Like most women, I am a nurturer, a giver. I grew up the eldest sibling so as birth order would predict this mini mother grew up to choose a career of nurturing others. It is so fulfilling for me because it is so natural. I meet and care for all kinds of women and sometimes it is necessary for me to discuss with them the importance of not over giving, of saying no sometimes, of prioritizing self care. Many women find it uncomfortable to receive, difficult to say no or don't take care of themselves, the way they take care of others.
I've worked on all of the above for myself over the many years I've been taking care of others holistically. There is always room for growth. I've reached another growth spurt.
Just like I encourage all of my birthing mamas to listen to their bodies, I'm listening to mine. Fatigue, forgetfulness and irritability is my body's way of telling me that I've lost the balance. I know I'm not alone so I'm going to share my self care plan with you because 1. I like to keep it real. I think most of you have come to know that I try to always be very transparent and 2. Because I think there are a lot of you reading this who might recognize yourself in this post who might feel inspired to start 2014 off with a full cup so that you can be the best giver you can be too.
1. Slow down. Take some time off or decrease your work load.
I have a part-time week this week and a very part-time week next week. It's been really hard to ask clients to wait until January because its my first instinct to do whatever I can to support them. I squeeze people in here and there normally. Everyone will get much better quality care in the new year because of the work I am doing now.
It's okay for you to say no or not right now too. If you don't take care of yourself, who will? You have to put the oxygen mask on yourself so that you can help the people around you.
2. Book or schedule in some bodywork or other nurturing activities.
Ofcourse I'm receiving weekly reflexology sessions. You might plan massage, Reiki, pedicures or other therapy sessions for yourself. These kinds of treatments are grounding, energizing, deeply relaxing and help your body to release stress.
3. Eat good food.
You know how when you're working so hard and then you book a vacation and you end up ill for the entire trip? It's important that you nourish your body with really good foods as soon as you become aware that you've been overdoing it. I'm using the juicer more now and making delicious vegetable soups, I've added some healthy supplements to my diet and lots of healthy fats for mood, brain and endocrine system balance.
Yoga is my medicine. Yoga is grounding, it allows you to massage your internal organs, it relieves tension and stress, but the greatest benefit is the peace it brings to your mind. I suggest yoga daily or every other day so I like using DVDs to get my yoga in before breakfast for the best day possible. Other exercise is important too. Pick something fun and consider having enjoyable company to do it with. Exercising with a friend will help you to keep your commitment.
Don't feel guilty if you've lost the balance and need to refill your cup. Like the quote in the above image says, it's essential. Not refilling your cup not only makes you a stressed out cranky person but it usually leads to disease. Listen to your emotional state first so your body won't need to speak to you later.
What else do you do to refill your cup? Do you schedule in regular breaks to prevent you from getting to the point where your cup is already empty?
To my clients who are patiently waiting for bookings, thank you so much for your understanding. I hope my commitment to my wellness and keeping the balance confirms that I practice what I preach and I look forward to helping you all refill your cups too! <3