What does it mean to be gentle with yourself when it comes to your personal health and wellness?
When I first started Natural Green Mom, I was just beginning to explore living a more natural lifestyle.
You see, I was exhausted, and I really wanted to find a natural solution.
My husband traveled every other week for his job (and still does!), which meant I was solo parenting half the time. In addition, I was working from home part-time while my two girls were in school.
Waking up between 4:30 or 5:00 am, I’d get some computer work done before getting the girls up and feeding them breakfast, fixing their lunches, and driving them to school. Then it was a hurry to get the dogs walked and maybe if I really hustled, I could get a shower before sitting back down to my desk.
If I couldn’t get a shower in the morning, I would hurry to take one about 2:00 (reminding myself that good hygiene meant I had to shower sometime!) before heading back to school to get the girls.
Upon returning home, we’d have snacks and I would let them watch a little PBS. (We couldn’t really afford cable at the time, so PBS was the only option.)
Most days, I would sit down with them.
Before I knew it, my head was tipped back, and I was asleep.
The more often I parked the girls in front of the tv and dropped off to sleep, the more disappointed I was in myself. I always told myself, “Today I won’t sleep. We’ll watch one quick show then we will go out to play.
This was not the mother I wanted to be.
In my head, I was the mother who greeted her kids with freshly baked cookies, played with them on the swingset, prepped a homecooked dinner, then helped them with their homework.
Not once did I imagine that I would be the mom on the couch asleep, utterly exhausted and run down, while her kids watched TV.
The more often it happened, the more I beat myself up about my inability to be who I **thought** I needed to be for my family.
As I started to research ways to improve my health and wellness, I came across an incredibly useful exercise I’d like to share with you.
Grab a piece of paper and write down your top 5 priorities.
Yep. Do it now while you are thinking about it. It’s okay. I’m not going anywhere.
As you look at your list, I have one question for you:
Where are you on the list?
Be honest. Did you put yourself on the list of your top priorities?
These are some of the quotes I’ve heard from Natural Green Mom readers:
“I’m stressed out.”
“There aren’t enough hours in my day.”
“There’s too much to balance. I feel like I can never rest because there is so much to do, but then I get overwhelmed and shut down.”
What I have found to be true, is that when these thoughts and feelings creep up, we lay the blame at our own feet.
Here’s what I need you to hear:
Be gentle with yourself.
Neglecting yourself does not help anyone.
When you make a list of your top 5 priorities, you need to be on the list!
That does not make you selfish.
Have you ever flown in an airplane? You know how when it comes to the safety briefing, the flight attendant always reminds you to put on your oxygen mask FIRST?
You can’t care for other people until you care for yourself.
So be gentle with yourself when you start feeling tired, overwhelmed and neglected. Remember that you are worthy of being cared for too.
Caring for yourself means you can properly care for others.
Ready to make yourself a priority?
If you can relate to feeling tired, overwhelmed and out of balance, I’d love to share you with natural ways to take your health and wellness to the next level. Bonus: They are all easy, most are free, and a lot of them take less than 5 minutes.