It’s so easy to sacrifice ourselves, our time, and our bodies for something or someone else.
Since coming back from my retreat in CA a month ago, I’ve been in overdrive taking care of all the things I absolutely must do each day: designing lessons, creating playlists, responding to emails, writing blogs – and other adulting things like necessity shopping, laundry and paying bills. I’ve been so busy taking care of everything – and everyone else – that I’ve neglected myself. This week alone I’m teaching 20+ classes, which wouldn’t be a big deal IF I was actually incorporating the things that my body, spirit and mind need to thrive.
To be fair, teaching is what fills my soul and allows me to thrive…but it’s all about balance. When every moment of every day revolves around work and planning – when I’m not taking time to meditate, write out my dreams, take classes with other instructors, nap or grab drinks with friends – I end up feeling “foggy” and exhausted AF, which is where I’ve been for the last two weeks. It wasn’t until I hit a wall on Labor Day, finding myself “out of it” and far moodier than I’ve been in quite sometime (literally evverryyything was setting me off), that I realized nothing I was doing was truly contributing to my self-care in a meaningful way. Without realizing it, I had let myself get caught up in my “to-do’s” and in doing so, I made myself a second priority.
How we feel doesn’t lie. Everything in life is energy and everything we do in life either requires energy or it gives us energy.
Ever have a conversation with someone and leave feeling drained and spent, even though the conversation itself wasn’t “bad”? On the flip side, ever leave a conversation and feel reenergized and alive?
Everything we do in life is transactional. But, for most of us, we spend so much time giving away our energy without ever making deposits.
The two most important questions we can ever ask are: How do I feel? And, what do I need in this moment?
When we check in with how we feel, we can start to investigate what’s contributing to that: Where’s my focus? What language am I using? Have I moved my body actively today? What things have I done or engaged in today?
With that awareness, we can begin to assess what it is we need. But, it’s not enough to “know” what we need. We must also accept that needing something doesn’t make us weak or needy.
Self-care is not selfish.
Self-Care is any activity that we do deliberately with the goal to benefit our mental, emotional or physical wellbeing. When we practice self-care regularly, it improves our mood, reduces anxiety, and fosters connection with others and ourselves.
The best part? There’s only one rule when it comes to self-care: You make the rules.
Find out what makes you feel good, what fills you up and leaves you energized and do it. It might involve cleaning up your nutrition and eating more greens. On the flip side it might mean relaxing your diet and eating cake.
What are those places in your life where you need a little TLC?
If, like me, you’ve neglected yourself during the summer months because “I’ll just do this”, “one more thing” and “Oh, but this person needs…”, make a commitment to YOU this week.
Self-care is not selfish. Prioritizing your self-care doesn’t mean you’ll be neglecting others or your work – quite the opposite.
When you make time for you and all the things that enliven you, you become a better version of yourself: happier, healthier, more fun to be around and more productive.
How I’m taking care of me this month:
I’m revisiting the Whole 30 program
This will be the third time I’ve done it and I always feel amazing when I’m eating whole foods and lots of proteins.
Making time for rest & rejuvenation
Naps on days where my classes are stacked and I could easily tell myself to get some planning done and I’m making a massage appointment at LifeSpa because quite frankly my body needs it.
I love teaching, but there’s something invaluable about being a student. My favorite classes that light up my soul? AMP and Studio Cycle with Kevin Michael (peep his schedule here and join me for class)
I’m making it a point to go social media free on Tuesdays, with the exception of posting my blog. No scrolling. No mindless hours lost.
I’m committing to meditating for at least 15 minutes each day. My favorite style of mediation is Vipassana (learn more)
Reading fuels my creative juices and keeps me engaged and learning. This month I’m planning to read x1-2 books (comment below with your must-read recs)
Do You, Boo
Self-care is different for everyone. For one person self-care is an Epsom salt bath with candles (not me). For another it’s an afternoon hike or camping excursion (also not me). And for another person, it means taking a yoga class, getting a massage or meditating (totally me).
What are the things that fill you up, energize or relax you? Who are the people that fill your soul?
This week, make a list of 5-10 things you can do for your self-care. Post the list somewhere you’ll see often (or, better yet, put it on your phone). Make the commitment to do one of those things at least once a week.
Want more of a challenge (and the chance to win free Lulu swag)??? My yoga teacher, Lisa Gonzalez is running a #selfcareseptember challenge on Instagram from Tuesday, September 4th to Sunday, September 30th. To participate post your pictures or videos of your self-care and tag Lisa @lisagonzalezyoga and use the hashtags: #scslgy #selfcareseptember #lisagonzalezyoga. The more entries, the more chances to win. Read all about the challenge on Lisa’s Instagram
How are you taking care of YOU this month? Post below in the comments and let’s start a self-care wellness revolution.