I’m an avid list maker. Seriously, I make lists for everything- groceries and items I need to buy, teaching points I’m currently working on with each daughter, things I need to do around the house, business tasks to take care of today/this week, business goals and the steps to make them happen, household cleaning…. I think you get the idea. You know what never seems to make the list?
“Things I need to do to nourish and grow MYSELF”
It’s like somewhere in the journey to building your dream life your brain completely rearranges your priorities. Mine’s been setup to go: kids, business, husband, house, animals, literally anything else, and finally myself. How many times have you realized that you’ve been working hard on work or your latest project, kids are good to go, house is pretty tidy and things are running smooth meanwhile you’re coming off only getting 2 hours of sleep, have leftover eyeliner raccoon eyes, the same top knot bun from yesterday and you’re trying to guess when was the last time you took a shower that was more than a rinse off? Probably more than you want to admit.
And that’s okay because I guarantee you that you’re not alone.
The problem with tending to everyone else’s needs first is that you quickly hit burnout phase. You spend all your time, energy and sanity to make sure that little Sally ate real food today and not just what she picked out of the couch and by the time everyone’s feeling content you can’t muster much more than either laying back in a slump until someone else is yelling for you or you spend your time working. Even then sometimes you’ll find yourself getting constantly interrupted and that quick ’15 minutes of work you need to do’ gets dragged out over the course of the day.
I found myself living in burnout phase after a while and it wasn’t pretty. What happens is that even though you’re Wonder Woman and totally capable of handling everything and caring for everyone, you end up doing so at your own expense. For instance I would get behind on dishes or housework because my day was filled with customer emails and dealing with suppliers and keeping kids from killing each other. Or maybe I’d be rocking a totally spotless house and cultivating learning activities to do with my girls but had a growing inbox of business stuff to deal with.
My point is that you’re always going to have a long ass to do list but you can’t get stuck in this battle of getting it done while your own needs and nurturing suffer for it. Because after a while you’re both physically and mentally exhausting yourself and that nagging task or two is adding up to a whole other “way overdue” list in your brain and at some point it’ll knock you on your ass. And I mean literally. How often have you gotten ill once you hit total burnout phase? I bet when you really think about it you’ll see more overlap that you realized before.
When you neglect yourself it triggers a trickle effect of other things in your life that can suffer negatively from it including your family, relationships, work and personal health. So it only seems natural that the equal and opposite reaction to that is to put more effort into your own self care and nurturing.
I used to have objections pop into my brain like “I don’t have time for that because I’ve got to do x,y, + z” or thoughts that boiled down to a belief that “self care = expensive”.
Total bullshit beliefs.
Even if you did treat yourself to a paid massage or something, you’re freaking worth it! Plus, if you think about the toll that your burnout can take on your ability to get work done it’s easy to justify some paid self care as preventative means to avoid the burnout altogether and keep your life skyrocketing like it should be.
Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be expensive. In fact, there’s a lot that falls into this category that’s completely free and takes minutes or less. I’ve put together some great ideas for you to be sure you’re taking care of your Diana Prince so that she can continue to be Wonder Woman as you need to be. <3
Self Care Inspiration
- Meditate -even if that just means sitting in silence for a few minutes.
- Do some yoga. Maybe that just means taking some time to sit in a simple child’s pose for a while.
- Sit outside in the fresh air or go for a walk.
- Take a bike ride.
- Soak in a bath with lavender and epsom salts.
- Keep a gratitude journal.
- Get enough sleep. (Or more anyways.)
- Bake something.
- Learn to say No more often.
- Burn some candles or diffuse essential oils.
- Sneak some chocolate to yourself.
- Get a massage, or have your partner give you one.
- Turn on some music and have a little dance party.
- Color something.
- Have a power packed smoothie.
- Pick some flowers and put them in a nice vase inside where you’ll see them.
- Drink more water.
- Be mindful about what you’re feeding your body.
- Unplug occasionally.
Self care is really just anything you do to mindfully put yourself first for a moment.
When I let go of the idea that every aspect of life had to be perfect and that it was my responsibility to make it that way, it’s amazing how much better my daily life actually got. I was more efficient in getting my work done so I spent less time doing it throughout the day. This gave me more time to do other things that before could have been overwhelming.
What’s one way you can take care of your self today that will benefit your spirit, family and self tomorrow or in the future?