the reasons, but this week has felt heavy. Yesterday I was struggling to keep my mood and attitude in a good place and had to take time to make a list of practices that keep negative thoughts at bay. In the process I also remembered this is the first Fall I’ve been without an antidepressant in five years, which may be part of the struggle.

One beautiful truth of my life is that God has given me amazing, supportive friends at every stage of life. In the middle of my week of funk, I received two gifts from friends that spoke deeply to my soul. The amazing Michelle sent me this self care challenge book that — quite honestly — is exactly what I was trying to create for myself when I made my list yesterday. I had big plans of using today to generate an accountability plan for my self care activities. When I finally had time to look through the book this morning, I realized Michelle had already provided me with one.

One item on my list was “read more fiction. Meaningful fiction.” My friend Sander saw this T-shirt somewhere, had texted me and said I had to have it. This week it showed up in the mail. If you’re not familiar with the names, they’re all female southern writers. Writers are the keeper of our stories. I’m a big believer in the power of story and the stories of the South, even though they’re hard to hear sometimes, could be what helps us learn enough about ourselves to move forward. Thank God for the people who are willing to tell our difficult stories.

If you’re struggling too, hang in there. Be honest with yourself and your friends and let them come alongside you. Take care of yourself, take antidepressants if you need them, and take good, good care of yourself during the hard weeks.

And don’t forget to read good books.

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