Recently I drove over to a friend’s house to drop off my daughter for a sleepover. When I arrived at the door, my friend took one look at me and invited me in for a drink. Apparently it was written all over my face that I had one foot over the ledge. Before I knew it, she had taken in both my daughters, fed my family, and listened without judgement as I spilled a couple of weeks of stress into her lap. It was cathartic and the next day, I was not only grateful that I have a friend like that, but acutely aware that I’m not taking care of myself.
I’ve hit a stride with this self-made job of mine, but with success comes stress. Taking a break isn’t easy when there are multiple sources of work and income to manage. In my former life, I would have arranged time away with one person. Now I answer to many and their schedules don’t always (read, never) sync. Long, long days at my desk are playing havoc on my body and most definitely my mind. My mini-breakdown brought about an epiphany of sorts.
What am I doing this all for? When I brushed away the clutter — accomplishment, self-worth, income —there was really only one thing left, my family. It’s true that without them I am nothing, but conversely, without me where would they be? I am not replaceable to my family. Okay, maybe to the dog, but she’s cheap and will cuddle with anyone who feeds her. I digress, but I get it now.
Taking care of myself is not selfish but rather selfless. (Yes, I’m aware this is contrary to the official definition of “selfless” but hear me out.)
This is why they ask you to put your oxygen mask on first in the event of an emergency on an airplane; if you pass out, you’re no good to your kids. Hours sitting at a desk is bad for my health in more ways than just the fat accumulating on my ass. Studies suggest that prolonged sitting is a major contributor to cardiovascular problems. It’s a win/lose scenario. Sit at my desk, produce, and get paid at the same time as risking my health and future with my family.
My current state of being isn’t just tied to my desk, it also has to do with the job I have in social media, which never shuts down. I’m fairly certain that my attention span is exactly at gold fish level. My eating habits have become atrocious, since chips are quicker than salads. And since a body at rest, stays at rest, all workouts have left the building.
I’m setting out to turn the tide and find that elusive balance between work and life. I owe it to my family to work as hard at this as I do my job. Over the next thirty days I’m going to do something everyday to improve my health and wellness, and I’m going to do it without apology. It could be something small, like making sure I drink enough water everyday, or remembering to take my thyroid medication. It could be something big, like *gulp* taking up running again. The only thing I know for sure about the path I’m setting out on is that it leads to a better me, which leads to a better life for those I love.
This isn’t all about me though, because I’m throwing down a gauntlet of sorts as I virtually look out over all the amazing women I know. What are we doing here ladies? We are wearing bags under our eyes like a badge of honour and it has to stop.
Since I truly believe in the power of sisterhood, I’m inviting you to join me for a #30DaysOfMe challenge. Let’s share with each other on our social channels what we do each day to improve either our mental or physical health. Your 30 days can start anytime, there is no wrong time to start taking care of yourself.
My hope is that this 30 day journey starts a life-long journey that will help us make sure we all live and love for many years to come.
Seriously excellent timing on this for me. I have a post in draft about how I showed up at my friend’s cottage a couple of weeks ago, wound so tight I was about to pop. When my friend asked me what I was doing to look after myself amidst all my stress, I meekly answered “I came here?”
I’ll get that post out of draft. And I’ll join you on this journey. Or at least I’ll try my best. I’m trying to be gentle with myself.
I’m so glad Deb. I want to be there for my family and the only way I can do that is to take care of myself. Same goes for you. Looking forward to following your journey.
You go, girl! Thanks for the inspiration!
xoxoxo Candace – this is wonderful. Such an important message and good for you!
Thank you! I hope you join in on the hashtag and share on social 🙂
Thank you Nicole. Love that you stopped by 🙂
Totally with you! I just spent 2 weeks “off” and I confess – I read emails, replied, and stressed about things I wasn’t working on…totally what not to do on vacation!
Alison Pentland (@FeeFiFoFunFaery)
Why is self-care soooo hard? I haven’t figured it out even at 56. What’s true is that we need to be reminded that it’s okay to self-care. So thanks for permission to do something that I want to do. Tomorrow I fly out, leaving kids, husband, dogs behind to be with my sister and just be and care for myself! and yes, Ste Anne’s was always the place to reflect, reconnect and recharge, especially when I take the train. Love that!
I’ve been thinking about this post a lot lately. Thinking about what I could do to help with my own #30daysofme and honestly it comes down to the little things like you mentioned… getting enough water, eating right, seeing friends, forgetting about the dishes in the sink and going for a walk or maybe start training for a 100km relay with my friends 😉
Self care is so important this is a great challenge. Being a new mom I find instead of sleeping I try to catch up on social media and zone out instead of sleeping. That would be my first way to practice self care. Also taking a walk everyday helps so much ti coear the mind!
