Take the time to recharge; it is a life saver – literally!
Never in my life before has it been more challenging to take care of myself. I am sometimes up at night with my baby boy (Zac), have work piling up around me and I am learning to navigate the new balance in a marriage when another little person needs you to take care of their every need 24 hours a day.
There are many things I have learnt since my journey began into being a first time mum, but the one that has become clearer than any other is that you can’t look after others, until you look after yourself.
After years of organizing and prioritizing my personal health and wellbeing to ensure I can be a true role model in my working world, I learnt first hand how quickly and easily this can all disappear.
When change happens in your life or times get tough, be it pressure of a new job, mounting bills or the loss of a loved one – often the first thing that goes out of the window is taking the time or creating the space in your life to take care of yourself.
You might be making lunches for all 3 of your teenage boys every day, running round clearing up after everyone all the time or working crazy hours but inside you are no doubt feeling resentful, frustrated or just downright tired and it can end up backfiring on you big time.
When you are running on empty (and boy do I know, seriously know what that feels like), you end up snapping, being angry with the people you love the most and feeling resentful that your life is this way.
You aren’t super human and you can’t keep going and going and going and expect everything to be bright and peachy when you have no energy reserves left – something will give and sadly, it is often the very things you have been working so hard at. You make a mistake a work, argue with your partner over something dumb or shout at your kids for not tidying their rooms even though you have spent the last 10 years tidying them yourself and suddenly wonder why they don’t do it themselves!
You matter and if you want to be the BEST you that you can be, you need to look after yourself.
I can no longer go to the gym every day or mediate in the mornings but after some very big melt downs, I am learning to find new ways to take care of myself.
5 minutes in the shower to take deep breaths, reflect on 5 things I am grateful for in my life and just be present. Making up a veggie snack box in my fridge and always having fresh fruit in the house. Ordering pre-made green smoothies. Taking Zac for a walk rather than battle to get him to sleep at home.
Whatever it is, and however you do it – take time, even 5 minutes a day to do something for yourself and be by yourself. Schedule it in, ask for help, make it happen.
Despite what you might feel you have to do, you don’t have to be superhuman, just be real, be open, be you.