Self-Love, Resolutions, Mindfulness & Meditation
January is Self-Love Month, why is it so important? Is it ironic that it’s typically when folks are figuring out their resolutions for the new year? I personally had no clue until a few hours ago and I think it’s a wonderful way to start the new year. I don’t typically make resolutions for myself, I’m more of a “I’m doing this now” kind of person be it January 1st or June 1st, dates play no significant role in my decision-making. I do however think the feelings surrounding the start of a new year brings about feelings of hope and joy for all things new that are coming. It gives people the idea that it’s time to start fresh. After all, “out with the old and in with the new” rolls so easily off the tongues of so many on December 31st. Losing weight, exercising more, quitting smoking, learning a new skill or hobby, making your bed every day, are probably some of the most common resolutions and the most commonly broken ones! Why are more people not thinking about self-care? Self-Love IS important and I’m going to share some reasons why you should be thinking about it more.
My 2018 Word of the Year: Mindful
A couple of weeks ago I was challenged in a business training group on Facebook to come up with a word, any word, that I will carry with me through 2018. A word that means something to me or my business. I truly didn’t have to think long or very hard about it. I knew within minutes. My word for 2018 would be Mindful: Taking time for what matters.
I wanted to go through this year with intention instead of the typical nagging that goes on in my own head and out my mouth. I’ve craved balance in my life for a very long time. I’ve spent the last 7 years at home with my two youngest kids and I lost the person I used to be. I became someone I didn’t really recognize and I hated her most days. On top of battling mental health issues, I was trying to keep two little people alive, run a household, keep bills paid, meals cooked, be a supportive loving wife, mom to my adult son and fit in being a friend, daughter and sister. As mentioned in a previous blog post, I don’t have immediate family close by to help me. My in-laws live very close but they operate way different from my family.
So this past fall when my little’s started full day school and could ride the bus, I knew I needed to go back to work. I needed daily adult interaction for my own sanity, I’m so not meant to be a SAHM! Well that is when I lost the balance in my life. Everything I was doing at home before I went back to work, I was still trying to do. Plus run my Posh business and work full-time. I was literally in a downward spiral. Throw in a medical emergency with my dad out-of-state, a cat who quit eating and was basically dying, Christmas, and racking up thousands on credit cards that were paid off…..I.WAS.LOSING.MY.SHIT and by the time Christmas got here, I was done. Tapped. I had nothing left in me to give, to anyone. My full-time job is at a high school and I was on break as of the Friday before Christmas, as were my kids. All I wanted to do was stay in the house, on the couch, in front of the tv. I didn’t want to shop, work my Posh business, cook, I didn’t want to do a thing! The days leading up to this I was still, in my head, going over and over things….”what can I do differently”, “what can I change”, “What can I stop doing and what should I start doing more”. My brain was like a hamster wheel, spinning and spinning and producing nothing of value.
Talking about it helps
Thankfully, I am usually not short of words. I talked to a couple of friends and the common question I was being asked was “have you tried meditating?”. Nope. Never. Never considered it. I had the typical idea in my head that I had to try to sit Indian style on the floor, which I can’t anymore, and chant stuff. Boy was I wrong. After a little reading and talking to more people, I started reading about Mindfulness and the impact it has on mental health and overall well-being. I was immediately intrigued. I ordered some books, the first one, “Breathe Mama Breathe 5 Minute Mindfulness for Busy Moms” by Shonda Moralis and I can’t recommend this book enough! I also ordered “My Anti-Stress Year 52 Weeks of Soothing Activities and Wellness Advice” by Gilles Diederichs (find it here on Barnes & Noble). I also have downloaded the Headspace App and the Calm App. Maybe you are thinking, “Uhm, overkill” but I assure you it’s totally not and I can also assure you that in just a short three weeks, I am noticing a difference. I’m not quite there with the meditation yet but the Mindfulness is huge and the difference in my daily thoughts and feelings are significantly better. Mindfulness and Meditation are not going to solve all of my problems. But I know that taking care of #1 (yours truly) and approaching things in a different way than I have in the past, will. I’m learning, I’m a work in progress. My mouth gets me in trouble more often than not. I speak freely and my emotions are written all over my face. That’s who I am, I’m not changing, I’m just working on making me a better version of myself.
Self-Love IS Important
This is why Self-Love is important, this is why it is important to take care of yourself. Self care 101: You can’t pour from an empty cup. Why do you think you are supposed to put on your oxygen mask first before helping someone else? Prioritizing self-care and perceiving it as a necessity rather than an indulgence is key. How low are your reserves? When is the last time you actually did something meaningful for yourself? I’m not talking about hair and nail appointments, I have those monthly, that great feeling lasts a couple of hours maybe a full day if that. I’m talking about doing some real self-love for YOU. Prioritize time for yourself, even if it means getting up 10 min earlier than your kids or staying up 10 min later than your husband. Carve out 10 minutes a day for only you. Think about the things you want in life and how you will make those things a reality. Stop living on auto-pilot and take in the sounds and the scenery around you. Listen to your kids fight for a few minutes before you interrupt them or yank them sideways into their own corners. ((only half kidding)) After you do, walk away for 10 minutes and take a break, put your feet up, put on a face mask, close your eyes, just do something every single day to reflect and remember to love yourself first and discover where your happiness lives.
It’s only January 9th. You have 22 more days of practice this month. Get to work on YOU and see how great you start to feel. I want to hear from you once you do! Please find me on Facebook or Instagram (links on my home page) and message me. I promise, I want to hear about your journey to a better you.