No time for self-care?
Imagine yourself lingering at the breakfast table, soaking in the sunshine as you savor a cup of hot tea, still wearing the robe you slipped into after taking a long, warm bath.
Now, put yourself in this scenario.
Several years ago, the year I quit teaching, I’d ignored the inner voice that kept telling me to stop. To slow down. And after just six weeks into the 2011 -2012 school year, I quit teaching.
Just abruptly quit.
I didn’t plan on it, but when I got up Monday morning, I sat frozen on the toilet, just staring at the shower, hearing the water splashing onto the shower floor, knowing I needed to get in if I was going to get to work on time. But, I literally could not move from that toilet, except to get up, walk into the living room, open my laptop, fill out an official resignation form and press send.
I spent the next few years unraveling the events that led to that day. What I discovered is I had been ignoring all the warning signs: overwhelm at work, sleepless nights, using up all ten of my sick days, a flailing marriage, high anxiety and extreme stress, all blaring sirens of distress.
Most of us, especially women, have a very hard time putting ourselves above others, taking care of others’ needs to our own neglect.” ~Sharon Hines, Home on Purpose
Friend, you cannot serve your family, contribute to your household, or be a good employee on empty, or worse, on fumes. I learned that the hard way. The Sunday routine, menu planning, a daily routine, none of it matters if you don’t have a self-care routine in place.
It’s the prerequisite to creating your ideal home and lifestyle.
Developing a self-care routine takes time, trial and error. You may even fall off the wagon a few times, but the point is to implement change and make progress. You’re more likely to experience success if you:
- Consider how you neglect yourself and make a list of the changes you’d like to make.
- Consider what brings you joy and fills your cup and make room for those activities on your schedule. ex. hobbies, outings, activities
- Take it slowly. A big overhaul all at once almost always results in failure. (Think New Year’s Resolutions.) So, add one change at a time until it becomes habit. Then introduce another change into your routine.
- Have everything you need to implement change on hand. ex. exercise equipment, skin care products
- By the same token, identify and get rid of anything that is keeping you from making a change. ex. junk food, excuses, poor habits
- Let your family in on your plans, explaining how important this change is to you and offering ideas for how they can help.
- Just add you. Schedule your self-care time into your week just like you would any other plans.
- Protect your time. If you get asked to do something or be somewhere when you’re planning on going for a jog, getting a haircut, meeting a friend for lunch, taking a long bath, or going on a Netflix binge, say no.
- Get over the guilt. Taking care of yourself is the most selfless thing you can do.
In fact, the moment I slip into my robe and shut the bathroom door behind me, it’s as if I’ve walked through a giant wardrobe and into another world, one where I get to linger and soak and savor and just be me.
See you in class,