What type of lifestyle do you want to live? What type of lifestyle do you want your daughter, neice, or mentee to live? One that’s healthy and enjoyable? Or one that’s overwhelming and anxiety ridden? If you’re sane, you’ll choose first. Unfortunately, we often settle for the second despite how much we want the first. I say we because that’s where I found myself last week. I’ve been working like a mad person and it’s started to show. And not in a good way. Sure, there are results being made, but I woke up on Sunday to find that something much worse had happened. I’d lost myself in all of it.
Have you ever lost yourself? Lost yourself to your job? Lost yourself to the people pulling on you? Lost yourself to the demands you put on yourself? I looked up on Sunday, and I’d lost myself. I’d lost interests in reading and enjoying friends. I’d lost interest in my newfound career. I’d lost interest in my goals, mission, and vision. I looked up Sunday and everything looked dark. Nonetheless, I went about my Sunday responsibilities like usual because people were counting on me. I’m a Christian so I receive inspiration through scriptures and prayer, and God showed me something new.
Rest and relaxation is not the same as practicing self care. It is a part of it, but it’s not the totality and that’s where I’d tripped up every time. You see, I’d rested on Saturday, so in my mind there was no reason why I should have been in such a dark place on Sunday. In my mind, there was no reason why I should have lacked motivation or inspiration. It wasn’t until prayer at the church late Sunday, that I realized self care involves relaxation and rest, but it also involves activity that you love and enjoy, activity that makes you feel good about your space and body, activity that fills you up and makes life easier.
There’s a conflict warring between society and our needs. Society says that we have to work without sleep to make everything move in the right direction because our goals need to be prioritized first. We learn it very early on in school with the overload of projects, extracurricular clubs, and other demands. But our bodies and minds argue and protest, “Wait! Hold up! I need a minute! I need to sleep! I need to organize this mess, clean this house and watch TV or read a book. I need to cook for once so I can eat something worth eating, and I want to live in the moment instead of working to get to THE MOMENT I’ve concocted in my imagination
It’s time for us to fight for ourselves and practice some self care. It’s time to fight for our best lives now! It’s time to start today! Need some help practicing self care? Start by:
- cleaning and organizing your space. You will be so glad you did! When your schedule fills up later in the week, you’ll be relieved and grateful to be at home or in an office that’s clean.
- choosing to face your fears and look at your expenses will help you feel better about where you choose to spend your money in the future.
- exploring enjoyable exercise groups, classes, or activities. When the endorphins (feel good hormones) release in your body, you’ll feel better about where your life is headed. Although I love the new weight lifting class I’ve joined, you might like taking a dance class or joining a running group.
- styling your hair, exfoliating your skin, or doing your nails. When you look good, you feel good. It never gets old. Don’t limit it to just one unless you have to. Do all three!
- complimenting yourself with a few positive affirmations. You know I couldn’t leave this one out. Your words have power!
- doing something fun that you view as a treat, whether it’s watching Netflix, reading a magazine, or going out for ice cream. It doesn’t matter what other people think about it as long as it’s meaningful (and affordable) to you.
- praying or meditating. I do believe that God loves you and wants to talk to you, but if you don’t please take time to meditate and breathe deeply. Prayer and meditation is going to help you remember that this moment is a moment we will never get back and there are other things that are so much more important than work!
Choosing to serve others through my career becomes overwhelming and when I don’t take care of myself, I don’t have anything to give. If you need an attitude change, practice self care. Yes, we have to do it for those who are watching carefully, for those who will follow in our footsteps, but we also have to do it for ourselves. This is personal.