[Confession: I started this post sincerely thinking it would be a light one about how I started drinking more water to take care of myself in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic. LOL. Read on to find out why I couldn't make that the main takeaway!]
Just three weeks ago in Seattle, Washington...
Tuesday, our oldest son overheard a teacher say they might be closing school.
Wednesday, the email came: "Schools will be closed a minimum of 14 calendar days".
Thursday, another update: School would be closed for 6 weeks. At least.
Our world had been turned upside-down.
In a matter of days, I heard left and right of other friends' schools being closed, events being canceled, and whole cities, counties, and states taking drastic measures to slow the spread of Covid-19.
I pictured my grandma sitting alone in her brown recliner, unable to leave her assisted living home. Was ever I going to see her, healthy, again?
The link lists and homeschooling ideas came pouring into my social media feeds and inbox. Was I really in charge of my kids' education for the forseeable future?
Then Greg found out his work would need to carry on as usual, but from home - and that a reduced schedule wasn't on the table.
I cried for all the times in my life I felt like my needs and dreams had gotten shoved aside to be able to rise to the occasion of whatever was needed of me.
Have a newborn but need to go to grad school? I'm on it.
Baby waking through the night but you need to sleep in? I'm on it.
Move to a new city but too late in the year to get into a good preschool? I'm on it.
I'll do it. I'll take care of it. Who else will if I won't?
"What about ME!?" I wanted to scream. "Don't I matter?"
If you're feeling any of what I felt three weeks ago, know that you're not alone.
We're experiencing grief, on a personal and global level.
Whether you're saddened by not being able to see friends and family, overwhelmed by how the crisis is affecting your community, panicked with not knowing what will happen with your job, or sobered by knowing someone who's lost a loved one, these are important and valid feelings.
Feel your feelings and tell the people you trust when you're ready.
(I definitely left tearful voice messages, text-messaged up a storm with friends, and talked to Greg after I'd cooled off.)
We'll dive into more practical tips for taking great care of yourself and your family later.
For now, a big virtual hug from me to you, and full permission to be sad, mad, afraid, or whatever else you may be.
You're human in a weird time, and that's okay. Your brave self care for today can be to feel whatever's coming up for you without judgement and let it run its course.
We're in this together.
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What does "bra research" have to do with self care?
A lot, actually.
Er, let me back up.
One of my favorite clients wanted to get more exercise. But, she'd never achieved a runner's high, was bored by the treadmill, and described exercise as something that "doesn't excite me and has never excited me". (Girl, I feel you.)
It was something she'd tried and failed at doing more of in the past, yet saw how great it was for her mental health.
We talked big picture. She told me how she needed to own her life more. How she'd sometimes get ideas, really good ideas, but not get traction. How she wanted to build her muscle for change and know she was able to make changes in her life.
Beneath her goal to get more exercise was a deep longing to become a different kind of person.
At the end of our first session, she picked her action steps for the next two weeks, as all my clients get to do. My favorite step?
As we'd talked about creative ways to remove barriers to exercising, my client mentioned that the hassle of having to plan ahead to bring workout clothes to work, then change, was often enough to discourage her from trying in the first place. If she could find a workout bra that could double as an everyday bra, she'd have made exercising in her work's exercise room that much easier.
And research bras she did! Two weeks later, she'd found one that could go from work to workout, making it that much easier to swing by the exercise room.
She was on her way to being the kind of person who could make changes in her life.
Psst, did you know?
I write about clients like the one above because they teach me about failure in motherhood and inspire me to keep growing, even in impossible circumstances.
Want to learn more about how to become the kind of person who can make changes in your life?
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And if you're ready, let's find a time to talk to give you all you need to decide if working together is the next right step for you!
“Sometimes it’s a bubble bath, sometimes it’s a root canal.”
So said my friend and coach Victoria while talking about self care. As someone with a fear of the dentist, she had had some truly harrowing dental work done that she'd been courageous enough to schedule and go to.
And isn't it true?
Some forms of self care feel GREAT. Other forms? Not so much.
A quick search of the hashtag "#selfcare" on Instagram reveals gorgeous cups of coffee, outdoor yoga, and freshly-drawn baths in clean tubs, citrus slices floating on the surface of the water.
And yes, these things can be a part of your self care rhythms.
But some of you have grown wary of the idea of self care as aspirational consumables. This can't be all there is...right?
True self care is stewardship of your whole self: your physical, mental, spiritual, relational parts.
So, going to multiple dentist visits for some painful (but much needed) work? Self care. It might not be pretty in the short term, but taking care of things like a root canal now will save you from a world of hurt in the future.
What not-so-fun task might you need to take on in service of your long-term, holistic wellness?
Take 2 mins to click the "Comments" link below and tell me - I read each and every comment!