My journey to take care of myself started after I had my son in 2019. After he was born, I basically lived for him, my husband, and my job. I did not take care of myself in the ways I wanted and needed to, and though this is normal for new parents, I did not recognize myself doing it. I was not a complete mess but I was not doing the things I would tell others they should consider doing for self-care. Throughout the week I would focus on the things I had not done, like the to-do list that was never possible to finish, or the bottles that could never be cleaned fast enough, and I did not stop to think about myself unless it was about how unfair it was that I was doing so much and not getting to enjoy more special moments with my son.
I ended up feeling pretty down about myself and realized I had not made space for myself to grow and thrive. One day, it hit me. I realized I wanted to start my health journey to feeling strong and healthy. I took a big step, and in June 2020 I started working with a team of people to help with my health including a dietician, a nurse practitioner, and a physical trainer. They taught me many things, and most I still employ in my everyday life even though I no longer see them as much. The most valuable thing I was taught wasn’t a recipe or a workout routine, but to prioritize myself. This has stuck with me more than anything and I think it has made a tremendous difference in my life.
The most valuable thing I was taught wasn’t a recipe or a workout routine, but to prioritize myself.
This not only helps me set aside time for myself but to also remember that I am important. I am important as a mother, a therapist, a wife, and a person – I am a woman with so much to give others, but also so much to give myself. I tell my clients all the time now to prioritize themselves and to remember how important they are, because I myself know how you can keep trying to just survive instead of truly thriving. There are so many difficult things happening right now with the pandemic and other world events, but prioritizing yourself means taking things down to a personal level with yourself, and finding out what you are passionate about. What brings sparks of joy to your day?
What brings sparks of joy to your day?
There are always going to be reasons to push something that feels optional to the side, like reading a book about something you want to learn more about or doing the face mask that makes you feel pampered afterward. But that does not mean they should be pushed aside.
Here are a few ways to prioritize yourself that have been critical in my journey so far:
- If you have a thought about something you’d enjoy doing, write it down.
- Learn about yourself. If you find a pattern to those thoughts or feelings, explore them with someone safe like a friend or therapist.
- Literally schedule time to do the things that are important to you – exercise, hobbies, arts, etc.
- Take time to relax, the to-do list will always be there, but the special moments with family or friends, or even yourself, are fleeting and deserve your full presence.
Good luck on your health journey! And if there is ever anything we can do to support you on your path, we’re here.