unnamedOver the last several months I’ve been struck by not only a theme in my own life, but what I’ve been hearing from my ladies in and out of the studio – with and without kiddos. There is a pretty strong current out there that is pulling us in every direction but the one that leads us to taking of ourselves. We come up with a million different reasons to not set aside time for self care – and sometimes, we are so disconnected with our own needs, that it actually doesn’t even enter our consciousness that we may need some extra TLC.

Those who are close to me know that personally, this was a very tough winter. As we rolled into the new year, one thing was crystal clear, it was time for me to jump on the self care bandwagon in a very big way. For me it was truly going to be one of the only ways that I was going to hold it together and continue to take care of our beloved MWJ community – as it is not only my pleasure, but my job and one of my highest priorities.

You would think that since I own a wellness center, carving out time for self care would be no big deal…but I promise you, that is not always the case. I would be exhausted, worn down, and go on about my days – just like most of us tend to do. But I was done with that! I began going to see Dr. Justin Ohm for chiropractic if not twice, than at least once a month…at least one massage a month (with our beloved Sarah Hummel and also a chair massage spot on South Street – even if it was only for 20 minutes), Reiki once a month (with Pamela Hipp or Betty Kim) which has seriously been a game changer for me. I joke it’s better than therapy. Which for me, I honestly believe is true. I’ve started to practice yoga for myself again – what a revelation! And because I really needed to dig deep here, I even signed up for MY first yoga retreat that I was going to not teach, but take as a student at Kripalu. I’m not sure why we have to be pushed over the edge to really do these things for ourselves, but it seems that we do. Basta!
And I keep hearing, “Now that I’ve had the baby, I miss coming to MWJ so much!!” And listen, I know that you new Mama’s are really doing the best you can. You’re exhausted and dealing with so many new challenges – you’re barely hanging on by a thread. And there’s those of you, who have older kids, or no kids at all, that are also totally wiped! You’re overworked, too many commitments, not enough sleep. I won’t lie, it is really challenging to find a balance. But truly, this is when you need the extra dose of TLC the most! I’m here to tell you, you owe it to yourself and to your own body, mind, and soul to take care of yourself. Life is too short and it can be SO MUCH better when you’re feeling good. Everyone around you will thank you!
My advice is this. Start taking baby steps:
* Schedule ONE self care appointment for yourself (if you don’t have childcare, team up with a friend in the same boat and trade or go in the evening when your partner can take over). If you are on a very strict budget, a lot of times practitioners will be happy to work something out with you.
* Take some time to clear your mind and get grounded: meditate for a mere 5 minutes a day (more if you want!) preferably at the same time each day. You many find that you actually crave this time of peace & quiet.
* Get yourself a bolster and a set of yoga blocks so that you can practice some restorative yoga at home – 10 minutes counts!
* Don’t skip meals, drink lots of water, and stay away from too much coffee
* Sometimes I douse myself with essential oils for an extra boost or to lower whatever stress factor may be going down…you can also use a couple sprays of Rescue Remedy (in the mouth) by Bach.
* Do your best to surround yourself with the people that bring you joy
* Find time to move your body and that can be anything that makes you happy! If you can’t get to a class, don’t have a baby sitter, etc. crank up the grooves and get down in the living room with your kids why don’t ya?
* If you’re partnered up and have kids, go on a date! No money for child care? Same as above, trade with friends in a similar situation.
* And last but not least + my favorite, if at all possible, take a VACATION. Seriously, even if it means one or two full days off, do it! Now that I don’t have to be at MWJ 24/7, taking days off is seriously my favorite thing to plan. Not only does it recharge me, but I am a better and happier teacher, friend, and boss when I get back. And I promise you, the same will be true for you.
There are many different ways to take care of yourself. Only you truly know what will work best and fit into your life. The important thing is to start making space for self care before it’s too late and you just wanna scream. You got this!
* picture via IG and @pennyfrancesapothecary

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