care of the self without medical or other professional consultation.
any activity that you do voluntarily which helps you maintain your physical, mental or emotional health. It can help you feel healthy, relaxed and ready to take on your work and responsibilities
As a mom, wife, life coach and small business owner, I am pulled in a million different directions on any given day. My day is a matter of balancing and prioritizing. It requires me to recognize what needs my attention at any given time. I'll be totally honest with you, somedays there just is not enough time. And you want to know what's often the first thing to get cut out of my busy schedule? All too frequently, it's my “me” time that suffers. If you are anything like me, it’s easy to give your time to meet someone else’s needs; it could be a client, your husband, or your kids. It is a real challenge, but we need to realize that taking care of ourselves is not only important, it is 100% necessary if we want to keep serving the people and the communities that we love.
The year that I opened my art studio, I was spread so thin trying to get the business launched, making time to care for my three children, trying to take care of my home, and volunteering at my children’s school. I didn’t have extra time for a-n-y-thing. The long hours at the studio made me feel guilty about not being home enough - so any extra moment I had, I spent with my kids. By the end of this year, I was not only physically exhausted, I was mentally drained. And so began the vicious, vicious cycle. The stress and lack of sleep caught up to me and I was feeling sluggish, lethargic and just run down.
I knew I needed to get back to taking care of myself and setting time aside for me. It was at this exact time in my life that I found yoga. I started small - I committed to practicing once a week. At first, I wasn’t sure if I was enjoying it. My workouts prior to yoga were mostly running, cycling and weights - the louder the music, the more I enjoyed it. And yet, suddenly I found myself in a quiet room with these seemingly perfect yogis. When I began, I couldn’t even touch my toes. The thought of standing on one leg terrified me since I have absolutely no balance. Seriously. Let's just say it wasn't pretty at the beginning.
As much as I struggled to get started, the more I went, the more I started to crave that time. Something about the class left me wanting more. I felt a sense of peace and lightness every time I left the studio. Before I knew it, this Thursday morning class was becoming the highlight of my week. I then bought a yoga mat and blocks for home and began my mornings with a little stretching. It was then that I realized that the simple act of spending 15 minutes in the morning stretching made an amazing impact in my day. I was more focused, more aware of my priorities, and just more relaxed overall. This made me more productive during the day, which meant that I often had the afternoon to just focus on my kids.
Yoga, running and the pottery wheel are my therapy. They are my go-to when I am stressed or need to escape. They are necessary in my life and I make sure to make time in my day for them. They are my self-care.
Have you ever heard the saying, “You can’t pour from an empty cup”? It’s so true, once we have given all of ourselves, we will have nothing left to give. So please, remember to fill your cup!
Don't have a self-care practice just yet? No problem! All this month on the blog, we'll be covering different ways to get started. It's so much simpler than you realize - and it will make a huge impact on your life. I can't wait to hear about the changes you make!
PS - Interested in a weekend long reset and/or introduction to self-care? Join us in Puerto Rico in April for our Wake Up Call Retreat. It's going to be amazing - and I would absolutely love it if you'd join us.