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I’m always talking to people about stress and how it impacts their life. Every once in a while I present an analogy that people seem to connect to. The latest: sand castles.

You create a sand castle. Waves come and wash part of it away. You rebuild it.

Bigger waves wash away more, smaller take less. Sometimes, the waves don’t even make it there and every once in a while, a big wave comes and wipes it out.

And so it goes. Wave after wave, day after day, year after year.

Your Body Is Like A Sand Castle

The “sand castle” is you in all your glorious entirety: physical, mental, emotional, spiritual. However you want to imagine it, simple and basic or intricate and detailed. Usually built pretty strong but always vulnerable and certainly in need of constant care and maintenance.

Every day we have waves. Some big, some small. But there will always be waves. Waves are stress of any kind, internal or external: Emotional, physical, psychological, spiritual, pathogenic. Work. Family. Sleep deprivation. Diet. Exercise. Illness. Traffic. Pressure. Finances. Responsibilities. Arguments. Injuries. Infections. The waves go on. Life IS waves.

Strong, sturdy sand castles built at just the right spot are tough but changeable, have just the right moisture and are beautiful works of art. The sturdier your castle, the tighter you pack it, the less it loses with each wave.

Building, managing and rebuilding your castle is healthy living. Sleep, nourishing food, regular activity, enjoyment, connection, community, stress reduction, friends, family, love, laughter, relaxation, having a sense of purpose and much more.

Don’t rebuild your castle daily? Not too long before it gets a little ragged and before you know it… it washes away.

Some people are given good tools to make and maintain good sand castles and don’t have to work quite as hard to keep their sand castles in good shape. Some people get to build their sand castles a little further away from the big breaking waves and don’t get bombarded with as many damaging waves. They should count their blessings but not forget the tide always comes in.

Others are given or have little or no tools to work with and have to be diligent, detailed and dedicated in making and maintaining sturdy structures. Sometimes people have to build their sand castles close to the water, meaning they are going to get a lot of waves washing up on them. They shouldn’t despair, they often become experts at efficient castle maintenance and learn how to develop protective layers by building walls, levees or a moat and keep their castle safe from some of those smaller waves.

Keeping a good sand castle is just like keeping a healthy body. Don’t let too many waves hit before you rebuild. Keep on top of it and you can keep it beautiful and standing strong no matter how close you are to shore or what tools you have.

And don’t forget: We have family and friends that can help us rebuild as we all work together on the shore of life.

Thanks for reading, have a great castle keeping day!

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