Are you taking care of yourself?
Like really taking care of yourself?
How many days a week do you declare SELF CARE WINS! and chug five or nine glasses of wine or scarf down ten Oreos — or half the package — or spend the entire next day in bed — when you weren’t sick — and retreat from the entire world because you earned it or you deserved it?
How many times a month, in the name of self-care, do you make it to the weekend and tell your husband you need a massage and a manicure or a day of shopping or mom’s night out or a day — or weekend — alone or just A FUCKING BREAK and that he’s on his own because you are about to lose your shit?
Here is the thing.
If you are truly taking care of yourself, you don’t have those moments or hours or days or even weeks where you have to completely retreat.
Truly taking care of yourself means you don’t ever even get to that point.
Or you rarely get to that point.
When you are falling asleep sitting up, when you are unable to even find time to shower, when you are snapping every ten minutes at your kids or your husband — or both — when you are fifty pounds heavier than you were when you got married (and you haven’t been pregnant in years), when you haven’t been to the doctor for a physical in, well, you can’t remember when, when you’re not sure when the last time was that you slept more than six hours in a night, when you can’t quite recall the last time you broke a sweat from exercise, when you haven’t been out with your husband or wife or partner or whoever — alone — in the last six months, when you eat standing up or in the car or after midnight on the couch,
YOU ARE NOT TAKING CARE OF YOURSELF.
Self-care doesn’t happen when you’ve reached the breaking point and you give yourself an hour or half a day or a weekend.
Self-care happens every day.
Self-care happens when you set limits and boundaries. Not with your children, but with yourself.
Self-care happens when you see good friends regularly and read books and drink water and practice mindfulness and gratitude and forgiveness.
Self-care happens when you give yourself some down time.
Self-care happens when you stop overscheduling. When you live in the moment. When you appreciate what you have.
Self-care happens when you slow down the often frenetic pace of your life, but also when you speed up your heart rate for a couple minutes every day.
Self-care happens when you have some discipline in your life.
Discipline with what you put into your body. Discipline with how often you move your body. Discipline with what time you go to bed. Discipline with social media and television.
Self-care happens when you address childhood trauma and go see the therapist and take a good hard look at the problems you bring to your marriage and relationships.
Self-care happens when you ask for help when you need it and accept it when it is offered.
Self-care doesn’t happen when you are about to snap.
Self-care happens way before you get to that point.
Self-care begins with habits.
And habits are easiest to change when you start very, very, VERY small.
Start going to bed five minutes earlier.
Leave your phone out of the room when you go to bed.
Take the stairs instead of the elevator.
Stop going to the drive through.
Pack your lunch for work.
Read for five minutes every day.
Do 5 push-ups every morning.
Floss your teeth.
Give yourself thirty minutes of down time.
Eat your meals at a table.
Schedule a dentist appointment.
Drink a glass of water every morning.
Give your husband a hug every day.
Tonight, take a minute to reflect. Are you taking care of yourself? Really taking care of yourself?
If not, you are in the driver’s seat.
You can make a change.
So why not start right now?