Here we are at the changing of a new season, I feel the same each time it happens: a sense of renewal. The chance for a “new” start and to evaluate where I’ve been and where I’d like to go. Honestly, I had envisioned a different start to October. But, over the past year, one of the most important things that I have learned is to let go of expectations. Sometimes you have to trust that just because timing isn’t right at the moment, doesn’t mean it won’t happen.
If you are apart of my newsletter, I had recently sent a message about connecting with you and nurturing our friendship. Which is why I wanted to go a little deeper into mental, physical, and emotional well being. When we start to neglect certain aspects of our lives, it tends to have a domino effect and place strain on other areas. On the flip side, when we take time to properly take care of our whole self (mind, body, and soul) we can enrich our lives in ways we’d never expect.
It’s important to treat our health in its entirety.
A year ago I sat in the corner of my bathroom, hands plastered over my ears, tears streaming down my face. The world was noisy, my tank was empty, and I felt like I didn’t have any control over my life. I was teeter-tottering on the edge of a breakdown. I felt an anger boiling up in me during a time that people kept telling me should be the happiest time of my life, I just had a baby the beginning of August after all. I didn’t understand why this was happening to me, but I knew deep down and had to face the truth: I was in the thick of postpartum depression.
It was when my husband came in to find me and wrapped his arms around me, that I knew it was time to get help. Owning up to it hit my ego hard, but I knew I couldn’t just fight my way through this like I typically did. The reality was that things had changed and I needed to learn how to take better care of myself.
Therapy was really hard for me at first, I really had to dive in and face my fears and doubts. Through it I have learned to treat my self with kindness, even in times of hurt and doubt. I realized that I was expecting too much of myself and I wasn’t asking for help when I needed it. This is when I started to see just how important self care is.
Self care is not reserved just for bad days. I have learned (and am always learning) ways to take care of myself not just physically, but mentally and emotionally, throughout the day. I used to think that self care meant spa days or treating yo’ self. In reality it comes down to involving almost anything you can do to meet your emotional, physical, and mental needs. It can be something as small as taking time to drink a glass of water. If it brings you joy, clarity, or peace, its self care.
Taking care of myself, wholly and completely, is the best thing I can do for me and my family. A car won’t run on an empty tank.
If you are in the middle of something similar, where life is feeling a little out of control and stress is stealing your joy, I encourage you to practice self-compassion. Try to practice giving yourself what you need in all areas of your life. Practicing simple and inexpensive forms of self care is a small, proactive step towards changing your quality of life. The more you do it the more it will become a healthy habit.
To help you out I created a little “cheat sheet” of self care ideas that don’t cost a dime and can be done in 5, 15, or 30 minutes. Try to choose at least one thing per day to help you de-stress. (Pin to Pinterest to refer to on a regular basis.)
Mental, physical, or emotional stress can be a road block to nurturing the relationships that mean the most to us. It’s not always easy to talk about our struggles or ask for what we need. I hope that just by opening the conversation that you know there is always hope for you to move forward. I believe that you can grow, thrive, and live the joyful life you deserve. Know that you are never alone in your challenges no matter how big or small they may be. I take it day by day and refer to this self care list when I need a reminder of how simple it can be to fill my cup. I hope you will too.
Shoot me a message, I’d love to hear how it’s going for you along the way!