I snuggled my three-day old baby and almost three-year old toddler when a well meaning friend dropped by with the gift of a houseplant. I love all things green so it was a thoughtful gift intended to bring cheer into my home.
What it became, however, was ANOTHER thing I had to keep alive and I quickly placed it on the backburner, like so much of myself.
As the weeks passed, I would stare at this plant, relating to its drooping leaves and shriveling blooms. This dying houseplant was like my post-baby spirit animal. It hadn’t been fed or watered. It didn’t get the fresh air or sunlight it needed to grow. It was dying right alongside my social life, fitness goals, and nights of uninterrupted sleep.
I deprived this plant the same way I deprived myself. I hadn’t taken time to exercise, sleep, eat healthy, or connect with friends. I was too needed by my family and my business; other things could wait. I was too tired, too busy momming, trying too hard to take care of everyone else to even think about myself, let alone a silly plant. A few weeks later, I guiltily trashed it.
Over the next years, rare instances of “me-time” were given to quick fixes like pedicures, Netflix, or seriously dark chocolate (::drool::). Nevermind the fact that I was perpetually tired, out of shape, and unhealthy. My toes were pink and I had 30 minutes to myself so life was good.
Except it wasn’t….not really.
During one of my Netflix binges, I watched a movie about a woman in the military. It showed her intense daily training routine and her commitment to it. She fiercely worked her body and mind because people’s lives depended on it.
People’s lives depended on me being my best self too: two very little people in fact.
During the winter Olympics, I saw athletes who had battled major illnesses and injuries in the past year come back to win gold for their countries. I can only imagine the dedication and work required for such a feat. They made themselves the best at what they do. If I wanted to be my best, I had to work on myself too. I had to do more than just rock my workout pants at the grocery store.
I had plenty of friends and family members telling me to take care of myself. Unfortunately, I never was one to listen much to others. Thirty years ago, I was the toddler who always had to “do it myself!” and later the all-knowing teenager who shrugged off my parents’ best pieces of advice. It took me five years of motherhood and two years of business ownership to finally see why I needed to prioritize myself and what self-care actually looks like.
For my birthday this year, I gave myself the gift of wellness. I chose to invest my time and money in myself for the first time in a long time. Here’s what I am working on:
I found a kickboxing gym that gives me a killer workout in just 30 mins with no required start times. This flexibility is PERFECT for my crazy mom-life and I never feel like the late person, hustling in 10 minutes after class begins. (Tell me I’m not alone in this!!) I’ve been going three times a week, for only a few weeks and I’m already feeling stronger.
- Mental Wellness
I started seeing a counselor to process the challenges I face in my life. This is the one time in my schedule where I stop and think ONLY about me.
What am I feeling?
Where am I struggling?
What do I want?
Having this appointment on the calendar helps me slow down and think about these things more throughout the month, as well.
I am so used to packing my days to the max. Every ounce of space becomes work of some sort – housework, momwork, or workwork – until I collapse on the couch and can’t do anymore. Lately I’ve been carving out chunks of my week that aren’t allowed to be any of these things – time to play with my kids, go on a date, relax, be spontaneous, or just to breathe.
Feeling fierce in my boxing gloves and Wonder Woman shirt
I’m still working on the areas of sleep and healthy eating. When I’m not working, it’s easy to accidentally stay up too late getting sucked into the abyss of social media scrolling. I’m trying to enforce a bedtime because a tired mama isn’t a happy mama. The healthy eating part is working itself out on its own more than I expected. My regular workouts make me really hungry for healthy things and make me aware of how my body feels when I eat junk. I still indulge often, but I’m thinking about what I’m eating more and making small changes as I go.
This whole self-care thing is about baby steps. Each step I have taken has led to another. It’s going to be a while before I feel my very best and I am committed to getting there. To be great at all the things I love to do, I HAVE to get there.
So why the heck am I writing about self-care in our fashion blog??
Our work is helping women feel confident and look their best. We can show you how to rock that pencil skirt, which dress flatters your figure, and the accessories that are trending this season. We can help your look reflect your awesomeness, but only YOU can take care of the person inside the clothes.
Will you join me in making a commitment to care for yourself?
I’m talking true self-care of your mind and body so you can be your best. So you can realize the fullness of your potential. So you can shape the world around you into something better.
By all means, TREAT YO’SELF!
Treat yourself like the rockstar woman, mom, professional, wife, sister, daughter, and friend that you are.
Treat yourself to basic wellness.
Treat yourself better than a sad houseplant.
Me basking in the amazingness of my first getaway without the kids last fall: LuLaRoe Leadership in Dallas, TX. Renee and I are gearing up for our next Leadership training this month! We’ll be in Chicago!! Any must-sees while we are there?
How do you practice self-care? Tell us in the comments below.