When I’m busy, often the first thing to go is my self-care. I think that is the case for so many of us as we try to navigate this crazy world. Prior to 2017, self-care was not on my radar, I constantly told myself ‘I’ll survive’ as I zoomed through life. I was drowning in my own frantic energy, all day, every day. I was always late, I could never find anything and at the end of each busy day, I would collapse onto the couch without a shred of energy left for ME. There was no self-care, just a drive to get up, run out the door and do it all over again, day after day, month after month, year after year.
Then my cancer came knocking, loud and clear with no other option available, I was forced to stop.
WHERE DO I TURN?
That’s a story for another day. But for the first time in my life, I had TIME. Time to reflect on how I had lived my life and how I wanted to live it going forward.
Now in 2021, I know better. When life gets busy and my schedule starts to fill up, I make a conscious effort to schedule some time for myself. I know that I need self-care to refuel and thrive. It’s become a non-negotiable.
My self-care doesn’t mean I have to take the morning off to complete a 10km hike up the mountains. It can be a simple 16 second meditation as I’m waiting for the kettle to boil. Some days, that’s enough.
As I study to become a Health Coach (surprise! I’ve been working hard on this for the last 7 months with a few months of study to go), my understanding of stress and self-care has grown. So what is self-care? For me, self-care is what nourishes and fuels me.
AM I OK?
For the last few weeks, I have spent more time than usual looking in the mirror. That might sound funny but in the week’s leading up to me finding a lump in my breast I kept telling myself that I looked different. Now, when I’m stressed, worried or feel like there is some burn-out creeping back into my life, I watch myself very closely in the mirror. What am I looking for I ask myself? I’m not quite sure, it’s something I can’t quite put my finger on.
The past few months have been a little stressful for me. We are in the middle of our surrogacy journey (or has it even begun? I’m still unsure of where we are on this roller coaster) and I am very aware of stress. Before cancer, I believe I was in fight or flight mode for almost 12 years. That’s a long time to be in the ‘red zone’ (flight, fight, freeze mode). Now I am very aware of getting myself to the ‘green zone’ (rest, digest, repair) as much as possible. If your body is constantly getting stress signals It will eventually burn out, so the ability to go from ‘fight or flight’ to ‘rest and digest’ is crucial for my well-being.
I’ve decided to set out a schedule for myself this week, with a hope to centre myself again.
I’m always asked how can we begin a self-care journey? So I’m hoping this can be a good first step for someone who might like to join me. I will leave a blank schedule here so if what I’m doing doesn’t suit you, you can choose your own options (you can screenshot this schedule and write on it through stories on Instagram). It can be as simple as a 16-second meditation on Monday, an at home facial on Tuesday, a walk in the park on Wednesday etc. Whatever works for you.
I need to find a way to bring myself back to my happy place because it’s such a good place for me to be. And I know self-care can do that for me.
I will be giving away a Fitbit Versa 3 and some wellness courses to my followers who join me next week, so I’m really looking forward to that. Let’s do this for ourselves, because we deserve it!
Read all about how I went from feeling stressed to feeling in flow HERE.
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