If there’s one thing you should know about me it’s that I LOVE making people happy. Putting big, happy smiles on people’s faces is my jam. So I do ALL THE THINGS for everyone that I love which leaves me at the bottom of the to-do list. My mom would always tell me that I should take care of myself. And I remember thinking that I did take care of myself. Except I didn’t and still don’t.
Self- care is a foreign concept to me. I have a really hard time doing nice things for myself. Other people…too easy. Myself…never. About a month ago, I remember feeling really tired and really overwhelmed with life. And I remember a good friend asking me how I was to which I responded (without even thinking) that I was great, just super tired. Which got me thinking back to other people asking how I was and realizing that I always said the same thing…”I’m doing great, just tired.” It was my automated response to life.
It’s not fun looking at yourself and realizing you had become a walking zombie. Sure, I could slap a smile on my face and pretend like the best of them. But in reality, I was just going through the motions of life. Taking care of everyone else, making everyone else happy. Meanwhile, taking care of myself was moving further and further down the to-do list.
I couldn’t be the parent or partner I wanted to be and was failing at life without knowing how badly I was failing. I had forgotten how to take care of myself making it impossible to take care of the people I loved. So, I slowly started bumping my name up the to-do list. Just little things like reading for 15 minutes while the kids were doing their homework. Getting my nails done or grabbing a coffee while they were at school. Squeezing in a yoga session without the “help” of my youngest. And the craziest thing happened….my stress level went down…I wasn’t hulk smashy after I picked the big kids up from school. I finally felt that I wasn’t living my life as a zombie.
Things are not all rainbows and roses and each day comes with a new set of challenges. But if I take that 10, 30, 45 minutes to myself…take that time to take care of me…I can actually deal with those challenges instead of taking my stress out on my family. I can be the mom, wife, friend, daughter, sister, I want to be.
So, this December, I challenge you all to take some time every day to take care of yourself. Go grab a coffee, get a manicure, read a book. For 30 days, take at least 10 minutes a day to focus on you and what you need. Because what I’ve learned is that self-care leads to loving yourself exactly as you are, nurturing your soul, and becoming the person you were always meant to be.