Self-care is not an indulgence. It’s a necessity.
I remember when my sons were little. My oldest was in Kindergarten and 1st grade, my youngest still in daycare. I was a single mom, working a full-time job outside the home. By the time I got home after 6PM, helped my oldest with homework, made a fast (usually processed) meal and got the kids to bed by 8 or 8:30 (an extension I had to make simply to get everything done), I was exhausted. I’d sit down to watch TV, and usually fall asleep before waking up and staggering to bed.
It was all I had the energy for.
Weekends were really no better. I’d do my grocery shopping Friday evening after work. But Saturdays were usually filled with laundry, cleaning the house and paying bills. Sunday was the most relaxing day I had, and I tried to make sure that I spent it with the kids: playing outside, playing games, watching movies, anything to connect and make sure they had good childhood memories.
Doing anything for myself was an afterthought, and one that was often forgotten. When I remembered to meditate, it was usually done on my lunch break at work, and since I was either sitting in a busy break room or a hot car (Florida summers are not fun!), it didn’t often have the intended effect.
If I was lucky, I occasionally got a bubble bath late on a Saturday night or managed to find an hour or two to read after the kids were in bed on Sunday night.
It would refresh me, but only until the craziness started all over again the next day.
In the summer of 2009, I broke my ankle late on a Monday night. My kids were 8 and 5, and I had to call my parents. While my mom stayed with my kids, my dad took me to the ER, where they informed me that not only had I broken the ankle, but I’d broken it in two places and needed surgery to repair it.
Life ground to a halt.
I had no choice but to ask for help
A single mom on crutches and pain medication… can you imagine? I couldn’t carry a pot of pasta to the sink to drain it. I couldn’t bend down to put in or take out anything in the oven. I couldn’t even carry my own plate to the table to eat. I couldn’t carry a drink.
Heck, I could barely use the bathroom by myself.
I had no choice but to ask for help. Worse, I had to ask my kids to help. As a single mom, I had no partner to take up my slack. My parents helped out, of course, but they both worked full-time. And since I was totally out of commission, they had to keep working so they could help me pay my bills during my recovery.
That was what opened my eyes to the fact that as mothers, we often don’t do anything for ourselves until we are absolutely forced to do so.
In the early stages of my recovery, there was little I could do other than sit and read or watch TV or meditate. I couldn’t cook, clean, or drive. I could only direct my oldest son as he handled hot pots and pans (praying all the while that he wouldn’t burn himself), supervise baths from the doorway, and ask my kids to help keep the house looking somewhat presentable.
This was how I came to realize that I couldn’t keep doing it all without help. This was how I realized self-care mattered.
We all need a little help sometimes
Whether we need our kids to do the cooking while we recover from a severe injury or a babysitter so we can go out and let off some steam with friends on a Saturday night, we all need a little help sometimes.
Sometimes, the help we need the most is someone to show us how to take better care of ourselves and how to find the time for it.
We’re emotionally invested in our families, our work or business, our romantic relationships and friendships. This emotional attachment can make prioritizing ourselves difficult sometimes – we want our family, our career, our relationships to have the best of us, even if that means sacrificing ourselves to give that to them.
The detachment of an outside person, someone whose priority is making US a priority in our own lives, can help create clarity. It can help us remember that sacrificing ourselves for the sake of our family or career isn’t the way to give them the best of ourselves.
What a self-care coach can do for you
I believe you should be a priority in your own life. And as my client, YOU are my priority. Making sure that you feel happy, healthy, rested, and stress-free is my priority.
While I will never encourage you to neglect your family, career, home, or friends, I will encourage you to put yourself first. I’ll help you look at all aspects of your life and find what you can get rid of, delegate to others, or put on hold to take time for yourself.
Then I’ll help you figure out what kind of self-care is most beneficial for you. From meditation and yoga to eating right and getting enough sleep, we’ll brainstorm a list of ways that you can nurture and care for yourself so that you can better nurture and care for your family, career, home and friends.
But you won’t just walk away with a list of do’s and don’t’s. After we prioritize your life and brainstorm your list of self-care activities, we’ll then create a plan to help you implement everything. We’ll develop a plan that helps you let go and delegate and build time into your schedule for you.
Then we’ll keep in touch on a weekly basis to see how things are working out. If you’re not following through, we’ll talk about why. We’ll tweak the plan as needed to make it a better fit for your life.
Ready to make a change and start taking better care of yourself? Let’s talk!