I recently heard the most amazing imagery to describe the value of having good self care. It instantly changed my perspective on the topic, as well as my approach to taking better care of myself. I hope it will have the same impact on you, and encourage you to seek pursuing better self care for the benefit of bettering your mental health, your life, and the life of those around you.
Imagine for a second that "self care" was a vase full of water. As a woman, one of our natural instincts given by God is to take care of, and nurture those around us. So naturally, we think to share what's being poured into us with the people we love, and the people we do community with. We start draining our own vase by passing out, and sharing scoops of our water with those around us, until the vase is depleted and has run completely dry. Now we find ourselves with nothing left to give, and in turn as natural nurturer's... we're a mess because of it.
This is the reality of self care for a lot of people I know. Truthfully, it's been my own reality for far too long. Constantly draining ourselves to "empty", for the benefit of those around us, when in all actuality...there is a much better way for us to pour into other's. A way that allows us to avoid falling apart as we left feeling bone dry.
Now imagine with me, if you instead of handing out ALL those countless scoops of water, you just stood still-in one place. That one place allowed God to just keep filling up your vase of water. What would eventually happen? THE VASE WOULD START TO OVER FLOW, and not only would YOU be full, you'd also be able to pour into and serve those around you more effectively from the overflow of what God has poured into you.
"You can't pour from an empty cup. Take care of yourself first." -Unknown.
There are many different ways that we can invest wisely into self care. Over the next 6 weeks, here on the Stripped Down To Real Blog and our Social Meida accounts, we'll be tackling head on one topic at a time, of self care.
Week 1: Physical Self Care.
Yes, this the part of this blog post where I put emphasis on the importantance of having good physical self care. I know...I know...this can be awkward. I get it. Really, I do. I've struggled here in this place with physical self care for years. It isn't always easy to talk about, and can bring up some raw emotions for some. So I'll go first, I will openly admit, this has been a huge struggle for Ryan and myself. As a family with young kids, time is already stretched thin. As a young family with kids, one of our kiddos being special needs who requires one on one at all times...our time feels IMPOSSIBLY stretched thin.
We've been those people who have had good intentions, buying a gym membership on Black Friday and promising ourselves that we would make good use of it. [Insert laughter here] Then life happened. It was hard to get to the gym. Someone would get sick. Or the kids were home for Thanksgiving Break/Christmas break, they'd have sports, concerts, and playdates, or there was no one who could come watch our special needs child every day for me to justify going to the gym for an hour. Before we knew it...it was Valentine's Day and guess how many times we had used that gym membership? ZERO. I was mortified when I called the gym to cancel, and after looking up my account, the man on the other end of the phone said, "You haven't actually visited this location since your sign up date, is that correct?" I could have died..."Yes, that's correct. Life got kind of crazy..." followed by my own nervous laughter. And here's what I heard on the other side of the phone, CRICKETS!
Last year however, I was feeling run down and burnt out. As my daughter's full time care taker, I felt entirely overwhelmed. I knew that when I had physical exercise, and when I was eating healthier, I felt like a brand new me! So I decided for my sanity, it was time to try a different approach to this whole gym business. I wanted to find something that would be affordable, that would work with our busy schedule, and didn't feel like an impossible task. This is when we decided to try Beach Body's online workout subscription- Beach Body on Demand. (Disclaimer: I am not a coach, I don't sell Beach Body, I just HIGHLY recommend their online workout subscription.) It is an online library of all the most effective, highly successful, and most popular work out programs. Many of which are 20-30 minutes. Bingo! The options are endless, and you can stream them from anywhere you have wifi. We personally stream them right to our t.v. in the comfort of our own home. All you have to do is sign up and find a program that you enjoy and fits your schedule and fitness goals.
One year later, I can look back and say this has been one of the WISEST investments we have ever made into our physical health! We saw such an immeasurable change in our mental health, when we were finding time for self care in the form of daily exercise and eating well. For that reason one of our resolutions for 2019 was to wake up every day at 5am to work out together, and kick start our day in the healthiest way we know how. I don't say this to toot our own horn, I just want you to know that IT IS POSSIBLE to find the time, IT IS POSSIBLE to work out and eat healthier with a busy schedule, and IT IS POSSIBLE to get out of the slump you feel you've been in for far too long! It will be he hard, and there will be days you don't feel like it. Those days try to put your best foot forward, and if you fall short, give yourself grace and try again tomorrow. Just don't quit.
Self Care Giveaway!
I'm SO excited to announce our "Self Care Giveaway". Being a special needs parent, I understand the challenges that comes along with balancing being a care taker and finding time for physical exercise. It's hard. I won't lie about that. BUT: it's so important, and absolutely worth it! Because I've see first hand the way Body On Demand has changed my husband and I's relationship with physical self care, I wanted to find a way to gift a 1 year subscription to body on demand to a Special Needs Parent who is looking to start investing into their own physical self care journey.
Insert an amazingly sweet and giving human being- Amy Rada. She is a 15 Star Diamond Beach Body Coach of Team HappyHealthyHumble! I was BEYOND humbled and excited to collaborate with Amy on this giveaway! She has found astounding success in pursuing a lifestyle of disciplined physical self care, and is a huge inspiration to anyone looking to improve their life through physical self care. This isn't about a number on the scale guys, this isn't about having the most amazing body you've dreamed of, it isn't about fitting into a pair of jeans in the back of your closet that you haven't worn in ages. Those things are all great, and exciting, but if you follow Amy on Instagram or on Facebook you can attest to the impact this journey has also had on her mental health, her positive attitude for life, and that is what we hope this giveaway will build up for the winner!
Entries start Today- January 16th, 2019. Giveaway ends at 10pm January 21st, 2019.
Winner will be randomly selected and announced on January 22nd via Stripped Down To Real's Facebook/Instagram account, congratulation's e-mail to follow.
Requirements For Giveaway Submission:
1.) You must be a special needs parent, OR NOMINATING a special needs parent.
2.) Like and Share Original Facebook Giveaway Post.
4.) Email StrippedDownToReal@gmail.com
-Your name, or the name of the special needs parent you're nominating.
-How you hope to see this physical self care journey change your life, or the life of the person your nominating.