My precious daughter Monica,
Now that you’re all grown up and you have a daughter of your own, my amazing granddaughter Tayla, I feel that this is a good time to write you this letter about self-care.
“When I am too busy to nourish myself, I fill the void in my heart and fill up on my feelings with food, then I don’t feel as bad, well sorta..”
I am sure that you know exactly what I am talking about…When you were growing up, I was a busy mother with two beautiful children and running my own business. I felt overwhelmed, doubted myself and had no faith in my ability to change, stuck in a vicious cycle of using food as my therapist.
I didn’t know or understand what self-care was, I did too much and lived too little and I am writing to you today to share the valuable lessons I learned about the importance of self-care in your life journey.
This is what it was like..
I grew up believing that the harder I worked and the more I sacrificed, the bigger the reward would be. I was always busy, always saying yes to everything, because if I said “NO” that would mean that I might not be coping and God forbid if I ever let that happen.
So, I existed in a constant state of stress and overwhelm, my calendar packed with overdue projects, while I was saying yes to more. To make room for all that business in my life I would stop exercising, skip meals, but boy did I make up for it every night when I felt like I deserved to reward myself with extra food at the end of the day.
But I was never satisfied and I was always hungry for something more.
I didn’t even know that self-care existed, and if you told me about nourishing myself, I would say not now, I am busy and will eat later.
When we’re busy and stressed, self-care is usually the first thing to go!
For a long time, when I’d feel anxious or stressed, I’d work right through it, frustrated and resentful the entire time. I figured that the more hours I worked the more I would get done. At the end, not taking care of me resulted in adrenal burn-out that claimed six months of my previous life.
I call it my previous life because my life is so nourishing these days.
I certainly learned my lesson and today I know that taking care of my needs and nourishing my soul is the greatest gift I can give myself.
Self-care is a major priority for me and I wouldn’t swap it for anything else!
The biggest lesson I learned is that the only way to get ahead in life is to attend to my needs and invest in myself, so that I can always show up at my best.
I believe that self -care isn’t just important, it’s crucial and essential for your physical, emotional and mental well-being!
It’s about feeding the very core of yourself, believing that you deserve to take care of yourself by listening to your body’s wisdom and the needs and desires that emerge from there.
I am very passionate about the importance of being a good “self-care role model.”
Because it ensures that the next generation, your daughter and her daughter, while having access to more opportunities than their mothers or grandmothers, know how to take care of their needs, so that they can show up and do the work they need to do in the world.
Now, you may sometimes feel that you have no time for yourself at the end of a hectic day and there are far more important things to take care of to meet your own needs.
This is a common barrier for smart, capable women like you and can be difficult to overcome. But making time and space for you and letting go of emotional guilt will help you address your needs and emotions.
So, my dear girl here is my gift to you “self-care tips to fill your self-nourishing bucket” so that you always make yourself a priority:
Remember that you are in charge of nourishing your self- no one else can do it!
My dear girl, when your nourishment bucket is full, you will be firing on all stations: bursting with energy, feel emotionally balanced, spiritually enhanced and ready to cope with any curve balls life throws you!
1. Start by identifying your needs
Use your creativity to create a list of activities that will restore and rejuvenate you. I know you will come up with some fun stuff!
2. Block out times in your calendar for these activities
Now that you have made your list, it’s so important to create the time in your busy schedule, because unless you decide to commit a time to this practise, it may go by the way side when you get busy.
3. Give you self the gift of being present when you are practising your self-nourishing activities.
This may feel challenging at first.
I encourage you to remind yourself what I have often said to you: “I am the most important and valuable project I will ever work on”
4. When you nourish yourself -always enjoy it
Nourishing yourself should feel enjoyable and not like another chore on you’re to –do list.
If you have scheduled a nourishing activity but you are too tired, its ok to go to bed and nourish yourself with sleep.
There is so much more I could say, but one thing to always remember:
Taking good care of yourself first is the greatest gift you can give yourself and is essential to having the energy you need to deal with life!
Please remember I’ll always love you to the moon and back and back again. You and your brother Peter are and always will be my greatest accomplishments.
And lastly always believe in yourself. Everything starts and ends there.
And if you ever lose your way on this life journey, please come back to me and I will always support and remind you.
Sending you love and blessings,
Your mama Irena xox
Emotional Eating Coach
BSc (Biomed), Cert IV (PT), Wellness Coach (Level 3))
I coach 35+ women to put down their fork and pick up their life. If you want to end your
struggles with excess weight, stress and self-belief, using your strengths and capabilities, book a free 15-minute mini-coaching session with me and I’ll show you how to transform your life.
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