This month is always a rough one for me as it was five years ago that I discovered a lump that was ultimately diagnosed with Triple Negative Breast Cancer. I look back on that day often as had I followed my initial plan, I am certain my diagnosis would have come at a much later date. Triple Negative is an aggressive form of breast cancer and waiting could have been deadly. For weeks, I literally had no energy. I would wake in the morning, prepare breakfast, rush the kids off to the bus stop so that I could head back to the couch to sleep until it was time for them to come home. I knew that this was not normal and that I needed to seek medical help but I was not the priority.
Self-care was not part of my daily life as I had a family to raise. I didn't have time to be on hold making appointments only to realize that I had too much on my calendar to even go to the appointment. At this stage in my life, I was enjoying the freedom that elementary school provided me and the last thing I wanted to do was be in a doctors office. In fact, I tried to reschedule my initial mammogram but the universe was not having it. I just kept saying that I didn't have time. Time is a valuable commodity that many of us take for granted. There never seems to be enough of it which is why making self-care a priority often falls to the bottom of the list.
Neglecting yourself will bring your family more harm than good. Stress, burnout, and illness can quickly creep in when you aren't getting what you need. It's important that you become intentional and honor yourself by committing to practicing self-care. We owe this not only to ourselves but to set an example for our children.
But where do we begin?
Here are a few ideas to get you started, whether it's a few minutes a day or the entire day, you are worth it.
1. Get Moving
Find an activity that motivates you to elevate your heart rate consistently. Getting outside and exploring your neighborhood is a great way to start. It only requires putting on some comfortable clothing, including the champion absolute mesh sports bra and lacing up your favorite sneakers. Champion offers comfortable clothing at budget friendly pricing and I like that it accommodates all body types. Larger busted women often struggle with garments that provide moderate support so they avoid working out. Champion athletic wear is quick drying and doesn't chafe the skin while providing just the right amount of support without feeling constricted.
If you can't get outside you can just dance where you are. When I am exercising having great sound while sweating is a challenge. I have been using the *Aftershokz, Trekz Air, it fits near your ear using your inner ear to conduct sound. The Aftershokz, Trekz Air stays on comfortable while I am jogging or dancing around the house. Being bud free makes it easier to be mindful of your surroundings.
2. Feed Your Body
What we eats affects the way our bodies function. Too much of the wrong food, can send the wrong signals and cause our bodies to be overweight, or put you for greater health risk. Healthy eating is a priority for our children and should be for us. I recently started replacing one meal per day with a plant based option. It was hard at first but starting my day with a organic smoothie using fresh vegetables, coconut water and Beet Powder and organic turmeric extract has truly made a difference. I definitely have more energy and I'm looking forward to increase it to two meals a day. Pure synergy is offering a 15% discount if you enter “PureSynergyPartner” at checkout. Beets are an immune system booster and using the beet juice powder allows you to avoid the messy cleanup that can sometimes be associated with juicing beets. It also made juicing on the go easier using my promixx.
Vitamins also add to maintaining optimal health. I add turmeric seasoning to almost every meal that is prepared in my home. It is one of few herbs that provide both antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. The organic turmeric extract provides an extra layer of protection and as a breast cancer survivor, I know that it matters.
Put this on the calendar for yourself and the kids. You would never let them miss an annual exam so why should you. We want our children to mirror our positive behavior. I remind all of my women friends to do monthly self-breast exams and schedule mammograms. Eye care is often neglected despite the apparent squinting. Zenni Optical makes it easy to order glasses online once you know your prescription. I I took my daughter to Target for a quick vision check. I was able to use the prescription details and Pupillary Distance (PD) and quickly order inexpensive quality glasses on the Zenni Optical website.
As a new mom, everyone says to sleep when the baby does but no one reminds you that as they grow the naps become fewer and fewer. Rather than enjoying the much needed 8 hours of sleep we are waking early or staying up late to get things done while the kids are still asleep. A regular relaxing bedtime routine makes it easy to accomplish. I tend to read and or do a brain dump in my bullet journal while smelling the relaxing scents of a Chesapeake Bay Mind and Body wellness candle. The Confidence and Freedom, Chesapeake Bay candle is soy based with a clean scent that I don't mind burning after a long day. Upon lighting the essentials oils fill the room signaling that it is time to wind down.
5. Stay Connected
Often as parents,our lives revolve around our children and as they age and need us less, we are lost. Make it a goal to have a lunch/dinner date with a friend monthly or pick up a new hobby. Check the community calendar as there are often some great events and its a great way to meet new friends. My local library host a monthly book club and they invite the members to suggest books. Part of making me a priority means, I will read at least one book per month. I was gifted The Myth of a Nice Girland the title alone drew me in. I haven't finished it yet but I'm enjoying the positive messages of female empowerment. It's the perfect message to remind myself that I have to “reclaim my time”
Before you get started on any self- care regime, I encourage you to seek someone that will hold you accountable. It is easy to become sidetracked with all that life throws at us. Just remember that making yourself as a priority is required to be the best that you can be!
Disclosure: This post is sponsored by BabbleBoxx.com but all opinions belong to me
*Use code TOMIKA30 and save $30 on any purchase of Aftershokz until June 30th.