In the midst of all life’s chaos, it seems to become more and more difficult to find the time to do everything we need. How in the world are we supposed to find time to care for ourselves when our schedule is already stretched to its limit? I’m here to tell you that it's not easy and it's not comfortable at all, but it’s worth it! There’s no magic pill or drink or cure; it takes hard work, dedication and consistency. It also takes support, discipline, and willingness. If you’re reading this and saying, “There’s literally no way you could convince me to make more time in my schedule to care for myself”, KEEP READING. Maybe you’ll find something here that sparks a nerve. If you’re looking for motivation and inspiration to make a change in your life for the better, we are here for support and to do just that.
Let’s get started!
I started my wellness journey back in May of 2020 when we were sheltering in place during the pandemic. What better time to start? I had what felt like copious amounts of time, horrible anxiety, and I was able to slow down and see more clearly what I needed out of my everyday life. I needed a routine and movement. I joined Beachbody, had an awesome coach and accountability group and was disciplined about my nutrition. I lost 50 LBS in 4 months and my mental health had never felt better! This healthy lifestyle became something that I craved and needed in my life each day. It became a part of my daily routine and I stuck to it.
Then came September 2020 (ominous music playing in background)... and we had a baby 9 months later. I remember watching the scale everyday in the beginning of my pregnancy. I was sick as all get out in the beginning, so the scale continued to go down. Feeling that ill for weeks in a row took a huge toll on my mental health too. Add pregnancy hormones and you’ve got yourself a disaster in the making. But when that “morning sickness” went away, that 50 lbs came back (even with exercise each day) and my mental health improved only minimally. After some discussion with my husband, I finally reached out to my OB about my excessive weepiness. She referred me to my first therapist and we made a plan for me to be proactive before and after delivery and to start taking Zoloft a couple weeks before my due date. Now, almost a year later, I’m still not back to where I was; however, this time around, it’s not losing weight that I’m aiming for. It’s feeling stronger, healthier, comfortable in my own skin, and able to chase my children around (this second child is wild ya’ll). I had already decided prior to giving birth that I would be back to my wellness journey shortly afterwards. And here I am, to keep moving forward and to motivate, encourage and support other people to start their journey (or keep going….YAY YOU) as well. Enough about me, let’s get started on YOUR journey.
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One of the most important things that we have found to put in our routine is time for self care. Self care doesn’t mean an hour long massage followed by a mani/pedi and some shopping. The self care I’m talking about can be thought of as choosing to live in a way that supports your well-being and happiness. How do we add this to our already hectic schedules?
How to Create Time for self care:
- Wake up 15 - 30 minutes earlier each day.
- I know, I know…the baby/kids/dog/cat kept you up all night. You stayed up late working/watching TV/etc. DO IT ANYWAY. Get up and make time for yourself. This could look like choosing to start each morning with movement and personal development. Or maybe you prefer to sit and drink coffee while you read a book. Maybe you start each day with cooking a nutritious breakfast so that you can take on the day. Whatever you decide to do, get up and commit to it everyday.
- Create a family self-care plan
- Everyone deserves time to care for themselves and it’s good practice for the littles also. Taking time for each family member to practice mindfulness, movement, or even doing an activity together as a family is a great opportunity to teach self-care practices early on. Lead by example here and help guide the way.
- Set boundaries
- There is no rule book in life that states you NEED to say “Yes” to each responsibility that you are asked to participate in. Learn to say “No” and don’t you dare feel bad about it. You get to choose how to fill your time in life. If you need to prioritize yourself over an extra responsibility, do it. If you are at the end of your metaphorical rope and you think that you might literally lose your mind if you add one more thing to your load, say “No”. No explanations needed, just that you aren’t able to take on that responsibility at this time.
- Start (or stick to) a morning routine
- Having a routine is like having a certain flow to your day. It’s knowing what you might expect next so that you can plan accordingly and make the most of your time. I’ve found fixed schedules can limit my ability to be flexible when life throws all the crap my way. Having a routine means that you incorporate certain elements that are important to you, including YOU! Starting each day the same way helps to instill a sense of focus and centeredness as well.
- Communicate your needs and follow through
- Communicate your needs to your support system, and follow through with the actions needed to meet those needs. No one will be able to read your mind and no one knows you like YOU. Communicating our needs to others, instills respect for ourselves, confidence in our decisions, and shows we are dedicated to ourselves and our well being.
I hear over and over again,” I just don’t have the time” or “I’m so busy”.
There is only one you in this entire world. You are the only one who decides what actions you do or do not take in life. You deserve to take the take to focus on yourself. No one else will decide for you or make you do anything, so you must choose to do it for yourself. What will your self care look like today?
Thank you for reading! We look forward to helping and encouraging others to live more focused and fulfilling lives.
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