Have you ever found yourself with a to-do list a mile long and still growing?  Have you felt like you just can’t spare a minute to breathe let alone meet a friend for a fun lunch?  How do you feel when the demands on you are greater than your time and energy?  I know that when I get caught up in this thinking, I feel tired, edgy, sick and unhappy.  It doesn’t have to be this way!

This is a cycle that many of us get caught up in at least every once in awhile.  Putting off the things that will keep you feeling better until later just so that you can get one more thing done in your life.  This is not a fun cycle to be in for me & I’m sure you don’t appreciate it much either.

This thinking that I’ll take care of myself after I finish all of my chores for the day just doesn’t work out.  I very rarely find myself without anything to do.  I can always find more to add to my list.  That means that at the end of the day, I’m often still trying to do just one or two more things before I go to bed.  I then end up going to bed later than I should.  I don’t get enough sleep and the next day I’m tired and not working at my full capacity.

I’m sabotaging myself with this behavior.  I know it.  I just haven’t completely broken myself of this habit.  That’s what it’s become.  A habit.  This taking care of myself later, but later too often doesn’t arrive.  And thus, I don’t take care of myself as well as I could.

I’ve actually been aware of this pattern for quite awhile.  I’m better than I used to be at it.  What has helped to change my behavior has been my connection to my body.  I’ve learned to better read the signals that it’s giving me.  I’ve learned to listen to it when it’s tired and take a break.  I notice when it’s time to move & change positions or just get up.  These signals can be large or small.  I don’t always get it right & still ignore those signals at times, but even just getting the signals right part of the time has helped me to feel so much better.  I’m not as rushed to get everything done & my body has fewer aches and pains.

So, this week I’m thinking about this pattern again, because a friend said that she’d like to get together with me for lunch.  I would love to see her because it’s been awhile since we caught up.  However, this friend said she’d let me know when she got everything done on her to-do list and then we’d meet up.  It immediately hit me that I’ve been doing this a bit lately again.  That would explain why I’m feeling a bit tired.  I forgot to keep doing my own self-care consistently.  Oops!

So, if you’re like me, a recovering mom who has spent the last 21 years taking care of others and still trying to remember that I’m part of the equation too, then join me in putting yourself a little higher on that to-do list.  As an empty-nester, I’m working on rearranging my priorities.  It’s a habit that’s been years in the making and I’ll slowly unwind it.  You can too.

I have a free workshop this weekend October 20th about finding your own path again after the kids have left the house.  Remembering to take care of yourself is a huge part of the process.  Whether your kids are about to leave the house or your kids have been gone for a few years, this workshop is for you.  If you’re local to me, join me & discover what’s important to you in this part of life.  Here’s a link to info on the workshop.  I look forward to seeing you there.

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