Sooo this was about hmmm like 5 years ago and I find myself lying in bed, head spinning.
I’m trying to fall asleep but no matter how hard my body pushes towards sleep, my mind will not allow me to just rest.
I’m exhausted, completely drained from the 2 jobs I’ve been working, the business I’m starting, school, and the countless things I’ve agreed to despite my better judgment.
I get up from the bed, defeated by this uphill battle between my mind and body and decide to sit on the porch to get some fresh air.
But instead of the relief from the cool breeze that I am expecting, it gets worst.
Things start spinning, I feel dizzy, and I decided to sink my head in my knees for relief.
God knows I don’t have time to be going to the ER! I have to be up for work at 4 am and I just know that I’ll be spending at least 4 hours there and calling off is not an option, I need my money honey.
So I decide to call mom(cause she has the answer to everything of course and if not this should buy me some time and I should feel better soon).
Whelp that’s not what happened, I ended up in the ER, resisting it the entire time and anxious to leave.
The countdown begins, 4 hours of sleep 3 hours, 2. I’m crying inside ready to leave. The prognosis? Sleep deprivation and dehydration.
You would think that that would be my wake up call to take some much needed time off, but no.
I can do it all! I am superwoman! Push, push, push. My body is just a tool to get me what I want. I’m going to push it to its limits, who cares what I’m sacrificing in the process.
Self care(what’s that?)I have things that need to get done. Go, go go, rush, rush, rush.
This was my life.
You can get this done and that and everything. I’ll sleep when it’s all done.
Between rushing to make my classes on time,(which I gave myself 20 minutes to get to although the actual ride was about 45 minutes),reading at red lights, studying while I was working, working full-time, getting homework done and lets not forget I have 3 godchildren who I carve out time for weekly, and a boyfriend, and sister and family whose favorite line is(You don’t see us enough or You don’t come to see us, we miss you.)and friends who say the same thing.
Self-care, yeah right.
I have all these people depending on me(insert crying emoji here).
These people are my priority; all they’re asking for is a little time and attention. No harm, no foul.
But I began to realize there was no time for me.
In the midst of trying to make everyone happy I completely neglected my own needs.
I had no idea who I was, what I liked, what hobbies I wanted to pursue, what I liked that didn’t involve work or how I wanted to spend my time.
I allowed others to control my schedule, I was just a puppet, them the puppet master.
I am in no way saying that they are horrible people, but you must set boundaries! You must put your needs first before anyone else. It’s not selfish, its self-care.
I would have never ended up in the hospital had I said NO and really took my self-care seriously!
According to The Harvard Business Review, many of us view taking care of ourselves as selfish we usually make ourselves our last priority after work, home and community. Why so.. you ask?
Because when it comes to self-care no one is holding us accountable but ourselves!
We all have a boss, spouse, or kids that we seem to meet the demands of and self-care gets the wayside.
However, it is shown that in not taking care of ourselves we are less effective at serving our families and community.
According to their study, the more time a working mother (for example) spends on self-care, the better the physical and emotional health of their children.
For you mothers out there I know, I know but they still come first you say.
Their solution for overcoming that guilt is simple.
Specifically identify that by making your self-care a priority you will be simultaneously improving your work, home, and community.
So the lesson that took me 5 years to learn and I’m still learning at times is to make my self-care a priority.
I’ve learned over the years that it is easier for me to meet commitments and promises that I make to others(I really don’t like to let people down).
However, I need to keep those same promises to myself.
What that looks like?
Scheduling myself in(Fridays are my me-date) saying no to things I really don’t want to do( a simple I’m not available will suffice) and I carve out 30 minutes each day to do things I love(meditation and reading) regardless of what’s going on.
So what’s 1 thing you can start doing to reclaim your life and start taking better care of yourself?