Self care ... you know, those things that we know we should do for ourselves but often neglect or don't have time for. Eating well, exercising (oh, the exercising), the "fun" things like facials and pedicures and massages.
For the bulk of my 20s I ran a lot, worked out hard, restricted my eating, and lived in a constant state of stress to maintain a certain body image/appearance to please others. It worked, the outside looked great, the inside ... not so much.
My 30s were all about pregnancies, birthing babies, caring for 3 little boys and building my real estate career. Stress levels were high. There were a few periods of caring for myself (dieting, exercising), but for the most part "I" wasn't even on the radar screen. The outside ranged from "meh" to "ugh", the inside was even worse.
Now that I am in my 40s (46 to be exact), and my children are older (15, 13 and 10), I am feeling more than ever the importance of making time to take care of myself, but I am also busier than I have ever been in my life. Things hurt. Joints, back, neck, hips. Food is more about comfort than nourishment, and exercise (I’m calling it “movement”, sounds more gentle, and maybe like something I won’t hate as much) is pretty much non-existent. My energy levels don’t even register on the chart they are so low.
It’s hard. I “know” what to do, but I don’t want to do it. Everything else seems more important, of course I know it isn’t, but it SEEMS that way … and it is much easier for me to justify not doing it that way.
I’m due for my mammogram, a colonoscopy, my annual “well woman” visit (Who the heck named that? A man. I bet it was a man.), a dentist visit, and a skin check at the dermatologist. I did have an eye exam this week (I need 3 different prescriptions … one for distance, one for up close and one for in between) and have a physical later this month. Anyone else depressed reading that, or just me?
This part of life feels hard right now. I am SO GOOD at so many things. My business is exciting and fulfilling and I can make really big things happen … but I can’t seem to do this. I know I must. There is no way that I can continue to perform and produce and be there for my family if I am not taking care of myself. I listed to a podcast interview earlier this week with James Clear, the author of “Atomic Habits”. He said that habits are either making us better a little bit each day, or they are making us worse. Mine are making me worse.
(Please no shakes or connections to health coaches or invitations to go to the gym or to buy an exercise program. Feel free to share what works for you. I’m still finding my own way)
So tell me, how do you make time to take care of yourself or do you? Something tells me I'm not the only one.