Greetings! I hope all is well with you! I had a particularly interesting week this week. I was burning the candle from both ends while standing in the sun! Needless to say I was spent. I was pouring myself out for my various projects and responsibilities with reckless abandon in the name of “getting things done”. Recognizing that my ability to recharge was both waning and not carrying me very far made me slow down. I stood in my kitchen with my calendar up on my computer, preparing to log in to a meeting with my phone vibrating from receiving emails and phone calls. As I grappled with the realization that I was indeed overwhelmed I realized that my self care was lacking. I was pouring out more than I was pouring into myself. I stood depleted in energy but full of ambition.
Can you relate to that?
We know that the responsibilities that we have are absolute. They do not care that we need to pick up the kids and start dinner, essentially needing to be in two places at once. They don’t care that my coping skills are decreasing making way for tension to increase; displayed in clenched jaws and tight shoulders. It is imperative that I care! The care I provide myself enables me to excel and do all the things that I need to do in the many roles I occupy.
At this point you may be asking…what does self-care look like?
Prioritization, intentionality, commitment and kindness to yourself. P.I.C.K. you.
Self care intersects with everything we do. At every appointment on our schedules. At every duty we hold. At every deadline we need to meet. At that intersection lies the opportunity to enjoy success despite the setbacks. Hopefully this acronym stays with you and aids you when you find yourself at a place where you need to utilize self-care.
Prioritization is exactly as it sounds. Make you a priority where possible! When you are making your schedule build in some down time. Schedule out times for your administrative duties, both for home AND for work. Set a criteria for when those blocks of time can be adjusted. If you have smaller babies or do not work outside of the home this can still work for you. When you have your baby on a schedule it helps you to prioritize and be intentional about self care. It allows you to plan a little more than if your child goes down for a nap (if your child goes down for a nap) every day. Think about how you would schedule your day. If there were no barriers and no limitations what would that look like? Now look at it again and really think through what those barriers and limitations may be. Is it something that you can put in place to negate those barriers? When you wake up at the same time every day your baby has time to adjust and get used to waking up every day at that time. So you wake up at 7 but your baby wakes up at 8. You have an hour of time that you can take a little longer in the shower or get your favorite cup of coffee ready. As you go through your day and it's now nap time you now have time you can plan to use that time so the importance of self-care cannot be neglected when it comes to utilizing. Look for areas where you can start practicing making yourself a priority.
Intentionality builds on making you a priority. Being intentional gives you some space to holistically consider you. Being intentional regarding your health, your job, your responsibilities. Your overall set of needs. Take stock of what you need. Do not be afraid to ask for what you need, even of yourself. You deserve to have your needs met. Please let that sink in.
Committed is a decision that you have to make every day. When it’s easy to just allow a change in the schedule one time because your boss really needs a favor or a friend needs to vent. Don’t do it if you can help it. We feel the need to bend and make exceptions at the expense of our needs being met and that is not fair to us. If you find yourself constantly making concessions at the expense of your rest or your peace… I submit to you that you are not committed to your self-care. Re-evaluate the practice of operating from a (practically) full cup unless it’s absolutely necessary to BRIEFLY do otherwise but note…if you are constantly allowing yourself to operate from a less than full cup you are not committed to being whole. There are no winners there. I am just saying.
Kindness and grace to you on this journey. I wish this for you but beyond all else I hope that you give yourself grace. You will mess up setting those boundaries. You will give a little too much here or not be as committed there and that’s okay. It’s a journey. Just commit to get back to you and your self care when you slip and realize that you are not picking you.
You are worth it.