Are you taking enough time for you?
Do you prioritize yourself!
Are you always saying yes to everyone else?
Does that leave you feeling alone or perhaps even resentful?
Are your personal needs met?
As Mother’s Day is approaching, a day where mothers are being doted on for all that they do each day, it is often forgotten that self-care and prioritizing yourself is something that needs to stand always in the forefront.
I know first-hand that this is easier said than done!
When my son was first hospitalized in 2007 and even the years to follow, my health (emotionally and physically) was not number one. My priority was my son and his life as it took everything I had to keep him alive and so I continued to smoke and eat an unhealthy diet. I always told myself one day would it would all change, but for the moment my priorities were not with me.
You succumb to eating the processed cafeteria foods or take-out out of ease and comfort. And at times it can seriously feel like you don’t have any other choice. But you do. There’s always a choice.
How can you move from being everything to everyone and start being who you need to be for you?
- Decide you deserve to be a priority
- Decide how you will spend it
- Evaluate the things that waste your time
- Learn to say no!
- Ask for help!
- Schedule the things you must do
- Commit to me time daily and make it a ritual!
We talk about nurture and self-care all the time but what sometimes you don’t even know what that means!
Self-care in its simplest form means taking it easy, take a break, do things that you love.
Self-care is doing things that feel good to your body and soul in that moment and time.
What they mean to each of us, can differ from individual to individual.
Self-care is just allowing you some downtime from the daily hustle and bustle of work, parenting and whatever else usually keeps you overwhelmed. It’s a time to connect with yourself and allow your body some peace so it can rejuvenate itself.
And this can look so very different for everyone. Below you find some of the things I have used to support me.
- Make time for food that nourishes your body and soul. How much junk are you fueling your body with that leaves you tired and exhausted? How much fresh food do you eat to really give your body what you need? When you feel good, the soul feels good because it knows you are taking care of yourself.
- Exercise in some way through yoga, walking, running, Zumba, dancing or whatever call you to move your body. Allow it to feel good. It will help you from becoming to still and it’s just good for you to feel positive especially if you have been feeling down.
- Make bedtime a priority allowing you adequate rest time. For me, this is about 7-8 hours of sleep. For you, it could be a bit less or more. The important thing is that you rest your body!
- Do one thing you truly enjoy. Write, paint, crochet! Do it because you will feel amazingly good afterward for having done it.
- Connect with nature. Go outside, hug a tree, walk barefoot, sit in the sun. Allow yourself to feel the wind and the sun rays on your skin. Surround yourself with nature in every way.
- Practice gratitude throughout the day for each moment. For the raindrop that falls to nourish the earth. For the driver going too slow in front of you to keep you safe and quite without the speeding ticket. For the paycheck, you earn to provide a roof over your head. For life and the opportunity to experience it. Be grateful.
Self-care is respecting you enough to make time to be with just you.
Honoring who you are through the good days and tough days will help you learn to love yourself more, teach others that you are valuable and life will start to feel a whole lot better.
Boundaries are what honors you – all of you.
For you to have healthy relationships with yourself and others – setting and maintaining those boundaries takes time and practice.
It means you are aware and know your limits.
Here are some examples of when you are struggling with healthy boundaries
- Saying yes when you want to say no
- Feeling guilty when you say no
- Going against your own values to please
- Not speaking up when someone impedes your boundary
- Not sharing thoughts & feelings or opinions when you have something to say
- Accepting sex and physical touch when you don’t want it
- Allowing others to say and do things that make you uncomfortable
All of those won’t feel good and impact your personal, emotional, mental and spiritual health. They leave you lost, frustrated, confused about who you are, afraid of taking action and even lack of control over your own life.
So how exactly can you begin to honor yourself?
- Mindset – Acknowledge that having boundaries are not only okay but they are healthy to have
- Identify and name your limits – think about times you didn’t feel so good about a situation or person. Include your values, belief system, and outlook and acknowledge what does feel good.
- Share with others about your boundaries. Have a conversation about what feel good and what you can’t tolerate. Share with them how they may have made you feel.
- Be willing to give yourself permission to feel fear and self-doubt and acknowledge that people around you may not respond well. And be willing to accept that it is okay. Maintaining your boundaries is connected to your self-respect.
- Self-Care is and should be your priority. Allow yourself to put you first. This includes seeking support when you have a hard time with boundaries.
It’s okay to not have it all figured out and take small steps. One Boundary, one person at a time.
Once upon a time, I was a mom of 4 kids in a blended family and the youngest medically fragile while I was in college, running my first business and working outside of the home.
And shit life wasn’t easy, it was everything but. It was utterly and complete chaos to be honest.
And when I made it into town and people saw me, they would ask me:
“How do you do it all? And how do you do it with a smile?”
I didn’t know how to answer any of this back then, because “I just did”.
Or in other words, I did what I had to do.
There are a few things you don’t always have a choice over but you do have a choice in the way you handle each challenge or obstacle.
