Self Care: My Non-Negotiable

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Between work, walks with Scout, keeping up with bible study and my friends, there just aren’t enough hours in the day. I know I’m not alone in that, amen?

I come from a long line of multi-tasking women. I grew up with the example of a mom who stayed at home to take care of 4 kids while doing all the book-keeping for the family business and also was the costumer of the high school plays, Sunday school teacher at church, and volunteer on all the school field trips.

I always thought being busy was a badge of honor and I think my friends did too. When we talk about what’s going on in our lives, as we rattle off the way too long of list, the response is usually “wow!” and “that’s amazing!”

Don’t get me wrong, I think making the most of each day is the way to live. I think that we should enrich our lives with hobbies and loved ones. But I’m here to rock the boat and say “busy-ness is NOT always a good, positive thing”. Because sometimes, that busy-ness means being run down, going 100 miles on an empty tank and that isn’t good for anyone.

I know that for me, as soon as I get too busy with activities and commitments, the first thing to fly out the window is eating healthy, sleeping enough, and going to the gym. In between all the crazy, I grab a quick burger at McDonald’s “because I have to eat something“. I skip going to the gym because “well, I don’t have time for that tonight”. And it isn’t a rare thought to think “I could stay up late tonight to finish this task and wake up early to make sure these things get done”.

None of that behavior aids the busy-ness. It doesn’t fuel me. It doesn’t keep me going. It’s like when a small rock hits the windshield. At first, it’s just a little piece taken out but eventually, it splits across the whole thing and needs to be replaced.

I’ve taken a long look at my life recently. When I get busy, taking care of myself is no longer an option. My house becomes a mess since it’s just a dumping ground for stuff and I grab the things I need next. My books get dusty. I realized that it isn’t the badge of honor of “busy-ness” that fueled me. It was getting everything done. Going to bible study and coming home to a clean house. Getting to eat the chocolate chip cookie because I had made it to the gym 5 times that week. Waking up each morning feeling refreshed because I went to bed at a reasonable hour.

It’s the balance. The delicate balance that keeps the machine humming. I’ve already started finding little ways to put myself first. It’s like they say on a plane “you have to put your oxygen mask on first before you can assist others.” With that mindset, you can put the guilt away. Sometimes, I sit to watch a tv show but feel such massive guilt that I’m not sweeping instead. But I have to say to myself, “girl it’s 9:00 at night! You don’t need to be sweeping!”.

The guilt is only in your own mind. But trust me, I feel it. It hits hard when the to do list has items that aren’t checked off. Or worse, items that get transferred over week to week. But I reprioritized. I put me at the top of the list because if I’ve taken care of myself, I won’t get bogged down.

I’ve started to recognize triggers for me. What makes me feel stressed out and how can I make sure those things are done first so I can be a girl boss the rest of the time?

So far my triggers are: a dirty house, unkept nails, eating unhealthy, not making it to the gym, leaving books unread, not getting enough sleep. So slowly but surely, I’ve put those at the top of those lists. I am a creature of habit, I need routines. Therefore, I have tried to incorporate those solutions into my routines so I don’t even have to think about it and I’m filling my own tank.

My first responsibility is to myself. If I take care of myself, the rest will fall into place. I realize that self-care is a journey AND a destination. I have to try different things, find what clicks. The balance is a hard thing to find but I know once I do, it’ll be worth it.

 


At some point, I’m going to do a follow-up post with what’s been working but I would love to hear what works for you. How do you fill your tank? What is the way you go about being the ultimate girl boss? I’d love to share and learn and grown because it’s so much better to now have to figure this stuff out on your own.

I hope you’ve had a beautiful Sunday and that you put yourself first as we head into a fresh month.

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