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Taking Time to Take Care of YOU.

As primary caregivers of our families, it can become easy to get wrapped in the needs of everyone else around you. Before you realize it, an entire day has transpired, and you're quite exhausted from the output of taking care of everyone in your household while neglecting yourself. It's a valiant sacrifice, no doubt. But at some point, we are pouring from an empty cup and will start to accumulate a mental toll. At what point is it considered okay to take time to take care of your own well-being and for it not be considered neglectful to the well-being of your loved ones? The answer to that question lies in how empty you feel your cup is. Take some time to assess how you are feeling at the end of each day. How are you feeling emotionally, physically, and spiritually? Is the tank empty or can you go a few more miles? If you are feeling completely drained, irritable, or unable to give your all to your loved ones, nonetheless yourself, then you may need to hit that reset button and take the time to fill your cup back up.

Here are some ways to take care of yourself so that you can be a better caregiver to your family and loved ones:

  • Do something you have been putting off for a long time.

    • There is always something that we are putting off doing for ourselves when we are engrossed in taking care of those we love. It could be something as simple as getting a haircut, watching that movie you've been excited about, cleaning out your closet, etc. Whatever it is that comes to mind that you wish you would put more time aside for yourself to do make that a priority for the day or the week. Have your significant other or family member help you take care of the necessities with the kids, pets, or household for a few hours and get that lingering task done!

  • Connect with nature.

    • Nature can bring balance and peace to our lives. A lot of us don't get out of the house enough. Making a plan to connect with nature by either going on a hike, walking through a botanical garden, or sitting on a meditation pillow, clearing your mind in your backyard in the sunshine can center us spiritually and provide us the reset that we need to keep pouring into our loved ones.

  • Reconnect with your spouse or friends apart from your children.

    • Is there someone that you haven't had the time to connect with because you are too busy pouring into others? Make that relationship a priority for a day. Create an opportunity for you and that person to connect one-on-one and enjoy each other's company with minimal distraction. Try to keep the conversation light and joyful. This may mean you have to choose an environment that cultivates this type of free-spirited connection.

  • Make it a priority to set a time each day to exercise and take care of your body.

    • Exercise is so important to so many aspects of our lives including mental well-being, self-esteem and confidence, and physical health. Etching out time each day to prioritize this area of your life will pay back dividends to not just yourself, but your family. Longevity is so important to those of us who are caregivers, parents, spouses, etc. Exercise is a great way to spend time with yourself and promote a healthy long life.

  • Pamper yourself.

    • Every once in a while pamper yourself. Buy yourself that iced coffee, those new workout leggings, or running shoes. Give yourself a little reward for being so selfless, by being just a smidge selfish for a moment. Allow yourself to revel in your reward, reset that tank, and get back to your humans with a smile on your face.

  • Practice gratitude and positive self-talk.

    • This one may sound easy, but honestly, it's one of the hardest practices on the list. Each day take the time to practice gratitude and really take account of everything and everyone around you that keeps you going. And while taking an inventory of what you are grateful for each day, tie in some positive affirmations about yourself! You deserve it. Pour back into yourself. This can be so difficult because it is almost more natural to be self-critical and beat ourselves down for what small things did not go right throughout the day. The more we practice seeing the positive moments and how we tie into those moments, the more we can add value to ourselves and our roles in our household. Talk to yourself as you would a dear friend of yours like you are on the outside looking in on their life and their sacrifices. What would you say to your friend?

Hope you enjoyed this read. Please know that it is okay to take time to take care of yourself. You deserve it and indeed need it in order to really put 100% into those you love, into your careers, and anything else you hold of value. If you want more help prioritizing your physical fitness, you landed in the right spot. Please explore the options we have for you and let us help you in this journey to not just self-care but longevity as the loving family, friend, and human that you are! - Viv

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