- Be the best employee. Show up early, stay late. Put in at least 50 hours each week. Be the one who always goes the extra mile. Get promoted. Work more hours.
- Be the best partner. Go on lots of dates. Wear sexy clothes. Have meaningful conversation daily, spending at least an hour together each night to discuss your hopes and dreams.
- Be the best mom. Make bento box lunches (don't forget to put them on instagram), volunteer for every school field trip. Host pinterest-worthy birthday parties.
- Look like a supermodel while you're doing all of this.
This is not real. This is made up; it is fantasy. We all know this, and yet so many of us still strive for it. And this is the stuff that is killing us.
I used to go to yoga class 6 days a week and spin at 5 am every morning, juice regularly and make 95% of my food at home, take (extremely long) showers daily, get pedicures and 90 minute massages every two weeks, brew kombucha and make my own yogurt.
I had me time. And then I had kids.
We need this time more than ever after becoming mothers, yet this is when that time is scarce. And time in itself is sacred - we want to spend every minute with our families and in doing so, we sacrifice ourselves.
On a scale of 1-10 (1 being lowest), the average mom rates her stress level at a 7-8. And the average mom takes less than 5 minutes each day to spend on herself.
This isn't just sacrificial in the sense of time, it is literally sacrificing your health. Over 90% of disease in this country is stress-induced. The number of women with those stress-induced diseases (cancer, heart disease, stroke, diabetes) is increasing every year. Why? We put more and more on our plates, and take less and less time for ourselves.
I don't know about you, but I want to be here as long as I can. And I don't just want to be here, I want to enjoy it. I want to run with my daughters and do cartwheels in the back yard. I want to travel with my family to amazing places. I want to watch my kids get married. I want to watch my grandbabies not only grow up, but roll on the floor with them. I want my retirement years with my husband to be active, not in a nursing home.
You may be young now, but NOW is the time to start thinking about these things. Now is the time to take care of yourself. Don't put it off, don't act like this is a phase. I get it and I am with you - time is scarce and we put ourselves last. But its time to stop. Every day, every week you delay self care, you may be shortening your life and hurting your health.