A new year is a time of reflection and resolution. As we reflect on 2022, the world has been through soaring inflation, the spreading Omicron variant of the Corona Virus, Russia invading Ukraine, the overturn of abortion rights, fires, floods, and massive heat waves. Plus, the everyday stresses of family, work, and life.
I remember a quote from Tony Hunter in a webinar hosted by SimplyBe. Agency, Exemplifying Purpose + Vision Every Day. Tony said, “The world will never be this slow again. As fast as we think it is today, it will never be this slow”. If this is true, and our lives are only getting busier daily, taking time to slow down is more important than ever.
In 2022, I decided to do just that. I voluntarily took time away from a growing career and company I loved to focus on myself. The decision was called "brave" by colleagues and friends, but I couldn't help but feel guilty and even had to grieve the loss of my existing career.
Why is it so hard to focus on ourselves?
When I decided to quit my job, I knew I needed to work on my physical health, but I did not fully understand the level of work needed on my mental health.
I was working full time, had a toddler and husband at home, and was feeling the aftermath of the years before---I like to call it a global pandemic hangover. I was burnt out, overwhelmed, and feeling depressed. I got a chronic cough that wouldn't go away and kept getting sick every other week. My body was physically in pain, and I had one issue after another that led to many hospital visits.
Once I quit my job, my health began improving immediately, but it took a lot of doctor's appointments and medication shifts to get to a good place, and I'm still a work in progress. After all that, I realized there was much more going on that a doctor trained to fix the physical body could not help.
Organically, I found a book by Shannon Kaiser, "Return to You: 11 Spiritual Lessons for Unshakable Inner Peace. Shannon says, “Self-love is not a place we get to but a place we choose.” This book changed my life. I highly recommend it.
Taking this time to focus on myself taught me to add self-care to my routine. It also allowed me to spend more time with my four-year-old son. He is about to go into elementary school, and the time we got together during this break was a gift I will always cherish. I learned that making "me-time" a priority daily is the best way to take care of myself and my family. Here are the top five intentions I am committing to make me a priority in 2023. What are your top five?
I used to wake up, rush to get ready, and get out the door. It would leave me feeling stressed out from the start and lead to more bad days than I'd like to admit. But waking up earlier and creating a morning ritual has helped tremendously. Giving myself a slow start to the day with a warm cup of tea that I can sip and savor has become my favorite me-time moment first thing in the day.
Taking 20 minutes daily to meditate in a quiet place helps mood, provides a sense of calm, and helps with anxiety. It's provided a spiritual connection that I have been missing in my life.
Writing down what's going on, daily gratitude, and even plans have made me feel more grounded. My brain can get out the thoughts circling in my head, and I can be more present.
Hot water, your favorite bath soak, some candles, and a lock on the door is the best recipe for a bath soak break. Just 15 minutes will help my mood, soothe my muscles, calm my anxiety, and make me feel relaxed before bedtime.
Treat yourself! I have to remind myself to do this. But when I do, it is such a treat. Having a professional massage, or facial gives me the ultimate me-time. A good spa appointment gets me outside the house and all the distractions for a real break.
Visit our Gift Box Shop on mountainmadegifts.com for gift ideas for anyone in your life who can use a little me-time.
Keep checking back, I'm adding more boxes every week.