Fabulous post and such a good reminder. I’ll be following along! Good luck with your journey.
I’m making time to go to the pool everyday this summer to de-stress and stay fit and strong for my family.
Hardest thing for me is simply getting to bed on time so I feel good in the morning! That’s my goal.
Guh it’s so true. I have to take more time for myself and set away to do things that I enjoy – not to just do things on my ‘to do’ list which seems endless. More hikes. More dog walks. More brunches with friends!
I really need to find reasons to get away from my desk. It’s always “I’ll just finish this” and then another and another. Sitting all day is killing me. Truly.
Oh how we are all so similar. Although I don’t own my own business, I find myself running from the second my feet hit the ground out of bed to the second my head hits the pillow. Getting hubby breakfast/lunch and out the door, girlies up and to school/camp, work, kids from daycare/camp, home, dinner, homework, baths, bed…and somewhere in there I’m supposed to find time for me which leads me to the ‘edge’ that I’m on constantly (add in my older daughter that has #SelectiveMutism with therapy/drs/etc).
So for me, I’m taking the time to relax. The girls and hubs are going to have to pick up some of the slack – they’re all old enough (5, 9 & 42) to help out and lighten my load around the house. And…I’m leaving hubby in charge while I spend the day at a spa (although not St. Anne’s Spa)- an entire day of pampering that is just for me. #30daysofme
And going forward, I’m going to make sure I take even a few moments every day just for me!
I plan to start eat much better than what i currently have been
Last week I put my kids in the child-minding room at the gym for the first time – and they had a great time, so I’ve decided to do it once a week all summer so I can have some me time in the middle of the day rather than my normal workouts at the crack of dawn or after everyone is in bed and I just want to set on the couch and watch Netflix…
I’m participating in the 21 day meditation with Deepak and Oprah – I’ve been meditating for over a year now, and when I do it daily, I feel the most benefit.
to take better care of myself, I’m going to exercise daily, working on my sore rotator cuff.
to relieve stress I try to find time for myself but it’s a bit hard with a toddler. sometimes i’ll get a few moments to myself when his grandparents or his dad are watching him. I also think going for a walk can really help clear your mind and just being thankful for all that you have in your life!
I’m consciously drinking water every day to stay hydrated and healthy
This is a great thing! I never remember to just do me
Yoga and soccer on Sunday’s. The rest of the week I shut down technology of all kinds work, social media and txts between 5-8 to focus on real conversations and interactions with my family.
I’m so guilty of putting myself on the backburner. I’m currently working on carving out regular time for yoga, and time for sewing, both of which help me to relax immensely!
This is so great! I have always put myself last and am paying for it. I have recently started hiking with my niece and I love it; so great for the body and mind. I have also made changes to my day to day habits including dietary changes. I feel so much better already.
I want to spend more time in nature. Camping and even just walking my dog more. Waiting for the heat wave to end first. lol I also plan to spend sometime purging clutter.
Me, Myself and Kids
I started going to the gym in the morning! I used to go all the time and life got in the way…Im back!
Starting a new routine if pushing myself to walk, after 2 months on bed rest for a severely bulged disc and it having caused severe nerve damage I am pushing myself to try and be me and suffer with the pain!
I’m going to make sure to meditate at least once a day for the next month
Im trying to eat better but once you get a taste for junkfood you actually crave it.
I definitely could take better care of myself. I am starting with food/drink -eating better, having fewer high calorie drinks like pop and wine and I am starting to fell better already. I am trying to be more active -going for walks most days but I know I need to increase that element even more. #30DaysofMe
I would really love to take some time for myself but right now it’s impossible. Too much going on, unfortunately. 🙁
Everyone needs a little me-time in order to refresh and reflect. Have fun!
A small thing, but a start. I am going to eat more fruits and vegetables every day and apply sunscreen every morning before I start my outdoor activities.
Very inspiring – thanks for sharing. I am going to start small – but start nonetheless with making the time to walk to work instead of taking transit.
We find it hard to do this as moms! Today I went on a 2hr walk, I’m a little sore, but it feels good!
I’m going to get more sleep and take my son on more outdoor activities.
I am really focusing on self care this summer. I have been faithfully making it to the pool for aquafit and I recently started to see a counselor.
I am going to go for more walks and remember to take my vitamins everyday and eat less candy.
I was a caregiver for over 30 years. Always taking care of others. And I did it well. But I realized that I needed to take care of me too. So for the last two years I have put energy, time and sweat into just that. And I feel amazing. Not always easy to do, but the benefits are huge!
I find self care so hard. Thanks for the inspiration!
I’m going to ask family to babysit more so I have time for myself.
This is a really hard question to answer 😮 life is busy, I don’t even get enough sleep! I’m gonna start with that- a solid 8 hours every night!