Practice Self-Care and Give Yourself Grace
Stressed? Anxious? Putting yourself last? Yep, yep and yep… let’s stop and flip the switch.
Let me be totally honest, over this past year, I came to the realization that I am totally stressed. Was I practicing self-care? Not as much as I should. Yes, I maybe went a few times a year for a pedicure and was getting my haircut as needed, but I was totally putting myself last. After suffering from muscle spasms and chronic headaches and after a number of tests, the doctor diagnosed me with anxiety and stress, but I am still convinced that there is more to not feeling good.So, I set out on this journey of self development or some may say ’self help’. I have been reading a ton of books,listening to podcasts, learning as much as I can with high hopes of feeling better. So, when did this all start?
Recently, my husband asked me what the trigger was for my stress and I told him it was mostly likely accumulating over the past 14 years. Please don’t think that I am complaining, but this all probably started back in my twenties. A few years after graduating from college, I got married and the following year started my teaching career. I was in my early twenties, so I went from college student to wife and then added the role of teacher to my profile. I quickly became known as Bob’s wife and of course, Mrs. Urban in the classroom. I dove into both roles with high hopes of being “perfect” at everything. I found myself doing all the housework, cooking, bills and of course, working full time. A year later, we brought home our first child and divided myself even more.
Having a child was the most wonderful experience of my life and I was going to tackle motherhood just like everything else, with 100%. You start feeling like you are losing more of your identity, but you don’t care because you love them more than life and they need you a lot. You begin to revolve your entire existence around them. I was now a mom and my world revolved this baby. You don’t really ease into the new role, it honestly happens overnight. You begin to create these habits and groves – when all you think about is the baby. And, as I added more children to the family, it only grew worse.
Losing My Identity
My identity became that I was Lucas, Mollie & Jaxon’s mother. At the time, I was on maternity leave and home 24/7.I loved being their mother, it’s not the only part of me.
Keeping up with the day to day demands of household and lack of sleep, so of course the first thing to go was me. My interests, my rest, even when the kids are sleeping through the night, you still revolve your world around them. Keeping all the other balls in the air, wearing all the hats– I lost myself. Anything that didn’t involve them, felt mom guilt.
We forget to take care of ourselves. We forget about the rest, the exercise, the time with girlfriends, getting hair done and massage. You know there is never time left over. If you are waiting for the time left over before you take care of you, you will never have it. If you don’t put yourself at the top of the priority list, you will never get that time.
Whether you lost yourself in motherhood or your career — or maybe you are climbing the corporate ladder and working 80 hours a week, let’s talk about how you can get back to taking care of you. The most important thing you need to know is that self care is up to you and no one can do it for you. No one can make you value yourself. You, yourself, have to do it and make it a priority. Yes, it helps if you have people that help you and support you, but you are the only person who can flip the switch!
Plot spoiler…. If you are waiting for permission to take care of yourself, it’s not going to happen. It’s self-care for a reason. It starts with you. You are also the solution, it’s all up to you. Tough love truth- If you feel rushed, burned out, unhappy, going through the motions, it’s probably because you have not taken care of you and the only person who can fix it is you!
No matter how many times that someone tells you that you look pretty, if you don’t feel pretty than you don’t act like it. When you feel bad about you, than you feel bad about everything else too. Loving your children or working hard in your business, is not a bad thing. It’s ok to have busy seasons, but if you put yourself last, than it’s a bad thing. When you act like everyone else is so important, you aren’t the only one that loses because what these people need the most is a woman in their life is happy.
Self-care is more than just a bubble bath once a month, we are talking about a way of life. It’s placing valuing in yourself. Stop waiting until you reach the breaking point before you start caring for yourself and the time that you need to be you. When you do something for yourself, even when it feels awkward, you don’t have to apologize for it. You might be thinking, “Well, I get my hair done every three weeks and that’s my thing.” You don’t have to have one thing once a month. Everyone else gets all of you, but you are allowed one thing? Let me tell you, I think that you can have more than one thing.
11 Ways to Practice Self Care
- Eat healthy and mindfully
- Keep track of your accomplishments
- Express gratitude
- Create a cozy space
- Read a book
- Get moving
- Create something
- Build a self -care kit
- Say no to others,
- Get organized (that may be with meal planning or just getting rid of clutter around the house).
When you take care of yourself and do things that give you joy, everyone else benefits. I am not saying neglect anyone, I am saying it’s ok to give yourself a break and slow down. It’s going to help you chase your dreams, to be a joy-filled woman.
When you do these things that make you slow down, that makes you happy, that things that give you joy, that make you confident, and make you like yourself- everything around you changes. Not only are you better for everyone, but you will enjoy life more.
What is it for you? What gives you joy? What gives you energy? What is your passion? What fills your tank? Only you know what these things are… Make a list, on your phone or leave it by your bedside. As you start to identify those things that you need, start to integrate them into your life on a weekly or daily basis.
Not once a year on your bday, or a holiday – how can you create new habits in your life where there is another important priority in your world besides your family or work. Make yourself a priority. You are now a priority in your own life! On this week’s podcast, we heard from Tina McGovern on Giving Yourself Grace. Some of her ideas can totally relate to self care and are at the top of my list.