Self-Care Saturdays is a series where I share thoughts from the heart, as well as tips and tricks for taking care of you. Self-care looks different for everyone. How do you take care of YOU?
Have you ever woken up one day and realized you just weren’t yourself and possibly haven’t been for quite some time? Or you read something that hit you between the eyes and made you realize something? Well, that was me a few days ago. I was reading an email from one of my favorite self-improvement blogs. The title of the email was “One Insanely Popular Way to Waste a Life“. Catchy right? What is this insanely popular way to waste a life you ask?
“We waste our lives with a lack of self-discipline.”
WOW. I read that and it hit me. I have a serious lack of self-discipline and need to make some changes ASAP. I’ve been on a downward spiral of a complete lack of self-discipline for the past few months, but I wasn’t sure why until I had a conversation with my husband about this email.
I was talking to him about it and kind of out of nowhere I looked at him and said, “I still haven’t unpacked my bag from when we took Hannah to college.” That trip was three weeks ago and there it sat, in my closet, unpacked. I was telling him how disorganized I’ve become and I wasn’t sure why. I mean I had an unpacked bag in my closet with clothes I wear quite often just sitting there! What is WRONG with me?!
That’s when he looked at me and said, “Do you think this unpacked bag has a deeper meaning?” And that’s when the tears came. After the tears, came the realization that I missed my daughter so much I couldn’t even handle unpacking my bag. And because of this, I’ve been functioning in a bit of a fog for months. First, because of the anticipation of her leaving and then because of the realization she was gone.
After I had a little bit of a good cry, I looked up at my husband and said, “I also haven’t showered in two days.” That’s when he took my hand, helped me up from my office chair and said, “First go shower. Second, go unpack that bag.”
The simple act of realizing what was making me feel so down and unmotivated, and then unpacking that bag, made a huge difference in how I felt. Sure, I still miss my daughter terribly and am counting down the days until we go visit her, but I felt a surge of energy because I was able to nail down what was bothering me and then take one small action step.
Step one to getting back on track to a life I loved living was admitting what was bothering me. Step two was taking some action – unpacking that bag. Step three was slowly introducing habits back into my life that I’ve let go. (Um, like showering maybe?)
What ‘bag’ have you not unpacked yet?
Are you hitting snooze over and over again in the mornings because you just can’t face the day? Is there a strained relationship in your life you know you need to let go of but you just haven’t made that first step? Is your house so disorganized you don’t even know where to begin, so you just keep piling stuff on top of the other piles of stuff? Are you grabbing dinner at the drive-through window because you still have an empty fridge and no meal plan?
Making changes doesn’t happen overnight. I know you know that. It happens by taking little steps and those little steps add up to one giant step. Those steps all lead to change.
Keep hitting snooze? Give yourself something to look forward to in the morning like your favorite breakfast food or coffee creamer. Set your alarm to wake you up with your favorite song. Get a wake-up accountability partner.
Strained relationship? Give yourself permission to not answer their texts for a couple of days. Write down why this relationship is such a strain and why it’s so hard to let it go. Talk to someone who’s detached from this particular relationship and tell them you just need them to listen.
Disorganized house? Pick the one thing that drives you the craziest and do something about it. Is your closet a mess? Straighten your shoes. Is your kitchen sink always full of dirty dishes? Take care of them the night before. Is your schedule a mess? Let go of one thing.
Eating out too much? Plan one meal and shop for it. Make sure it’s something easy and that you know everyone likes. You could even make a double batch and freeze it for later, or eat it for leftovers the next day.
Realizing what’s bothering you + Small steps = Big change.
Now, let’s go unpack those bags, shall we?