Simplified Self-Care

While I was on the shiatsu table yesterday, I was astounding how everything hurt. Every spot he touched was sore, achy or tender.


I’ve been healing both a shoulder and knee injury over the past several months. Many of my efforts seemed to aggravate one thing or another and I came to the conclusion that they both just needed rest.

However, my spine and hips are not loving this plan! They haven’t been getting the movement they need and stiffness has settled into my joints.

The practitioner helped me to see how I was looking through an “all or nothing” lens. I’d chosen to do nothing since the everything approach wasn’t working.

It’s important to point out that choosing rest is a valid option on any healing journey and often not a challenging task. But I’d conflated rest with sedentary. While I walk frequently, there’s not a whole lot of range of motion involved in that activity.

He suggested one simple exercise. Just one. One that I’ve done for decades because it is so beneficial. But he suggested doing it several times throughout the day. Each and every day.

Each session takes less than three minutes, so there’s absolutely no reason for me to not follow through.

It sounds exactly like the advice I offer to people who suffer neck and shoulder pain from hunching over a computer for hours at a time. In order to off-set the imbalance of a chronic posture, it takes multiple applications of a counter pose.

And by adding in just one exercise, I’d clearly be able to track the results, be they negative or positive.

It’s a great example of how we sometimes can’t see the obvious solutions, even especially when we have a degree of expertise in the arena. Getting another’s perspective can help us see what might be hiding in plain view.

It occurred to me that someone else might need to hear this little reminder. What is one baby step you can take today to get you closer to your goals? One simple thing, perhaps mimicking my morning/noon/night self-care schedule that will add up over time.

Rather than getting overwhelmed at ALL the things that could be done and therefore doing none of them, pick the easy thing, or the enjoyable thing and make a commitment to yourself. Maybe even set an alarm or reminder on your phone.

The best self-care is the kind we actually do! Simplifying things helps make it doable and that’s half the battle right there.

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