Check-In, Self-Reflect, and Check-Out
So often we are all moving at a speed so fast, and women especially are typically the ones wearing a lot of hats, men do too, but most women tend to give so much to others and take care of others so much that we forget about ourselves.
I know for me there was a time in my life when I thought working long, crazy hours meant I was a good person and had the best work ethic and on top of the ridiculous hours I was working in the past, I used to pour into the cups of others all day and go above and beyond to make sure everyone was okay.
What I mean is – I would be the first to offer help at work if someone was struggling with a deadline, even when I had my own deadlines to meet, or I was that person to be the first available to consult someone, answering phone calls and replying to emails after the typically 9-5 work hours. I even used to spend half my morning texting people I care about to wish them a great day and I was doing all of this to the point of causing me stress.
I’m not at all saying don’t offer help, or provide support to those you care about, or don’t be a team player at work or text the people you care about. No – not saying that at all. What I’m getting at is the importance of putting yourself first and pouring into your own cup.
Pour Into Your Own Cup.
There was a time when my cup was empty and I mean dry to the bone, but I was still pouring into others and stress took over. My shoulders and neck were constantly tight, Some nights, I would go home in tears because the pain was so bad. I struggled to turn my mind off at night because I was always dwelling on everything I had to fit in and worrying that I wouldn’t be able to complete it all.
Not to mention, it doesn’t help that I’m an over achiever and perfectionist to fault sometimes so back then it was really a struggle that started to interfere with my own well-being. I’m recovering and that’s the beauty. Maybe you can relate?
For so long, I actually wasn’t even aware that I could choose otherwise, but when I started my journey of true healing and transformation a lot surfaced for me and this was one of the things – the need to truly make time for self-care.
I totally understand some people have more on their plates than others, but I can’t highlight enough how essential it is to take care of yourself. It’s interesting how we always have time to ask others how they are doing and offer a helping hand, but it’s not often we slow down to ask ourselves how I am feeling today, do I need anything today, or what would most support me today.
We Contribute To Our Experiences.
Taking ownership of how you contribute to your experiences can be one of the hardest things to do, but it’s important and actually liberating. Meaning, if you constantly rushing around and not taking time to slow down that falls on you or if there’s that one person who stresses you, yet you keep taking the calls that falls on you. No matter what’s on your plate, I encourage to begin to ask yourself these question: 1) How can I make time for me? 2) What do I really need most? 3) How am I contributing to my reality?
I totally understand some have more on their plates than others and it might be difficult for self-care every day. I’m not saying drop it all and become Zen 24/7. But, you have to start somewhere. Looking back at my life, I was one in the 9-5 role which was really 8-7 sometimes later and self-care then was much harder than it is now that I work independent and make own schedule. So, I hear all of that and if you are the person who feels trapped with no time I feel you, I get you, I hear you. That was once me, but I promise you, the only way for better or out is through you.
What I have found to be helpful is creating a morning routine that begins with me pouring into me. I do my best to live life aligned mind, body, and spirit because that’s when I feel my best, but let’s be real it’s not always easy. Sometimes, there are days when it seems everything is falling apart and I’m a mad woman running in circles – call it mercury retrograde, blame the moon cycles, life, whatever it is what it is. Once you’re aware, you’re aware and then the responsibility really falls on you.
What Works For Me.
I do my best to pour into each component mind, body, and spirit daily. My morning routine looks like this: I begin each morning with meditation, that’s after I hit snooze 3x exercise, then consume a healthy breakfast which always starts with 12-16 ounces of celery juice on an empty stomach shout out to the medical medium. If you don’t know who he is check him out on Instagram for insight on health and diet then green smoothie and then I always write down my affirmations, intentions, and gratitude list. It sounds like a lot, but you can make your routine however long or short you want. I believe what works for some might not work for someone else and that’s totally okay. There might also be days when you can’t get it all in and that’s okay too. If I’ve learned anything along my journey it’s to do your best to allow, flow, and not judge.
Sometimes self-care might look like a long hot bubble bath followed with tea and reading a book other day it may be a power talk of “come on get moving you can do it.” There’s no right or wrong, but there is a need – and that’s the point I’m making – take care of yourself – whatever that looks like. It’s about feeling good and staying well.
Ways To Start.
Begin the morning with positive affirmations, take breaks throughout the day when needed, exercise even for 15 minutes just to get your body moving, don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed. It’s okay to be vulnerable and say, “I can’t today” or just simply “no,” which by the way is a complete sentence. Give yourself permission to disconnect from social media and to not answer phone calls or replies to text, buy yourself flowers.
If you think you might forget to check in and practice self-care – you can set a timer on your phone and call it “Self-Love Reminder.” Trust me, once you get into the rhythm of pouring into yourself it’s going to feel so good you won’t need to be reminded.
When in doubt or when in the space of knowing, always breathe. It is our breathe that connects us and keeps us centered and grounded. I have learned sometimes the only thing you need to make change happen is the clear intention that you’re ready and willing to put yourself first.
Here’s to knowing and believing you are worth it and it’s not selfish to take care of you, its self-love.
Stephanie Robilio, LCSW
Chief Clinical Officer at Agape Behavioral Healthcare
To learn more about Stephanie visit www.stephanierobilio.com and follow her on Instagram @stephanierobilio, Facebook @stephanierobilio, and subscribe to her on YouTube Stephanie Robilio. Find all of Stephanie’s books on Amazon: WellNow, Mindful Makeover, Painted Soul, and Bonafide Spirit. To join real conversations about what it takes to achieve optimal wellness in mind, body, and spirit, check out The Mindful Living Podcast on Spotify.