Pouring From An Empty Cup: The Art of Self Care
The past 2 months have been some of the most challenging Brandon and I have ever faced. We are expecting our third baby in July, we have a 4-year old and 2-year old, we were both working, we sold our chiropractic practice we built from the ground up, started at a new practice, moved (again), bought a house and also lived apart for the entirety of those 2 months…
That seems like a lot and it really was! I often felt overwhelmed and stressed out of mind!
It was probably week 4 of this crazy transition that I LOST IT! I completely and utterly lost my mind. I wasn’t until I was hoarse from screaming at my kids, shaking and crying alone in the bathroom that I thought, “What am I doing?!?!”
I thought about the person I used to be and how dramatically different I was now. That upset me so much! I felt like the carefree, independent woman I remembered was slipping away.
Something had to change and I started to think about self care in a different way.
I had always thought that self care was exercising, eating healthy, meditating and being my ideal self all the time….. WRONG!
Self care is every little step toward a goal, ever moment of joy, every deep breath taken, every teeny tiny second of gratitude that didn’t go unnoticed in a busy day.
Sometimes, self care looks like pajamas, no shower, a good book and kids watching TV.
Sometimes, self care looks like 3 times a week exercise, meal prepping and being on time.
The following 3 things were where I started on my journey to taking care of myself because I realized that I truly cannot take care of anyone else if I’m a complete mess.
- Carve out “me” time.
For me, this meant waking up at 5:00 am most days. I started to see little pockets of time that I spent doing things that weren’t making me feel good ( Netflix, Facebook stalking, Amazon…). That magical morning time became the only time I had an hour to myself where I could focus on me. Some mornings I exercised, some I journaled, some I sat in a chair with a cup of coffee and stared off into space… but it MY time. My only rules were no TV, no phone, no email, no day planning.
Honestly, it started as 10 minutes and then started to grow to a full hour.
- Stop comparing. Find gratitude!
It’s easy to feel overwhelmed when you look around and think how everyone else seems to have their acts together except for you. The issue with comparisons is that we never really know what’s happening in that persons’ life. We can only see the outside.
During those carved out “me” moments, try to find and focus on 3 things that you’re grateful for. Once you start focusing on what you HAVE you realize it doesn’t matter what other people’s lives look like. You will be so overjoyed and thankful for everything you’ve got…. That everyone else’s lives will be second fiddle.
- Take little steps to be the person you dream of.
We all have an ideal image of ourselves. Thinner, taller, stronger, better skin, more put together… sometimes how we feel and what we see in the mirror doesn’t match. The disconnect between what we want and what we have can be overwhelming.
Make a list of all the things you want to have. Even if it seems small, put it on the list. Be specific! For example, I want to lose weight versus “I feel so amazing and sexy now that I lost 20 pounds after 3 months of eating well and walking with my kiddos!” There’s a specific goal linked with a timeframe and an emotion.
Living a congruent life allows you to wear different hats and maintain YOU.
I often felt lost because of the different roles in my life.
NOW, I’m the same person in the office being a doctor, at home with my kids, out with my friends or on vacation with my husband. I have a life that I don’t need to escape from. I am in love with who I am!
Self care takes practice, but it begins with one decision and one, tiny step in the right direction. You’ll fail and I’ll fail because that’s part of growing and learning.
If you want to talk more about self care and the next steps to take… call me at 920-230-2800 to have a chat!
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Oshkosh, WI 54902