During high school, I was part of a soccer program where we were taught if you're not throwing up, you're not working hard enough. We weren't allowed to put our hands on our knees because that was a sign of weakness, and if you took a break, you were punished with more exercise. Water? No, just on scheduled breaks. Healthy philosophy Mr. S!
Now I know that high school sports can be intense and athletes are expected to perform, and I also know that working hard is important to learn. But in my opinion, where we fall short as a society is learning to take cues from our body and creating boundaries. We're strong if we run ourselves ragged and feel like complete hell trying to complete our to-do lists. We have this mentality of "if I can't do it all, I'm not doing enough." And this response is engrained at a very young age... our kids are watching us and learning from us, absorbing our emotions and energies. My head used to pound after that soccer program because I was so dehydrated, and that was to be expected because it showed I worked hard. What an f'ed up belief.
But now, as an adult, I know better, right? I know when I've had too much and when I need to take a break. I'm an almost 43 year old woman who has learned from past mistakes and released beliefs that I'm only good enough if I'm completely wiped. But really, I'm just learning to listen to my body. I still on a daily basis have to remind myself to chill... to take time for myself and listen to my body. And this is new for me. For years and years, I would not take a break or accept help because it was my responsibility to do it all. Well friends, the new and improved Kristen has now arrived and she don't play that game no more.
When we care for ourselves, we care for others. You can't pour from an empty cup as they say, and that's my new favorite saying.
As this whirlwind of holiday prep begins, please take time for yourself. This doesn't mean spending the day at the spa (although if you can swing it, go for it...and invite me too) or leaving for the weekend. As I'm learning through my own healing, it can be the little things. Making a cup of tea in your favorite mug, taking time for a bath, sneaking 20 minutes of those amazing Christmas movies on the Hallmark channel, meeting up with a friend, going for a walk in the woods, and so on. Exercising, getting enough nutrients and staying hydrated are a must... but come from a place of love and respect for yourself, not self-punishment. If you need help with that, schedule an Emotion Code session :)
And do me a favor, whether you're 23, 43 or 63... take care of yourself. Release these old beliefs: "If I take time for myself, I'm selfish," "If I'm not doing it all, I'm not doing enough," "My worth is in my appearance," "I have to get it all done and I have to do it myself," and my all time favorite one for this time of year, "If I don't run 600 errands a day and run around the town like a squirrel trying to cross the street, I'm not good enough."
You are good enough, you always have been, you always will be.
Show some kindness to yourself today... fill up your cup so you can give to others. Calm your freaking nerves and enjoy your life... because you know what? It's passing you by.
Day by day.
And now maybe the most relevant song I've ever heard to go along with any blog post ever:
"Take Care of Yourself" by Maisie Peters.