Point to Ponder:
Do you give yourself the necessary breaks that you need?
by Neissa Brown Springmann
“Sometimes a break from your routine is the very thing you need.” Is that the truth or what?! Being one week removed from iGnite’s Re-New Year Rise & Shine Retreat in San Diego, although I was technically working and the retreat was a whopping thirty minutes from my home, it hit the spot. Of course I love my family and my life, but I just needed to step away from my day to day responsibilities and immerse myself into a new scene. As always, I returned home more patient, grateful, loving and passionate. Not to sound cliche, but I was rejuvenated, had a renewed energy and sense of self.
What I find over and over again (yes–it’s the definition of insanity-ugh) is when I neglect my physical, mental and spiritual needs, I quickly reach my tipping point and I don’t like who I become. As I’ve mentioned in previous journals, I have a skin crawling experience and I get resentful and very unpleasant….and to be even more honest, I get mean. I become quick tempered, yell, have very little to no patience and am no fun to be around. Everything becomes a struggle and in all facets, not only am I not myself, but I am a fraction of my best.
Sure, I could blame my husband’s work schedule, as him being gone often and us living so far from family makes taking regular time for me more difficult to coordinate, however this is on me. I know this about myself. In order to get the necessary breaks that allow me to be my best, I must schedule time for me and do so without any guilt. This doesn’t have to be a four day retreat or anything expensive or elaborate–it just needs to be a few hours away from my children, my computer, my phone, my house and my regular commitments.
My good friend and iGnite member Catherine Sanderson recently sent me an excellent article written by holistic health coach, Ashley Berry titled “Why Self Care Isn’t Weak”. In it, Ashley writes about her journey with healing her sick body, but she also speaks directly to our great need for holistic (mind, body, spirit) well being, including rest, rejuvenation and caring for our whole selves–something that I believe every woman needs encouragement and support to do and regularly practice.
Finally, I encourage you to read Ashley’s entire article, but for starters, below is an excerpt and great reminder of our female tendencies and how and why we need to shift. Also, because you have your calendar out and are scheduling time for you (wink wink hint hint) be sure to secure July 28 – August 2 for the iGnite Summer Escape, an exhilarating, exciting, and empowering girlfriend getaway and break from your summer and life routine. Location with all details coming soon!
If you look at the animal kingdom, you’ll see that all creatures from birds to mammals and even insects practice self-care instinctually. When they’re sick, they eat plants that heal them. When they’re tired or injured, they rest. If they’re social animals, they seek connection when they need it. But somewhere along the way in our evolution as a species, we learned how to override the needs of our bodies and minds, and eventually even built a culture around doing just that. Almost everywhere we turn, there’s some sort of messaging that encourages us to push ourselves to our limits, to hustle, to grind, to work hard, and to play even harder. But where does rest factor into this equation? At what point did self-care get deemed self-indulgent?
Most of us know that our greatest wealth is health. There’s no amount of money that can buy happiness if we’re suffering mentally or physically, and yet, social pressures, both implicit and explicit, make it incredibly challenging to make choices that support our well being. We forgo using our sick days. We pull the long hours, fueled by sugar and coffee. We sweep our mounting stress levels under the rug with alcohol or food.
We use busyness to avoid being present with ourselves because if we stopped and stood still, we might feel the full weight of the overwhelm we’ve created in our own lives.
So the question is, how do we shift? How do we grab the reins and steer our culture to a place that is more supportive of our most basic needs?
By honing in on one person, one choice, one small, revolutionary act at a time. We all have the opportunity to look at our own lives and get honest about the ways in which we are not caring for ourselves. We can start conversations that promote awareness of the importance of both mental and physical health. We can model unapologetic self-care, and in doing so, give permission to those around us to do the same.
Pause and identify where you are not caring of yourself and then start making plans and schedule important time for you.
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