Happy New Year! It is hard to believe another decade has passed. These years have brought me joy, sadness, laughter, pain, good times and bad, yet most of all these years, especially the last couple of years, have brought me to understand how to love myself more. I have spent many years trying to find that happy balance in life when in reality it doesn’t exist. Instead, loving me and others is the best I can do and I am taking time today to think about the first – how to continue to love myself in 2020. This is not selfish, as part of loving myself is being part of a community and loving others, yet today’s focus will be “me in 2020.”
So… New Year, New You? Heck no! I love who I am and who I have become and look forward to who I will be. So this year will be a year of renewal: thinking about how to continue to love myself in the midst of the myriad of responsibilities in life. I am dedicated to my husband, my family, my friends, Noblesville Schools, Noblesville Diversity Coalition, Collaborate.Lead. Coach., Studio G Fitness, BGR Indy! (the list could go on). My passions lie in education and fitness and I continuously try to see how these two worlds operate for me and also collide with one another. Amongst all of this – life happens. We experience ups and downs. Trauma occurs. We respond to that trauma in positive and negative ways. When looking at the daily calendar – it can all feel overwhelming which can then lead to unhealthy habits. Then there is that idea of time… there is never enough time yet time is all we have, so it comes to prioritizing, living life, and making the best of life in the moment. When I reflect on all of this I see how much time and effort I put into into others which is why I have to also focus on me. We are on this earth to be in relationships but we cannot be in those relationships if we do not put our wellness first.
Full transparency: I have done a pretty decent job of putting my wellness in the forefront, yet I have fallen at times. Specifically, this last year and a half has been hard. Life happened. Two traumatic events occurred within 6 months that zapped my energy. When this happened, I turned to food and friends for comfort. Notice, I put food first. My time with friends was always therapeutic yet it almost always included meeting for food and/or drink. Habits that I had thought were way in my past crept back up and now, 30 pounds later, I realize I cannot continue to turn to food. I need to rebuild the habits I had maintained previously for over two years. I not only fell off the wagon with food, I slacked with strength training, I stopped reading and writing as much, and I found myself at times wanting to do absolutely nothing – fighting this feeling inside of me that just wouldn’t go away. Though this sounds negative, it is not. It is part of life. I am choosing today to embrace the past and present and to move forward, realizing I can make choices that make a difference and show love for myself.
So today, I’m making a commitment to love myself by…
Prioritizing my own wellness – mentally. Often when we think about wellness, we think about physical activity – which is important yet this is something that I enjoy – it’s how I stay sane, so this will remain a focus yet, the mental aspect of making a change in nutrition is hard and often hard to do alone. Therefore, I am loving myself by committing to an 8 week challenge at Studio G that will help me find my way back to the healthy habits I once lived by. I know what to do, yet it takes mental fortitude to make it happen. I need help thinking through the work (meal planning, strength training, cardio plan, sleep, etc) again and how to prioritize it. I find that when I do this with others, it holds me more responsible to myself and also allows me to connect with those that are participating. By finding a community to grow alongside with, I am loving myself into a healthy lifestyle.
Scheduling time for doing what I love. I’m sure you are like me, there are things you love to do and say, “if I only I had more time I would do that more.” Well, we won’t have more time in the day so we have to think about how we use that time. I’m sure this is a reminder for many of us because we’ve heard it before. So my commitment is to take 30 minutes every Sunday to sit down and schedule in time during the upcoming week for doing what I love. Yes, this will mean scheduling intentional time with my husband, family, and friends. It will mean scheduling time to read and write. I will schedule our travel plans. It will mean being proactive and that I will at times be discouraged that I have to schedule it, yet reality is that if it is not scheduled then time can be wasted away not doing much. Now I will schedule in a couple of what I call “lazy days” a month on the weekend where my husband and I just do what comes to mind and not live by a schedule. By scheduling what is most important, I am loving myself through the things I love.
Being present in the moment. A good friend recently gave me a word of advice to just live in the moment and be fully present. I work hard to do this while at work, yet not sure I do this very well when I think about my time outside of work. I can often be sitting right next to my husband, but mentally am thinking about everything I have to do. I can be with friends and my mind wanders to the tasks I have to get done before my 7:30am meeting tomorrow. If my mind is somewhere else, then I am not living in the moment. Therefore, I’m planning to work on mindfulness practices that can help me breathe and return to living in the moment when my mind starts to wander. The tasks will always be there but the people we love and serve will not. Spending time and being fully present with others will give me energy for the other work I need to do. By living in the moment and being present I am loving myself into strong relationships.
I could continue to write more because there are many other ways to love yourself. I wonder, how will you, in 2020, love yourself? What will you do to prioritize your wellness?