So I’m learning to take the time out to be kinder to myself. Are you?
For so many years, with having a young family to take care of I never made the time for myself anymore. I was working a lot, too much, and worrying too much about cleaning the house and making my family comfortable to consider how it was impacting me.
This past summer it caught up with me big time. I ended up being not much use to anyone. Not to family, myself or my clients. Not exactly the result I was looking for.
For the last few months, I have been doing my darndest to put myself up there on my priority list. I am feeling better for it. I have more energy, more time in my days – mostly due to the fact that I am taking time for me, and not just praying for a chance to sleep or nap.
I got to the point where I found that there were days I just couldn’t wait for tomorrow, because I was too tired to do anything else. I kept thinking “tomorrow will be better, I will get a good sleep and feel better and be able to do more tomorrow”. It often didn’t work out that way. The next day I was just as tired as I was the day before.
I think part of the issue was the ‘able to do more tomorrow’ part. I would often find myself waking up early in the morning thinking of all the things I wanted or needed to take care of that day. Of course this kept me from getting back to sleep and I would wind up with another tired day. Another day of waiting for tomorrow before I allowed myself to feel better.
Most of us need to learn that it is okay to relax. If we take out some time in our day for ourselves it does not make us a bad person. Quite the contrary. There were so many nights that I was just exhausted. I would put my son to bed and be so tired that I did not have the patience to deal with the 8 year old child things that came up. My son would get a little goofy, or need a drink of water or just want to talk and I found myself saying “I’m sorry honey, mommy is so very tired, can you just get into bed, I don’t have much patience right now”. I didn’t like to feel that way, but exhaustion has a funny way of turning everything upside down.
Last February I went for lunch with a girlfriend that I had not seen since November. When I saw her, I said “Have you been working out big time or what!?!?”
She looked fabulous. All toned up and firm and she’d lost 25 pounds or so. She told me she’d let me in on her secret. She took me to a local place here in Chilliwack called Gentl Bella. The have these vibration machines there that you stand on and they use vibration to work your muscles. My first thought was that it was cheating. I had been working out on my elliptical trainer for 8 months, had lost over 30 pounds and felt great. I wanted to try the vibration machine but it just felt like it wasn’t really working if I didn’t sweat, I didn’t ‘feel the burn’ or come off panting.
I decided to try it anyway. I figured it wouldn’t hurt, and what’s wrong with things being easy for a change. I kept up with my elliptical but I added in the vibration machine too. I had reached a plateau at a 33 pound weight loss up to February. After adding the vibration machine to my workouts, I lost an additional 12 pounds. It changed things up and added just enough to get me past the plateau and get me back to the weight I was before. (I had gained about 45 pounds over the past 5 years).
I joined the ‘club’ and paid about $600 for 6 months worth of vibration. I must say, it is truly an amazing thing. I’m 43 now and like most women who are a bit older I was getting a bit of a jowl, and it was really hard to keep my upper arms from flapping in the breeze. The vibration machine helped me lose weight on (or firm up) my face, and helped to define my arms a lot better. I’m not saying I’m looking like I did in my 20′s but I look, and much more importantly, FEEL way better.
Once my membership at the club was done, around July sometime I bought my own vibration machine for use at home. I can’t even begin to tell you how wonderful these things are. I think I might see if I can get my hands on a few more units, or find a way to sell them myself. They are that awesome. I find they help with my energy levels a lot too. Imagine, a workout with no sweat.
Back to talking about taking care of yourself. There are many ways to take care of yourself. Something else I personally did was go to a naturopath. For years I had always thought “one day I’ll get around to it”. There always seemed to be other things that took precedence. I had heard that going to the naturopath could get expensive and everyone else’s needs always seemed more important. I could spend money on my kid, my husband, my horse, but when it came to spending money on myself I had a really hard time with that.
Some time in the spring, when I was at my wits end and tired as could be, I finally figured I really needed something. I didn’t know exactly what it was but I knew that my body needed attention because it was burning out. I went and had a few tests and things, and got some shocking results to some of my tests, and got on a really good vitamin and mineral regimen and its working. At the time I got my test results there was a part of me that cried out “just give me the prescription, I want to feel better right now!!” However, I’ve never been one to take a lot of medication without first trying to balance myself out with diet or exercise or energy work or meditation. So, here it is 3 months since I’ve been on all my new vitamins and I am feeling a lot better. If you have been on the fence about whether or not you deserve or can afford to go to a naturopath or other alternative health care provider, take this blog post as the “sign” you have been waiting for to go and take care of yourself. There are no coincidences.
In closing, I’d just like to say how much I care for and appreciate each and every one of you. It is Thanksgiving here in Canada and I have so much to be thankful for. Thank you for reading, you are amazing.