Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and you don’t recognize the person staring back at you? You realize one morning, that even though you have an amazing, full life, you just somehow have lost a bit of your joy…Or you are filling in a questionnaire and it asks you to describe yourself in 5 words, and you go blank….
No? Then maybe it’s just me….
A few months ago, a very precious lady graciously reminded me of this simple truth….”you can’t pour from an empty jar”. It really made an impact on me. I was running on empty. And it was starting to show. I was convinced I was rocking my mom bun and tights and coping with all the demands but really it was about more than that…. I wasn’t able to pour into the lives of those around me – my husband, my children and my workplace.
“When the well’s dry, we know the worth of water.” – Benjamin Franklin
Combined with our lack of sleep, balancing work, parenthood, marriage and other relationships, I also believed the lie that by caring for myself, I was taking away something from others. Finding the time and resources to recharge myself was another challenge.
This was more than a girl’s nights out, spa days and pedicures. It was time to get back to basics. I had to make small adjustments that could also serve as self care. These small changes have made a big difference. Change your perspective and make sure your are able to sustain it so that it doesn’t become another item on your to do list.
Here is what I did
1.Get up earlier and before everyone else
This is honestly the best part of the day. Its quiet, there are no distractions and you are able to be present and focus. Enjoy a hot cup of coffee. Take 5-10 minutes for yourself. Take another 10 minutes to organize, plan and prioritize your day. Keep on top of birthdays and plan some special dates.
2.Have a devotional time
There are so many different ways of doing this. You can use devotionals, podcasts or books. Do what works best for you. For me, it’s following a reading plan and journaling. Spending time with your God puts life in perspective. You are plugging into the source. The only one that can ultimately sustain you
Twice a week I’ll head to gym at 5am for a Boot camp class. Yes its cold, dark and early but I absolutely love it and I always come back energized. Again, do what you love and it won’t be a chore.
4.Once a week have time by yourself
This has been the most challenging one. It’s easy to lose yourself in the hustle and bustle of life. Once a week, I take 2 hours for me. This is dad’s time with the babies and he has to push me out the door, as there always seems to be an excuse for not taking this time for myself. These times are not for work and spent solo! Do something you love: Reading, journaling, painting, listening to audio books or just sitting and enjoying a cup of tea in a quiet spot. And once a month, plan to spoil yourself. This is also the perfect time to book that pedicure or hair appointment. Plan it into the budget.
This has been a great journey for me, and yes, I’m still on that journey because I seem to fall into #wifeguilt, #momguilt, #friendguilt and #daughterguilt very quickly. It takes time, practice and discipline. But the consistency of self-care will bear amazing fruit.