It's easy to put yourself on the back burner. There's just not enough time in the day. So many other things have to be attended to. I get it.
As busy women, there's never enough of anything to go around it seems- time, money, energy, brain power, the list goes on. So the natural thing is to keep doing the other things that have to be done, and to move yourself further and further down the list.
We've all done it, myself included.
Hey, just because I'm a therapist, it doesn't mean my life is perfect. I do try to practice what I preach in sessions, but when I have lots of clients in crisis and then the regular things to do at home and with my family, you know what happens- I don't take care of myself.
And since the months after Christmas and leading into spring are the busiest for me, with people being locked in the house with family members who are driving them nuts, or they are tired of cold, clouds, and darkness, my schedule is always full.
That means I am exhausted, overwhelmed, and sometimes just plain feeling awful some days because I am running on empty, trying to fit in everyone's requests for a crisis session.
After three springs in a row like this, I decided that something had to give. I couldn't stand feeling like a zombie any longer. Three years was more than enough to feel like this, so at the urging of two of my friends and my mom, I made some changes.
Even though I'm in a profession that helps people to change, that doesn't mean change is any easier for me. I had solid reasons why every suggestion to help me feel more energized, happier, and rested wouldn't work for me.
I work until later in the evenings, so I couldn't go to bed earlier.
Because of that, I couldn't wake up earlier, either.
I didn't want to cook breakfast. I had to cook too many other things throughout the day. Besides, I didn't have time for that in the mornings. I had too much paperwork to finish up. Oh, and my vitamin interacted with another medication I took. I don't drink coffee, so no energy burst there.
The list of ideas to help me feel better was met with a “no” from me for each and every one of them.
Especially the most effective one: exercise.
You've got to be kidding me.
I don't sweat. I don't like cold. I don't have time. I'm already behind. Besides, I have asthma and I walk my dogs each morning. I'm good.
Simple Way #1 to Take Care of Yourself Inside and Out
Since I couldn't get out of walking the girls each morning, I knew I needed to do something to make my walk more pleasant. Something clicked, and I started listening to some classes I needed to finish on my phone while I walked the them.
“Gee, that was kind of nice. The walk with them stopping and smelling every
five minutes 0.13 seconds went better. Maybe I should do that tomorrow, too.”
Soon, that turned into, “I want to finish what I'm listening to,” and I dropped the girls off and went back out on my walk.
From there, I remembered the app on my phone that tracked my steps, and soon I was adjusting my goal for the daily number of steps.
Then, I joined a global walking challenge with over 600,000 other people (and I not only finished it, but I went beyond the goal). I kept adding more time to my walks, and suddenly, it was something that I woke up early for (without an alarm mind you) because I couldn't wait to do it!
Did you notice that?
I was waking up before 6am, without an alarm, to exercise with the humidity close to 100%.
I. Was. Exercising.
And it happened by accident.
My family is still in shock.
Not only does my body feel better, but my mind is much better than it's been in a long time. I don't get worked up as often. I'm not as frustrated if I do have a bad day. And should I find myself feeling overwhelmed, it's pretty much “stop, drop, and walk.”
I credit all of these changes from the exercise I'm doing inside and out.
Simple Way #2 to Take Care of Yourself Inside and Out
You see, I keep listening to all kinds of interesting things. From more therapy classes to allow me to better help others, to podcasts on brain science, attachment theory, and the universe, to audio versions of my favorite books- not only am I walking, but I am learning and enriching my life. It's like a daily devotional, all in one.
I am strengthening all of my body! (This is how the therapist gets self-care.) I don't even know how to describe the difference it's made in my life.
Since I am devouring so many audios each week, I'm on the lookout for more things to listen to, and at a reduced-rate at that. I just can't listen to enough of them.
Here's how I'm partnering with Amazon to make a change in my life (I hope you'll join me)…
I've been on the fence about Amazon Audible for a while now, but while purchasing yet another fanstastic book today, I discovered that the Audible program's monthly fee gives you a free book credit each month, along with a 30% discount on other audio books, too.
Oh, and it syncs to your other devices. So I can pick up on whatever device I'm on, including my the Kindle version of my book.
Hmm…now that fee was starting to make more sense to me (have I ever mentioned that I'm extremely frugal?).
So I signed up.
And I am in love. There are some books that are great to read in bed at night, and others that help me learn something or keep me motivated on my walks. Those are perfect for Audible.
Did I mention my list of books that I can't wait to download using my free credit?
So if your budget doesn't allow you to go to therapy with me or some other fabulous therapist, if you're trying to cut back on your retail therapy, or you're just in need of a boost to help you to stay in better spirits throughout the day, then I'd like to invite you to join me in joining Amazon's Audible program to help make your mornings (and the rest of your day) fabulous!
Oh, and don't forget to exercise, too.
I promise- if I can do it, then so can you!
*Affiliate links used in this post. At no additional cost to you, Amazon will give me a small referral fee as a thank you for telling others about their service. This small revenue allows me to share all kinds of free content with you and others. Your clicks and purchases help someone else who may not be able to afford mental health services to be able to come to this blog to read and get some valuable help. You just may help save someone's life. Thank you.