Most days I run, in the morning, on a treadmill, inside the house, in my office. Sometimes I run outside in the early morning, I like that best.

I lift weights, light ones, nothing too strenuous, just enough to give some pump to my muscles, some definition, some strength to rely on when I need it. I like how much it makes me sweat.

A few times a week I take an online yoga class, it’s gentle, it’s stretchy, it’s mindful. It helps with balance both physically and mentally.

After the day’s caregiving chores are done I meditate for fifteen to twenty minutes, to re-set, to breathe, to get lost in my head, to breathe, to cleanse the day away. To breathe, to breathe, to breathe…

It reads like I have all of the time in the world to exercise and breathe. I do not. I fit it in, I make it happen, I discipline myself to make the time.

It took years to figure out how to care for me while not diminishing the care I provide for someone else.  For a million reasons, it’s easier said than done.

Self-care is an overused phrase. It’s easy to lose sight of its deep significance, its power to take us from feeling burdened to a sense of well-being. Manicures and pedicures are easy self-care offerings, they are more like candy than a nutritious meal, they just scratch the service. Rich self-care, taking care of ourselves with as much love as we do for those we care for, will sustain us through our most challenging times, it is our oxygen.