Last year was an amazing year. I was really starting to see the positive effects from being intentional about taking care of myself. Mind-Body-Spirit. I wanted everyone to experience this!
A close friend encouraged me to start a blog. To bring people along on the journey. What a journey this has been so far!
I am still in the very early stages of learning how to bring people along without losing myself. But what I have learned: No matter how much I want to help others care for themselves, I have to continue caring for myself.
I would call this a huge pitfall of mine and maybe a lot people. We see taking care of ourselves as selfish. We put our needs last. And I am not talking about needing a new purse or jewelry. I am talking about eating, sleeping, drinking water, praying, reading, etc.
The truth is when we don’t take care of ourselves completely, we cannot take care of others well. It is not sustainable.
This is so difficult though, because we have been told that we are a better person if we put our self last. The heroic stories and slogans about leaders going last or eating last; famous people glorifying their parents for the sacrifices their parents made for them to get where they are. These sound beautiful and selfless but I wonder what happened to the person as they were making the sacrifice? And maybe when these stories are shared as headlines we do not get all the details. Maybe the slogan should be “Leaders eat last, but they still eat.” “My mom did so much for me. We listened to worship songs on the way to practice. She asked other parents to help take me where I needed to go so she could go to the grocery store to buy healthy food and make dinner while I was at practice. She exercised in the living room while I did my homework.”
This mindset is still a day to day struggle for me. With 3 young children, there are days that I have made or retrieved so much food from the kitchen but didn’t have time to eat anything myself. And nothing good happens when I have not eaten! This is not healthy for me. This is not where I am my best. And in those days, it is my responsibility as the adult to remind myself, and my young children, that I am a person and eating healthy foods and drinking water is a need that I must meet. Because this is where I can start to be my best.
3 things you can do to start caring for yourself today:
1.) Sleep. I understand it seems like you can get more accomplished if you keep going. But the reality is your body has a schedule set. One important component is the sleep schedule. This is when healing, rejuvenation, growth occurs. Hormones that control our bodies triggers for mood, regulation of body systems and metabolism are also released at particular times in the sleep cycle. Recommended amount of sleep is 7-9 hours. I definitely have work to do in this area! I am referring to the hustle. If you are a new mom or have outside circumstances you can’t control, give yourself grace and do your best.
2.) Eat whole foods often. Our bodies were designed to work best with food that were grown, not created. Vegetables, fruits, lean meats, nuts, grains, potatoes. You might have an adjustment period as your body heals from all the processed food you have been eating but it will regulate.
3.) Be in your community. This can be your neighborhood, church, friends, sports moms. We were not meant to do it all alone. We need others and others need us. Show up and be present. Allow people to get to know you. Ask for help. Your community is not judging you on your capabilities, they want to help you!
Enjoy a meal:
Grilled chicken, asparagus, and potatoes
- Chicken breast (4oz per person)
- Asparagus (10 per person)
- Potatoes (small potato or 1/2 cup)
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Himalayan Sea Salt
- Butter (1 tsp per person)
- Fresh Chives (chopped)
- Air tight dish or plastic bag to marinate
- Aluminum foil
2-24 hours prior to grilling, place chicken in a air tight dish or plastic bag with marinade. Choose a marinade with less than 9 grams of sugar. Add 1 tsp marinade per serving. Remove chicken from refrigerator 1 hour prior to grilling to allow meat to slowly warm before grilling. This improves tenderness.
Rinse potatoes. Stab potatoes with a fork all around. Rub extra virgin olive oil on potatoes. Sprinkle with Himalayan sea salt. Wrap in aluminum foil.
Heat grill. Place potatoes on the grill first. Approximately 10 minutes after the potatoes add the marinaded chicken. Cool thoroughly about 20 minutes. Check frequently to prevent charing. The chicken should be white all the way through. No pink or pearl looking areas.
While chicken is grilling. Prep asparagus. Rinse. Drizzle with extra virgin alive oil. Sprinkle with Himalayan Sea Salt.
Remove chicken from grill. Allow meat to rest on a serving tray or plate. Add asparagus to grill. This is quick! 3 minutes or less. Just enough to heat and become tender.
Remove asparagus and potatoes.
Plate 4oz Chicken breast with asparagus and potatoes. Add 1 tsp butter and fresh chives to potato.
Serve. And enjoy.