Wellness Journey - Step 2: Normalize Self-Care You're Not THAT Busy
Updated: Jan 21
Auto-pilot. That is the best way that I can describe my life until I decided to take it back into my own hands. Even that sentence sounds weird because it's difficult to convey. Maybe it's easier if I paint a picture.
Starting from when I was really young, I went to school, got good grades, graduated, took an exam, got a full scholarship, went to highschool, was nominated for a scholarship, nailed the interview, got a scholarship, went off to university. Came back home, went on a couple interviews, landed an amazing opportunity, had my first child, got married, bought a house, had another child and so on and so forth.
While I am extremely grateful as those opportunities are the reason I am where I am today, at no point did I really sit and say: THIS is what I want for my life and THIS is how I am going about it. When I became an adult, auto-pilot turned into "busyness". All I did was fill my time: work, kids, after school activities, travel... GO, GO, GO. Even working out and going to the gym was more to check a box because it felt like what I was supposed to do rather than time for me.
What I realize now is that all contributed to a slow burn. One day, I wake up completely exhausted, tired of crying to go to work, tired of the panic attacks, tired of feeling pulled in so many directions from ALL the people wanting something from me, and not feeling like I had any control whatsoever. It was exhausting and I couldn't figure out which way was up.
What I didn't want to accept then, that I take full responsibility for now, is that without making my own decisions for my time, they were made for me. It took confidence to make moves on my own accord (and deal with the consequences), but it meant that I stopped blaming time (or lack thereof) for my burn out and instead decided to take back control, press pause and be a steward of my own time. We really are only as busy as we allow ourselves to be, and if we don't actively decide how we allocate our time it will be chosen for us.
Sad reality. Our busyness is our own doing. We are creating the burnout. We haven't been taught the power in saying NO and as a result we have given our lives over to whomever claims our time.
Self-care is so much more than treating ourselves to a facial, going for a massage, or putting on a face mask on Sunday. It is a conscious decision to own our time, carve it out time for us because we deserve it and need it. We need NO other reason than simply that. We deserve the time we give so freely to others. We deserve to give ourselves the attention we give to someone else. We deserve to pour into ourselves the way we pour into others and we deserve to be unapologetic about it.
It's time for us to normalize regular, scheduled, non-negotiable "me-time". How you define that time is entirely up to you. For me, I schedule out some time every Sunday evening to indulge in one of those long showers where you take care of all your maintenance? Ladies, you know what I mean! I use by body scrubs, oils, wash my hair, do a treatment. I get out and lounge around until I feel like getting dressed. I pull out my kindle and read a chapter of my book. And I stay in my bedroom, for as long as I feel like it, alone. Just me.
It is LUXURIOUS and it is a non-negotiable. And you know what else I do? I give myself a daily top up, every morning. I ensure I go to bed early so that I can rise early and spend some more alone time before the kids wake and I start my day. I'm a better mother, wife, boss, human because of it and it is again NON-NEGOTIABLE.
How did I get there?
Set boundaries and expectations.
Adjust my schedule, say NO, decline invitations whatever I have to do to preserve that time.
Go to bed early. This means for me, less time on the phone, less time trying to multi task and instead efficiently get after work things completed for myself and the kids.
Minimize! Having less stuff means less things to maintain. Less clothes, less laundry. Less "stuff", less to clean.
Outsource. Where you can - outsource. Teach your kids the importance of maintaining their own space. Have REAL consequences for not maintaining it. Assign a task to someone else in the household if possible. Whatever you can't manage on your own, consider getting rid of some of it to lighten the load or outsource it if you can.
Mind your own business! Once you carve out the time, set boundaries, assign the tasks, outsource, mind your business. LOL. Seriously. I had to let go of whatever was going on in the house around me, or whatever could ne done but didn't get done, and JUST LET IT GO. Because my peace of mind is too important than to take on someone else's tasks.
Self-care is important. My challenge to you is to spend the next few days auditing how you spend your time and your belongings so that you can carve out guilt-free YOU time this weekend and COMMIT to it ALL YEAR.
Don't wait to burn out. YOU deserve SO much more than that!