" I just.. feel.. like.. my.. chest.. is so tight."
I gasped through feeling short of breath.
Am I dying? Is this my asthma?
And then the tears started flowing.
What the hell is wrong with me?
Panic attack? Maybe.
Never had one of those before.
Burnout? I knew I was walking a slippery slope, as I've been down that road before.
What was the culprit?
I'd love to say managing full time work, business coaching, house renovations, 30 kids at my son's 5th birthday party, holiday celebrations, and trying to not emotionally eat all the left over Halloween chocolate in the house is the reason why,
But there is only one thing.
I let my self care plan go out the window.
Don't get me wrong, I wasn't sitting on the couch eating pizza, sleeping my life away (no judgement there if that's your jam),
It was quite the opposite.
I got caught in the rat race of serving my clients, family, friends, peers, and community that I honestly didn't even notice.
I was over-scheduled, and hitting the ground running every day.
I'd love to tell you it's because my business is booming ( it is and it's super exciting) and I'm a high performer (x 10) and feel called to help.. everyone.
But really it's because my people pleasing tendencies started to kick back in.
I've come a long way in the self-care game, but it doesn't mean I don't relapse from time to time.
I've battled my whole life with not feeling good enough,
And the holiday time always gets me.
It's a time where I try to do "everything right" to make up for a life of feeling like I do everything wrong.
Maybe that's why I love the movie National Lampoons Christmas Vacation so much.
Clark forgets to bring the saw, his in-laws are dysfunctional, his tree gets lit on fire,
He gets a "jelly of the month club" card, and the police show up at his house due to his boss bring kidnapped by cousin Eddie.
He tries so hard for the holidays to be "perfect."
But when you constantly give away pieces of yourself, or try to control EVERYTHING, you either crash or explode.
In his case, he saws off the newel post, freaks out, and asks for the Tylenol.
For me, it was feeling like I'm having a panic attack.
So I had to check myself.
The other part of high performance is knowing what makes you productive and what does not.
Knowing what "moves the needle" and what's busy work.
Knowing what's true priority or someone else's demands/wants/wishes of you.
So for the last 2 weeks, I've made some changes.
We recently got a hot tub! It's stage one of our backyard dream staycation oasis. So each night, I put my phone away, and put it on airplane mode, so I can't be tempted to pull it out when I hear a ding or buzz or feel like I'm missing something important if it's on silent.
I take a nightly dip, close my eyes and rest for a few moments, take a cool shower (as the hot to cold resets the system) and I sleep like a baby.
I joined a gym. AND I went to a Body Combat Class at 5:30pm, in the middle of mom time, dinner time, bath time, story time, start the crazy night routine time. And it was ALL GOOD. My hubby is quite capable of holding down the fort when I let him help.
I've gone to the gym 6 days a week for the past 3 weeks. I schedule it in just like my other meetings.
(Now having a health and fitness side hustle with Beachbody in which I work out at home, I have some explaining to do.)
I still love my at home workouts. They worked for me for many years, especially when I just had our son Oliver, and I could only sneak in 20-30 minute workouts.
But I found myself trying to jam in my workout at home, in the shortest amount of time possible, so I could move on to all of my other to-dos.
Being away from home, in the company of people, where there isn't anything else I CAN do, but workout, feels good.
I'm starting to feel like "me" again.
Powerful. Unstoppable. Strong.
Sometimes we forget who we are.
3. Saying "No" AAAAAA...LLLOOOTTT.
To meetings, get together that I don't want to go to, to business deals that don't feel right.
No is such a hard word for a people pleaser, but it's a word that's necessary.
Saying yes to everything is a lack of self-respect.
And if we don't respect ourselves, no one else will.
That's a lesson I'm still learning daily.
So this holiday season, whatever comes up for you.
Joy, gratitude, peace, or maybe hurt, sadness, criticism
Know that you have the power to give yourself the gift of self care.
We all have the power of choice.
Before you say, "yes" stop and think about what you really want.
Before you get caught in the "you have to do it this way," Do it in a way that feels right to you.
Give yourself the gift of time, space, and rest.
You've earned it.
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