“12 Steps to Self-Care”

Hi Everyone! It has been about two weeks post-Ironman Texas and much of my focus lately has been on self-care, for the obvious reasons. Overall, it’s been a great time to catch up on life but at the same time it is a strange place to be. For the last 6 months our lives had been dedicated to checking off the boxes, getting workouts done, and scheduling the rest of life around training, and… now it’s not. I’ve heard of a “post-Ironman blues” well I don’t know about that, but I can tell you it’s been an adjustment.

Anytime adjustments i.e. major changes happen in life and sport, we are bound to react to the process of change. There may be a mix of feelings that include relief, confusion, discomfort, and even lack of direction. We may find ourselves consumed with questions like, “Now what do I do with myself?”, “What am I supposed to be doing?”, or we may  start to search for things (e.g. people, places, or more races) outside ourselves to ground these unsettling feelings. In other words, we may start looking for sources of external validation to ground our internal chaos. Well guess what? In the end it is a losing battle. It is a losing battle because no one or nothing can ever give you what you ultimately need to learn to give yourself. And learning to be caring and compassionate towards yourself when the going gets tough is even more valuable. So let me save you some time, and the emotional angst, by sharing with you my recommendation for what you could focus on, and ultimately master.

This “12 Steps to Self-Care” list is the ultimate doctrine for finding inner peace in the midst of chaos, change, and adjustment. Use these steps to honor yourself, your power, your true nature, and your ability to live more fully in the present moment. As a result you realize that change is inevitable and you possess the lasting qualities to see yourself through. So if you ask yourself the question, “In this moment what should, or better yet, could I be doing?” Answer with any or all of the following below:

*I’d like to make a small but significant amendment to step #12 “LOVE…yourself more than anything or anyone.”


So post-IM Texas is not so bad and it’s been nice getting into the pool, on the open road, and on the trails thinking, “I can do what ever I want.” 🙂 It’s been nice spending time with my hubby and our pup Frida. Life is good in the present moment…as it always could be.

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Dr. Gloria Petruzzelli

Dr. Petruzzelli is a clinical sport psychologist, triathlete, and certified mindfulness meditation teacher located in Sacramento, California. She works with elite athletes and sports teams across the country. She is a competitive athlete and enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her family, and traveling.