We didn’t have a choice but to manage my son’s medical well-being.
We didn’t have a choice to not work, because well we needed a roof over our heads.
I didn’t give up on my college degree because I was on a mission.
I didn’t stop creating art because it gave me fuel and fire that I needed to function.
And there were days where I was angry, sad, frustrated and just thinking “shit when will this crapshoot all end”. And yes, you can do it grumpy and irritated and it really comes down to a choice of wanting more frustration or having a little bit of ease to go along with it all.
And when you do the hard things – and the easy things – it with a smile on your face, you are choosing to set an example for anyone that is around you. But more importantly, even in those deep trenches of the shitstorm where you are feeling the weight on your shoulder, there will be that small part of you knowing that all will be okay. You just got to keep going.
So, when you are finding yourself challenged in making time for your family, your business or whatever else is going on, become strategic about your time and then commit to it while still being flexible enough for the “Oh shit” moments.
- in making time for your family or your business
- in feeling just, a little bit of peace
- in knowing that you are doing the best you can
Cut out the less important stuff and focus on that things that matter. And I mean really matter. But don’t become so rigid that in the case of a situation you can’t be flexible.
Because when the shit storm happens, that flexibility will be your strength.
Sometimes we think, we should have it all together and everything should happen at once. Fear creeps in because we don’t have the perfect job, lifestyle and partner and you are so afraid and stressed out that this will never happen that you are stuck. I had a client session and she is creating the life she wants to do the work she loves, BUT she put so much pressure on being in a relationship that the fear of never finding the right person made her life feel heavy.
In a session with a client recently that is exactly what was happening, there was so much pressure of everything needed to happen at ones that life became less joyful.
After an hour, she realized that sometimes we create internal pressure based on other people’s expectations. And then she realized she doesn’t have time to nurture a relationship right now and just wants to revel in her freedom that she is creating.
See here what she said about our work together.
I loved every bit of the deep unraveling I had and every bit of you as well. I didn’t have any hesitations about working with you even though I wasn’t sure how it would go. I am intuitive and I just felt called by your vibe. I love your spontaneity, openness, laughter, humor, immense compassion, and down to earth realness. The way you can look at things in the bigger picture was helpful and awesome. I wasn’t expecting anything from the call and was just open to receive whatever would come, but I couldn’t have imagined uncovering so much and going so deep within just an hour!!!
I feel freer, lighter, and more at ease with myself. It was just exactly what I needed. What I received and learned from this call I shall take with me forever on my journey! Such a powerful precious gift! – Aishwarya Luna Lakshmi
So where can you take the pressure off today?
Where can you stop wondering and worrying about how everything is going to fall into place.
Where is your priority right now? Is it with you, your work and your lifestyle? Or is it putting yourself out there and finding the right mate?
Whatever you choose to focus on, let go of the pressure of having it all together at the same time.
You are exactly where you are supposed to be.
Sometimes we are getting pressure from external sources especially when it comes to having a partner. Family and friends have the expectations that we are married with kids at a certain age while for you that may not be high on the list.
We all get those days. We are working so hard in our lives and in our business but can’t seem to be moving forward because and we get discouraged. We are too worried or too stressed about external forces that impact our personal lives. Or maybe we have been working so hard on our vision and dream just to notice that there really is no traction and you are ready to quit.
We felt challenged to remain calm and squash the anxiety that comes along while we try to bring some peace into our world.
Here’s the thing, every moment that brings us a feeling is a good thing. It’s a moment in which we can take a step back, acknowledge it and ask ourselves “what can I learn from this?” Also, remind yourself of how far you have already come. Write down your achievements and see where you were 1 year ago or 3 years ago.
But there is much more you can do to help guide you.
Once you have taken the initial step to acknowledge your discouragement, your thoughts need to process and it will happen when you distract yourself!
Start organizing and de-cluttering your home and your business. You are shifting energy and stagnation when you bring to the forefront of how you want your home to feel like or how to run your business. When we can allow it to flow, the process becomes much easier and your confidence will increase.
Create a small to-do list of no more than 5 things you must get done. Sometimes when we experience difficult times, the last thing you want to do is overwhelm yourself with too many things to get done. Take a step back, prioritize what needs to be done and only focus on those 5 things.
Allow yourself to have some fun so you can disconnect and distract yourself. Life can get complicated sometimes and when we focus on everything that is stressing us or is going wrong, we invite more of the same. Instead, go have a girl’s night out, spend a weekend away with your partner or create art, music – whatever it is that will bring you happiness.
When we invite the things we that bring us joy and let go of the outcome, things tend to fall into place. Yes, there is still scariness and uncertainty but when you can come from a place of love for yourself, know in your heart you are doing the best you can in each given moment that discouragement you felt will move on.
I only have one favor to ask!
No matter what it is you are going through and the negative feelings that come up, don’t ever quit or give up. Allow the feelings and just be in the flow of who you are!