Last week, I participated in a #patientchat Twitter chat centered on what having a “quality of life” means to each of the participants. And that got me thinking about what constitutes a good life.
For me, quality of life is defined by self-love and self-care.
Of course, carving out a quality life is an individual and personal journey. But I thought I’d share what I view as a quality of life for me. These are not discussed in any order of importance. And I would like you, dear readers, to feel free to share in the comments section what having a quality of life means to you.
Through the dusty travails of life, I’ve learned that self-love is intertwined with self-care, and these components translate to a quality life.
Attending to my own needs — as long as they don’t impinge on others’ needs — helps me. I often turn to writing and art, which are so cathartic for me, even during stressful times. Exercise enhances my life tremendously. Although I don’t always want to put on my swimsuit or sneakers, when I go for a swim or a walk, I’m calmed by waves of relaxation. When I walk — whether on a nature trail or in the neighborhood — I am mindful of the beauty that surrounds me. When I sketch and paint, I experience a meditative reverie known as flow. I want to say a lot about flow, but that will have to wait for a future post.
Regular warm baths relieve me of physical and spiritual aches and pains. I occasionally get massages, also an excellent source of self-love and self-care.
Making PTSD manageable is a day-to-day accomplishment. I have some dark days and dark nights, but overall, most of my time is filled with contentment and positivity. This is due to many factors, namely great psychology professionals, medications, keeping busy doing things I enjoy, and nurturing myself in many, many ways.
Setting boundaries has also proved invaluable. Nowadays, in the world of overscheduling ourselves and our children, I must carefully limit how many play dates we have, how many structured activities my daughter should participate in, and how many social events I get involved with. A quality life includes spending precious one-on-one time with my daughter. Fun, love, and mutual respect are at the heart of our lives, and that translates to a great quality of life.
In the scheme of life, childhood occurs in a nanosecond. So I “slow down” time by savoring each moment I spend with my daughter. Time still goes by fast, and she’s growing up quickly, but at least I savor each nanosecond as if it were an hour. I treasure each parenting moment and all her accomplishments.
Setting boundaries has also proved invaluable when dealing with toxic people. Our lives have no space for these individuals who are intent on making us as miserable as they are. We have a no-bullying policy when it comes to choosing our friends. Thus, we have effectively weeded out the toxic few who are not true friends.
I could go on and on about all the wonderful ways to create a great quality of life for me, but I’d rather hear from you, readers. Now it’s your turn.
What enhances your quality of life? How do you define a quality life? I would love to know.
Tags: art, exercise, motherhood, parenthood, quality of life, setting boundaries, writing