There’s a quote from “Parks & Recreation” where Ron Swanson tells Leslie, “Never half-ass two things. Whole-ass one thing.” And it always makes me laugh, but yet it’s so true. I’ve always been someone who “whole-asses” things. And while this might sound like a good trait, it’s actually been fairly detrimental to me throughout the years. See, when I dive into something, I completely ignore other things. I’ve lost friendships because I’ve gone so full force into work or projects that I just forget to engage with people I love. I’ve never been good at divvying up my capacity.
Two and a half years ago, I became a mom. TLDR: We struggled with breastfeeding in the beginning, but I was determined to make it work. I spent the first 6 months of his life on the couch either feeding him or pumping. I didn’t leave him alone for the first time until he was 5 months old. I dove all into motherhood. I had to spend every waking moment with this tiny human, and there wasn’t room for anything else. Finally, when he was a year old, I felt comfortable enough with going back to work. But of course, I worked from home. So now my day wasn’t split between parenting and working, my workload was just doubled.
And then around the two-year mark, I realized…holy crap, I feel like shit. Because when you pay zero attention to your wellness and your body for two years, it hurts.
(actual text my husband sent me this week 😂)
A little backstory. I have two different chronic illnesses: Meniére’s disease and Crohn’s disease. Both of which make my day-to-day harder than normal. Meniére’s is a vestibular disorder that causes intense vertigo and I have ringing in my ears 24/7. Crohn’s is a chronic inflammatory condition in the gastrointestinal tract, which causes me a lot of pain and often leaves me laid up at home. So, with both of these already being a part of my daily life, two years of not taking care of myself, have made me feel less than human.
And not feeling your best takes an emotional toll on you as well. I struggle with anxiety, and ignoring my wellness for the past two years has only made it worse. So this year, I’ve decided to stop being my own saboteur. There is quite literally no one standing in my way except myself. My husband and family are always offering help and support, and my GG family is the same. So I’ve run out of excuses, and this year, I’m taking back control of my wellbeing. I know this is already long, but keep reading to see the steps I’m taking to regain my wellness.
I’m going back to therapy for the first time in 8 years. I need to start with my mental health before I can tackle my physical health. I’ve found a therapist I love, and I’ve started weekly therapy sessions just to chat things out and maintain good mental health.
I’ve always been a pen-to-paper type of gal, and this year I’ve invested in two. The Five-Minute Journal and ban.do’s new wellness planner. The journal is broken up into morning and evening sections and prompts you to start and end your day with gratitude. It also helps you map out your intentions for the day before you even get out of bed. The wellness planner is a way for me to look at the big picture. Am I drinking enough water? Am I checking in with myself daily? It’s a great practical tool for helping me stay in tune with my day-to-day choices and make sure I’m covering all of my wellbeing basics. I especially love the advice from wellness influencers and handy tools I can use. It’s available January 14th, so be sure to set a reminder to snag one.
I hate walking as exercise. I am all about time management and productivity, and I’ve always hated the idea of walking to burn calories. Because you have to walk so long and so far to make it worth it. Whereas I could just spend 30 minutes on the elliptical and burn double the calories in a third of the time. But this year, I’m taking a different approach to walks. I’m not looking at them as exercise, but as a way to decompress. Whether it’s a walk with my kid or by myself, I’m using this time each day to breathe deeply and appreciate the earth beneath my feet.
I am terrible about eating. I typically forget to eat anything until about 2 p.m. when I start to feel lightheaded. My husband literally has to make food and hand it to me or I just won’t eat. And when I do, I shove a protein bar and a venti iced coffee down my throat as opposed to paying attention to actual nutrients. So this year, I’m committed to incorporating more meal-prepping. We always do our grocery shopping on Sunday, so now I use the afternoon to prep breakfast and lunch for the week. Working from home, this has been a huge game-changer.
My husband got me a Fitbit for Christmas, and it has already made such a difference. It’s so easy to ignore how long you’ve been sitting at a desk working when you don’t have a little gnat buzzing in your ear. I set my daily movement, water and sleep goals in the app, and it reminds me throughout the day when I need to get moving. I’ve also been enjoying the app, Shine. It’s like the world’s friendliest accountability buddy at the tip of your fingers. Each day it sends me a text with a personalized, positive message, and provides lots of great wellness articles and information.
Dress the part
I have a bad habit of not getting dressed before I start working for the day. And then that turns into another day…and another day… until it becomes, “wait, did I shower yesterday?” It’s a horrible habit. I ordered a bra and legging set from Girlfriend Collective for every day of the week. They are so cute, and so comfortable, that I get excited to put them on. I’m dressed and ready for anything, whether it’s going for a walk or hitting up Target.
Quality time with quality people
One of my big goals this year is to spend more time with people who fill my cup. I hardly ever make time for it, but whenever I do, I always feel SO GOOD afterward. I’ve made a list of people who make my heart happy and I’m making a conscious effort to make those quality connections this year.
Putting it out into the universe
I’m a big believer in manifesting thoughts into reality. So I’m putting my commitment to myself and my wellness out into the universe. I have to remind myself that I’m worth taking care of. My favorite quote for 2019 is, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” So this year is the year I stop draining myself for the sake of others. No one’s asking me to do that, it’s literally my own bad habits getting in the way of being the best version of myself. The world isn’t going to end if I go for a walk instead of immediately answering my emails. There’s nothing wrong with hiring a babysitter so I can go to the gym or take a cooking class. I hope this year, you’ll focus on taking care of yourself, as well. If you have any resources or tools you want to share, I’d love to hear about them in the comments!
Now, go drink some water. 😉