health & wellness

Changing your definition of “self-care” and “working out”

The Modern Domestic Woman ButterflyI no longer subscribe to the idea of New Year’s resolutions, as I believe every day is an opportunity to start fresh. The year 2017 is ripe with opportunities for us ladies to care for ourselves. This obsession we’ve adopted of sprinting around our day on empty is no longer doable, in fact, I’m burned out, how about you?

Over the years of working full time, running a business, raising three kids, wife-ing and caring for my home, I thought I could “have it all.” Now older and wider, I mean wiser, I see that indeed I can have it all, but not all at the same time.

First and foremost, I need to be whole and healthy to be at peace. There can be no compromise on this, my friends, but taking time to hit the gym three times a week and blocking out appointments to get beautified is more of a chore now than ever. And it shouldn’t be.

So, I changed my definitions of “working out” and “self-care.”

I tried to be a runner. I purchased gym memberships and set up weights in my basement, only to watch that monthly fee disappear out of my checking account with no increase in my muscle mass and those dumbbells collect dust. What I realized was that I was desperately trying to fit myself into someone else’s expectations of what exercise is. Looking back to my childhood, I reminisced when “working out” was simply playing and reasoned that I could have that joy again.

So, I took a tap class at A Step Above in Batavia over the summer and LOVED IT. Awkward at first – each time I stepped onto that dance floor, I felt that childhood excitement of a day gone by when being active was (gasp!) fun. Is dance for everybody? No, certainly not. My point is to tap into those moments when you felt pure happiness and make them happen again.

BAM! Self-care.

When I shared my thoughts with Shannon Holst, director of A Step Above, she gave me these words of wisdom:

“I feel refreshed, confident, humbled and excited all at the same time [when I dance]. Dance as an adult let’s you experience movement and exercise that is unlike any other. You find it amazing what your body can still do, when you thought you were deteriorating by the day!”

You see? I changed my definition of what self-care is for me.

After that first dance class, I started looking for other ways to “self-care” not seen as labor intensive, but sometimes downright crazy and frivolous.

I started to edit my home.

It might sound silly but I seriously take a moment before I buy anything to consider whether or not it will bring me daily joy. Impulse purchases are long gone, and I only whip out my debit card when items for home truly make me gasp. On the flip side, I take a monthly inventory of sorts to review what I have in house, which is a nice opportunity to reevaluate what I need, and what I don’t.

I accepted the fact that “not doing anything” isn’t lazy.

In the height of my “having it all at the same time” phase, I saw sitting peacefully or spending time reading for fun to be a waste of my time. Not everyone else though, no, I encouraged my friends to care for themselves but I needed to be checking things off my to-do list right until the moment I collapsed on my bed at midnight. And when I did read, I chose books that would build my character and address my issues.

I was in a constant state of “doing” something.

Essential oils and tea became a huge part of changing my mindset that sitting around is acceptable, and have single-handedly changed my days.

Simple and secretly healthy – I am chasing my health with a whole heart in 2017. Health in my body, my soul, my family, and my relationships. But not in some crazy need for accomplishment. I’ve had the breakdown, and I will never go back to running on fumes.

Changing your mindset to pursuing peace in every area of life takes time and practice. And I am dedicated to helping you draw that serenity out and make it a tangible reality through our time together.

Love and peace to you in 2017!

-E

 

** This article was originally published on January 5th with the Kane County Chronicle.

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