A lot of people have asked me about how I am handling my full schedule. If you don’t know this already, I have a fiercely loving and supportive tribe. This means that I get questions all the time about how I am doing or am if I’m getting burned out.
I decided to write a blog about self-care and how I’ve managed to keep myself healthy during this season of life. There’s been a lot of trial and error but I’ve learned what works for me and it’s been life changing.
1. I am only committed to two things. My internship (for grad school) Monday through Thursday 8-5pm. Plus, traveling for work on the weekends. That’s it. I’ve made the hard decision to say no to a lot of things. I’ve chosen to occupy my time with these two things plus working out. That’s it.
2. My body. I have had a love hate relationship with my appearance for a while now. I’ll get on a health kick lose 10 to 15 pounds, life happens and I stress eat (I’m an emotional eater). There goes my weight loss. Now I am back to square one. This is been a cycle in my life since I graduated from college in 2012. After hearing my friend Angela Davis talk about the connection between the body and the spirit, I decided I needed to make a change. Angela always says if it doesn’t challenge you it doesn’t change you. My problem was that I was avoiding all the challenges because life is hard enough right? I was challenged in a lot of other areas of my life and the last place I wanted to be challenged was physically- in the gym. And I did not want to challenge my eating habits.
A little over a month ago my friend Julie invited me to try out this kickboxing gym called 9Round. I almost died in that first work out, hand to the heavens, I almost died. I thought I might pass out. I felt so chubby, unhealthy, weak and embarrassed. But something awakened in my soul after that workout, I wanted to go back. I wanted to challenge myself, in spite of the deep embarrassment I felt. So I went back. I killed my second workout and the owner of the gym looked at me and said, “you seem drastically different from how you were yesterday, I’m surprised you came back.” She said, “what’s the difference between now and then?” I said “I made up my mind.” And then I joined the gym.
I made up my mind. I decided to take back my body. I decided that the soul work that I have been doing in therapy is just as important as me taking care of my body. It’s just important as the feeding my spirit and connecting to God. My body is my temple.
So now I go to the gym and I work out 3 to 4 days a week. And I feel stronger, happier, healthier, and fulfilled.
3. I take care of my emotional health. I have a therapist. I do monthly check ins with my therapist. Please people if you need a therapist get one. It’s the best decision I have ever made. Best investment.
I also have a wonderful truth telling mother, she prays for me constantly, cheers me on, and speaks the truth to me all.the.time. She is far more than an accountability partner, she is my sounding board and one of my best friends.
Have a great brother and sister-in-law, a supportive dad, plus a whole host of amazing friends. In the words of Drake, “I got a really big team, and they need some really big rings.” I couldn’t do when I get to do without my tribe. They love me, feed me, and support me.
4. My spirit. I choose to read life giving books, uplifting messages by different pastors I enjoy, and read scripture. I have made more time for reading/audiobooks. I have also spent my time watching informative documentaries when time allows. I can’t forget music, I love listening to good music while reading a book.
Traveling is like God’s gift to me. It’s my therapy of sorts. I love the airport, still. People ask me if I’m tired of traveling yet and the answer is no. I’m not tired of it at all. Traveling is my “me” time. I spend all week with people. Traveling alone gives me time to think and refuel- Time to “be still”. Time to pray and reflect. Plus I have a new favorite travel outfit that is beyond comfortable. Thanks to lululemon for these pants sent from heaven, this comfy Star Wars t-shirt from Wal-Mart, and my new pull over sweater, plus my teva’s. My time is very occupied in this season with what I’ve chosen to commit to. I am focused on those things only. I’m behind in dinners, lunches, and coffee dates I was planning to have. I have missed numerous social functions. And I’ve said no to mostly everything. But that’s okay, because I’m caring for myself. Mind, Body, and Spirit. I cannot care for myself well and be present everywhere. Some seasons you pick things up and some you let things go. I’m learning to be content with letting things go and picking up the things that matter right now.