Self care and I haven’t always been friends.  Often I choose pushing myself to keep going and doing, when the wiser choice is to stop and take care of myself.  Stopping, resting, and practicing self-care were rarely used concepts my mindset and behavior.  Foolishly, I wore my exhaustion as a badge of honor  and the energizer bunny, just kept on working.  I love my work so more is good thing… Right?

Proud of all I accomplished, I missed the main thing.

I didn’t realize the toll this mindset and behavior took on my health or my relationships, until I hit a wall and had to stop cold.  I was too sick to continue and the doctor prescribed rest.  No stress, no work, no exercise – Just REST for 9-12 months.  I had worn myself out. I had two choices.

I could either make some radical changes in my life or I wasn’t going to be around for long. Suddenly, work and accomplishments paled in comparison to reality.

Making Friends With Self Care:

It took a major life changing illness for me to pause long enough to realize I needed to make friends with self care.

It wasn’t easy then, and I struggled to do what the doctor ordered, until I reminded myself of how this lack of self care impacted the most important relationships in my life.  (Even today, I battle unwise words in my head that push me to keep going.)

While the doctor scared me, and I became a model patient,  and rested… a lot! The biggest factor in changing my behavior was the negative impact my chronic lack of self care had on my family.

What Really Matters Most

A few years back, the kids and their dad were reminiscing over pictures of a beach trip.

“Remember when we went played miniature golf and it started to pour?”

I looked puzzled, until our daughter commented, “You weren’t there Mom, you were sick and tired – so you stayed back at the resort… You did that a lot on those trips.”

These words broke my heart.

Pushing through until I got so sick, I had to stop, was hurting my relationship with my kids and my hubs.  I had little energy for them, and missed out on events, fun, and conversations. This is one of my deepest regrets.

Build Your Self Care Muscle

Today, I have no voice and am coughing up a storm, and this video reminded me of how important it is to be close friends with self care!  So while I am not headed to the gym today, I AM practicing self care by resting and giving my body time to heal from this latest bout with bronchitis.  I don’t like it, but I have learned to do it.

I still battle the mean girl in my head who chides me to push through or postpone a self care habit. But each time I choose wisely and practice self care, I build my “self-care muscle,”  and that helps me make better choices the next time.

These choices help me create better relationships with the hubs, my kids, and my friend.

Practicing self care so we stay healthy and when we are sick is essential.

A lesson I’ve learned the hard way.

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