Self-care has become a buzz word we throw out into the world as if we know what it really means.
Women especially are trying so damn hard to do all the things for all the people in their life all of the time, that we don’t know how to give ourselves a break.
Do we really know how to take care of ourselves on every level, physically, emotionally, and spiritually?
We are doing far too much. In a world that pings us constantly with nonstop texts and emails and deadlines and the expectation that we’ll respond instantly because we’ve become an instant gratification culture, we try to keep up. We try to do it all.
But we can’t. We can no longer do it all.
This is for the women who do too much. Who feel most days like they’re barely holding it together:
You go to work in the mornings, obsessively spinning in your head about the 20 things that need to get done before the end of the day, knowing it’s impossible to do it all.
You feel anxious.
Your heart races.
You take care of children, make doctor appointments, race to the grocery store for the third time and wonder why there’s still not enough food in the house.
You’re rummaging through backpacks every night, tearing through flyers and notes from the school realizing you missed the deadline for signing them up for some event they wanted to go to.
You’re scheduling appointments for the dog, yourself, your partner, your aging parents.
You’re running. Always running. Costco. The gym. The dry cleaners. The pharmacy. Back to the damn grocery store. The soccer field. A hair appointment.
You work multiple jobs and still, there isn’t enough money.
You’re trying to fit in a workout, meet a friend for dinner, sex with your husband but you’re exhausted. When does the exhaustion stop?
It does. It can. Some days, it feels like it won’t, but it can if we work some self-care into the madness. It can take the edge off.
The self-care I’m talking about is unsexy as hell and absolutely essential. It’s filling our own cup before we even think about doing anything for anyone else.
It’s taking a few quiet minutes in the morning to drink our cup of coffee or tea and eat something before we jump into work emails, make breakfast for our spouse or kids or dog, start reading texts and emails, making phone calls, and tackling the day.
It’s taking a walk or putting in a sweaty workout no matter what’s on our to-do list because our bodies are temples that need to be taken care of so we can take care of everything and everyone else that needs our attention.
It’s taking mandated breaks from the phone, saying “no I can’t today,” and then plopping down on the couch in your coziest sweats and reading a trashy magazine or binge watching “The Real Housewives.”
It’s setting boundaries with your time. It’s saying no to everyone and everything even if it’s not what they want to hear.
It’s shutting the laptop off and saying no to work when it doesn’t need to be done right now. It’s taking the vacation. It’s not allowing what other people say and do to affect you.
It’s not falling into the trap of believing that everything is all on you. Or that you need to live up to some internal pressure you’re putting on yourself to keep up with everyone else.
It’s letting the laundry pile up and your house stay dirty and getting okay with not needing the external to look perfect.
It’s letting go of any and all expectations of yourself.
I’ve spent a lifetime not doing these things and then finally doing these things most of the time. When I do them, my life feels different. I’m not stressed or anxious or breaking down in tears every five minutes because I’m so damn exhausted.
But when I don’t…Oh boy, when I don’t, it’s a sh*t show.
Ladies, we can’t do it all. Stop trying. Stop doing for one minute. Breathe…start living.