Self-care during busy times

Published in the PRG Fall issue 2019
By Bob DeLuca
Integrative Manual Therapeutics

As the holidays draw near, we can look forward to new memories being made. We look forward to great times and maybe a few challenges as well. Preparations, family gatherings, and community events can bring with them many kinds of joy and all kinds of stress!

Parents make endless sacrifices for their families – that is no secret. If the parents are not doing well, the family as a whole will not fare so well. Yet as parents, we rarely seem to be able to carve out space in our lives to tend to our own well-being. During the holidays, when we need it more than ever, we seem to take care of ourselves even less.

The consequences may be no surprise. We enjoy less, we’re less present, and have less of ourselves to share with those we love. Sometimes, it’s worse. Have you ever noticed, after a stressful period, when you finally hit the home stretch and are about to have a break, you get sick or take a fall, or some old pain puts you on your back? The body has a way, it seems, of taking whatever chance it gets to tell us, “Hey! Remember me? Take care of me, too! After all I do for you, you owe me!”

That injury or sickness might be a sign of something deeper that is seeking balance or resolution within. It’s an invitation to connect more deeply with yourself. There are gifts to be had when we accept that invitation. The sooner it’s responded to, the more easily are the gifts revealed.

For many of us, there really is very little time available to take care of ourselves, so we have to be efficient. The good news is that the body is very amenable to an installment plan. A few deep breaths here and there, a self-loving thought, or a firm place in your calendar for an hour just for you all go a long way. Regular self-care is the most affordable form of “health assurance.” Sometimes we can ask for assistance. There are many great practices that help us “come home” to ourselves: Yoga, Tai Chi, Feldenkrais®, and other mindful practices can help us quickly find our center and act from that center as we move into the rest of the day’s events. Taking the time for a bodywork session can have the dual benefit of resetting our nervous system as well as resolving pain and helping free up movement. We can sleep better, decrease pain, face stress more easily, and get back to the joys of life.

We have so many gifts we wish to share with our family, friends, and community. When we practice directing that love and goodwill toward ourselves, we might find the gift of our presence, and what we have to share, grows exponentially.

Bob DeLuca has had an osteopathically- centered manual therapy practice for over 20 years and has recently moved to the area. He has offices in Auburn and Nevada City. You can reach him at, 530-217-3638 or at

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