It’s not breaking news that we live in an overstimulating world. As women, it comes natural to care for others and our maternal instincts kick in daily. However, self-care makes up an essential part of a healthy lifestyle and taking the time to check in with your body isn’t a bad thing; it should be a major priority!
I’ve always been a busy body. Growing up I was always going to a practice of some sort: softball, basketball, competitive cheerleading, track, piano, singing and the list goes on. At 21, I graduated from college and started my career in PR, which is the BEST industry for someone that moves at such a fast pace, like I DID. After a few years in PR, I moved into the Marketing industry. I’m sure some of y’all are like “Kate, that’s the same thing.” And I say to you… definitely not ? I also moved to Dallas, an unfamiliar place, at that time and life was moving 100 mph, all good things, but it was a lot for this gal from Arkansas. Especially since the older I got, the more introverted I became.
Not until a couple years ago did I understand the importance of self-care. And I am SO HAPPY this difficult time happened in my life because damn it taught me some life lessons I will never forget. It feels like yesterday, driving down 75 North, headed back to work, suddenly I thought I was going to pass out at the wheel. I pulled off into a parking lot and remember just looking around thinking I was having an out of body experience. Confused. Immediately, I called one of my best friends/coworker, who left work to come get me. I don’t remember what I said, but she came to my rescue and I am forever thankful for her. All I remember is crying and wondering what the F*&! just happened.
Long story short, TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF. We often forget to take care of the most important thing: ourselves. I was on overdrive for so long in my life, worrying about EVERYTHING, stressed out, unbalanced, over-committed and my body hit a breaking point and said, “Okay, if you aren’t going to take care of me, I’m not going to take care of you.” Years and years of buildup, just came out all at once. I deserved it and I’m glad it happened. The months following, I began to take the necessary steps to make myself my #1 priority. Below are the things I began doing CONSISTENTLY (that’s the key) and they have forever changed my life into the balanced lifestyle I lead today.
Guided Meditation – Meditation is something that used to intimidate the ever-living crap out of me. There was no way I was going to be able to sit still with my eyes closed for 10-20 minutes, cross-legged in complete silence. Nope. But one day, I thought “what do I have to lose, let’s give it a try.” I started using Headspace, my favorite guided meditation app. There are tons of different programs and you choose the length of your sessions. I listen to mine when I get in bed at night, it helps stop my mind from racing. You only need 5 minutes to close your eyes and take deep breaths. It can help lower your stress level dramatically. Give it a try, what do you have to lose, except stress and anxiety?
Daily Exercise – I have always led a somewhat active lifestyle; however, I haven’t always been consistent. I would get into a workout groove for a few weeks, then I would take a break for a few weeks. Now I know that my body needs exercise to use energy so it doesn’t go elsewhere like stress, worry, or anxiety. Some days I only have time for 20-30 minutes, other days I exercise for an hour or attend a class. Do what you can to get some type of physical activity in every day!
Learn to say No – “Hi, my name is Kate, and I am a people pleaser.” Isn’t the first step admitting you have a problem? This one has been a big one for me, and it took a while to get used to. We can’t be everywhere, all the time. Say NO. Give yourself limits. I don’t commit to too many weeknight plans, and I leave at least 1 night of the weekend plan-free.
Journal – Start a gratitude journal. I keep mine by my bed and write in it almost every night. There are many benefits of practicing gratitude. Keeping a gratitude journal helps me stay focused on what really matters. It’s also a calming practice to do at night before hitting the pillow.
Pamper Yourself – Need I say more?
Self-Care is going to be a recurring topic for my blog, so we are just scratching the surface here. It’s time to become a priority in your own life. I promise, everyone will benefit from it. I would love to hear about your self-care routine! Have a great week!