ARE YOU MAKING SELF CARE A PRIORITY?
I have to start this with a bit of a confession. I haven’t had a day off in a month. I’ve also been completely slacking during that time on most of my regular routines and self-care. There, I said it.
As a coach I believe in being both transparent and also that there should be accountability. Whether you guys know it or not. I just held myself accountable by acknowledging that I have not been taking care of myself in the way I normally do and also the way I communicate to my clients.
The great part about this is I can literally start working on improving this tomorrow.
I always feel when working with a client that it is helpful to take a look back to figure out what might have gotten in the way if things were otherwise going well. Asking where things went off course can often help to get to the root of the issue.
In my case, it was traveling to Minnesota to pack up my parent’s house and settle some matters with the estate. This was my second trip driving from South Florida to Minnesota in about a month.
My normal routine was off due to long drive times of 9-11 hours each day, hotel rooms, eating different foods and finally being back at my parent’s house. I tried to establish parts of my routine once I was in Minnesota, but it was an incredibly emotional time and I was mostly just trying to get through it.
My brother and I had to list our family lake home for sale. This has been with us since we were born. We had to go through all our family heirlooms and split things up, pack things up and take things to donation. If you’ve gone through this, you know how exhausting this is.
Then I had a 2000-mile drive back home to Florida.
Suffice to say I was exhausted. Once I got home, I had to catch up on work, grad school and the everyday domestic things that we somehow take for granted just get done.
So that was my last month. Without my routine.
HOW DID IT FEEL?
As I reflect back on the time, I am not sure what else I could have done because that is a unique experience. I can tell you that I hate not having my routine. It grounds me and I function better because of it.
At lunch with my girlfriends today, one of them mentioned that when things get busy, the thing that gets left behind is self-care. I thought, crap, me too.
I managed to get myself caught up on everything. Now it’s time to put the plan back into action.
WHAT IS THE PLAN?
Your routine can look like anything but for the sake of this blog I’ll tell you what my morning routine looks like. It started shortly after I was diagnosed with Adrenal Fatigue and a hormone disorder in July of 2018. As a way to begin to heal from the damage that had been done there, I knew I needed to take better care of myself.
I began by ordering a gratitude journal. I wasn’t a big “journal person” but I had seen these popping up in my IG feed and they seemed simple enough. Every day you wrote down three things that you were grateful for. I figured I could manage that. My Mom had recently passed away and I decided I needed to find more gratitude in my life somehow.
The gratitude journal was easy and quick but after a few months I felt like I should be doing “more”. I bought a simple notebook and began journaling. Nothing fancy. No specific prompts. After I finished my gratitude journal, I went right into the regular journal. I wrote about whatever was going on in my head.
An interesting thing happened pretty shortly after I started journaling. I have suffered from insomnia most of my life. I’ve used prescription sleep meds, melatonin, sleep apps, you name it and still had issues. I noticed within the first few weeks at most that my sleep was improving. A lot.
Next I added in some meditation. Back in 2018 right before my diagnosis, I had been trained to do self-guided meditation. I dusted off the videos he gave me to get me started and dove back into my practice. I now had a three-part routine!
Finally, I added visualization. I’ve been an athlete since I was a little bitty thing. I used to do gymnastics as a kid. Dance when I was a bit older. CrossFit as an adult. When I was little, I remember my gymnastics coach telling me to “visualize” sticking my landings. I would practice this and sure enough, I would stick my landings. I didn’t realize I had been practicing visualization as a kid. Now I visualize things that are more relevant to my current life, future, and business. Occasionally, I still think about sticking a landing though.
WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
This probably goes without saying but if your cup is empty, you can’t fill up anyone else’s. Not for very long anyway. There will be seasons in your life like the one I just experienced. The idea is to not make them a lifetime. Recognize that you are not prioritizing yourself and make the changes.
I mentioned adrenal fatigue earlier. This is one potential outcome of not practicing self-care and pushing yourself too hard, for too long. As elite athletes and high performers, understanding optimal load, recovery, and when your body simply needs a break is important.
This was more of a narrative than a lot of my blogs but sometimes I feel that stories help to get the point across. If you struggle to prioritize self-care, a healthy routine, or just need some extra accountability in your life, lets talk. Click here to schedule your complimentary initial call today.