The thing about being a woman, and specifically a woman in the middle of a pandemic, is that the motivation to take care of ones self is particularly draining. I don’t say that statement lightly or without some “field research” to back it up.
As a woman who takes pride in honouring myself with self care and sharing the message of how important it is to “fill your cup”, I have heard from many women that they have felt it next to impossible to do so right now.
I have also had the privilege to hear from others, who say that, at this time and in general, their self care is non negotiable. The thing is, that no matter what woman you are, the reality is that life is DIFFERENT right now.
I am a part of a multitude of online groups related to working out, wellness and overall health, and in one of those groups I’ve had the privilege to mentor a few women, just like me. They have goals, they have kids and jobs and spouses. They are tired. They are home schooling, working from home and managing everything in between. With no break. With no change of scenery and with no end in sight.
Last week one of them said to me “I just don’t know how to even show up for myself anymore”. And the impact that had on me was intense. While I hadn’t had the exact same thought, I found myself reflecting on my week and weeks that had passed since March.
Some days, I had all the motivation for ALL the things. I was methodical, at times, about taking time for myself. But often, the basic things felt like A LOT. Three actual meals a day felt like too much. Taking a shower felt like a monumental effort. Getting outside was exhausting. Being social (socially distanced of course) felt trying and like too much effort.
These feelings have come and gone like waves on the beach crashing hard some days and more gentle on others. As in any time of life, it has days that are triumphs and days that are wrought with challenge but there is a difference. There is no precedent, in recent history, for coping with a global pandemic. We are having to experience these new emotions, fears and challenges with no frame of reference as to how we should proceed. Therefore much of our “coping” right now is trial and error.
Trial and error is exhausting.
It takes so much time, brain power, emotional fortitude and physical drain. No wonder so many of us feel exhausted. Notwithstanding the fact that we are also helping our children, loved ones and support circles navigate this as well. Many of us are “helpers” and empaths which adds additional factors making this “season” so damn challenging.
Now that we know what is exhausting us, it’s all about naming what we can do to build ourselves back up. And it really, in my mind, comes back to showing up. Showing up, not just for your kids, spouses and loved ones, but showing up for YOU.
Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you. — Katie Reed
That Katie Reed quote, is one that I use to anchor myself. I use to to guide my life and how I teach my girls to look at themselves and their choices. Choosing to show up for yourself is making the statement to say, I am worthy of my own love, and those I love deserve the BEST of who I am and what I have to offer. I deserve that too!
We work tirelessly to ensure dinners are on the table, home work is done, date nights are planned, friends have someone to call. But if we are drained and cranky and resentful, what’s the point?
If we worked even a fraction as hard to thoughtfully and routinely practice our self care it would not only benefit us as individuals, but our homes, friends and communities would reap the benefits as well.
Here are 5 things you can do Right Now, for yourself care:
1. Schedule 10 mins a day for yourself to meditate, stretch or journal. And start right now!
2. Breathe. Taking purposeful, inhales through the nose and exhales through the mouth can slow our minds and bodies down.
3. Separate work & school & life. Turn off the “work”’at the end of the day. Even if you can’t physically put it away. Close laptops, close files. Tidy it up and reclaim your home.
4. Laugh. Play a silly game with your kids! Throw Throw Burrito and Twister are favourite choices here. Watch a comedy special with your partner. Have a tickle fight. Whatever it is, but LAUGH!
5. Move your body. Even if it’s just a stroll around your block or a few trips up and down your stairs. Moving your body is good for your mind and soul as well. Also, make this a daily priority. You’ll thank yourself for it.
Whatever you do today, even if it’s just reading this post and jotting down a few ideas. Start doing something that’s just for you every dang day.
Share with me your self care ideas on Instagram at http://www.instagram.com/momdaymotivation
Until next time,