I had big plans for this week and today especially but this morning I am realizing I need to take a beat and push pause for today. I have a few drafts of blogs I want to share with you, I have some personal admin that needs to be taken care of, and I have a mountain of laundry to fold and 2.5 bathrooms to clean. I’ve been working hard, like so many of you, at being mom, school organizer, barista, chef, janitorial staff and sometimes even sibling referee.
As a mom, a wife and as a woman, I generally harbour a lot of guilt when I feel like I can’t keep up to the demands of the day. Ironically, I place most of those demands on myself. I love my job and love to be an active and engaged team player. I like to be in the middle of the innovation and planning. I am a mom who strives to be present. I want my kids to have homemade lunches and fun games to play when we are in family time mode. I work hard to be healthy and fit but I like to get my workouts in while my family is engaged in work and school projects, so I don’t miss out on time with them. I strive to prep healthy meals in advance. I try to connect with friends and family via social media and texting every day to stay connected. The list of daily To Dos are so important but it can be intense.
Today though, it’s a no go. It is time to press pause. I’m having a hot coffee, laying on the couch and catching up on some reality TV guilty pleasures. I am not tuning out of life but I am just realizing that to be my best, I cannot be giving ALL of me to every one and every thing. When I stretch myself too thin, I really start to feel the ramifications manifested in physical ways as well as emotional and even socially. Not only do I feel “tired”, but my patience is waning, my frustrations and/or ‘sadness’ rise to the surface and build a blockade for me to be openhearted and to enjoy the day. Subsequently, I become more closed off. I become less able to be present and engaged in the moment with my family and am less likely to connect socially. This kind of spiral can be so overwhelming.
After I enjoy my coffee and a little bit of a TV time out, I start the real self care. I break out the gratitude journal and immediately start to write in the 5 things I am grateful for this morning. They are simple but powerful. I think about the glorious day brewing outside and am instantly thankful for blue skies and palm trees. I hear my girls helping each other with a little creative origami and they are so sweet to each other; I am thankful for little girl giggles. I look around the room and see his beautiful house and am thankful for shelter and having more than enough. I hear the ding of a text on my phone and I am thankful for technology to keep us connected when we are physically distanced from so many people in our lives. And lastly, I take a deep breath in and am so appreciative for my health and the health of those who I love most.
After a bit of gratitude, I make a plan. What would I be proud of accomplishing today? What steps do I need to take to get there? What might get in the way of my success? I pick three things that would make me feel “successful” today and literally schedule them into the day. I have a planner that I use daily for work and appointments etc., but it the best way for me to also take care of me. One of the most poignant things I heard recently was that successful CEO’s don’t miss meetings, so be the CEO of your own life and don’t skip out on the “meetings” you set for yourself. Boundaries and making a plan help me to stay on track in so many ways, but especially when it comes to taking care and time for being my best version of me.
In these uncertain times, self love and self care are more important than ever. It may feel selfish to take time for YOU, but remember it is not self indulgent, it is self preservation. You cannot pour from an empty cup; so fill that cup friends. Fill it with love and care for yourself so you can care for those you love.