Did you see Dirty Dancing? The Patrick Swazye/Jennifer Grey work of genius? If you had a heartbeat and were in college or high school in the mid- to late 80’s of course you did. One of my favorite (albeit super cheesy lines) from that epic cinematic work of art was “Nobody puts Baby in a corner.”
The past few months, I’ve been in a corner. Totally self-imposed. While I advocate vociferously for self-care (I’m almost annoying about it), I started eating like crap and avoiding exercise like the plague. That decreased my energy levels which brought my mood down. The things that brought me joy, like working on Happy Fix, were back burnered so I could take care of other people and events that needed my attention.
I convinced myself that I didn’t have time to take care of me. My son’s graduation in Colorado was something I had to prepare for. I was finishing the end of a stressful school year. I was worried about completing work on my house and how we were going to pay for it so we could get it on the market to sell.
Were these concerns legitimate? Of course they were. They were all a pretty huge deal to me and my family. Here’s the rub though. In not investing in myself and giving my body the proper fuel and care it needed, I didn’t have enough in the tank to help the people I needed to help. I shorted myself and others.
When life gets hectic, self-care, especially for women, is the first thing that seems to go. Moms, teachers, nurses, caregivers, CEO’s–we all do it, or don’t do it as is more often the case.
How do we get out of the corner and into life?
My summer is going to be spent working on a program that builds a community of women who are open to the fact that self-care is crucial to their health, well-being and happiness. It will provide a supportive, safe and loving environment where it is okay to put yourself first. That doesn’t mean you are a bad mother, wife, friend, daughter, etc. It means that you recognize how important it is to take care of you. Then you get to spend your newly acquired energy in whatever way you see fit. No judgement. No guilt.
While the last couple of months have been hard. I take full responsibility for them. In order to be the best me I can be, I have to take care of myself. Once you recognize the problem, it is up to you to take on the challenge and make necessary changes. Wouldn’t it be nice to do that in community?
The cabin pressure has dropped and I’m putting the oxygen mask on. I’m going hard and getting back to spin class tonight. Who’s with me? While spin class may not be for you, you can commit to something to make self-care a priority. What will it be? Whatever it is, share it so we can cheer each other on.