Self Care Is Not Selfish

“An empty lantern

provides no light.

Self-care is the fuel

that allows your light

to shine brightly.”

– Anonymous

#StopDropAndDance

Dear Friends,

I usually send this blog by Sunday night so that it will be in your inbox by Monday morning. For the past 6 months since I started promoting Stop Drop And Dance, I have stuck to this rule. If I finished my blog by 10pm Sunday night, I would send it at 10pm. If I finished at 3am, I would send it at 3am. Then there was that time I finished at 6am…

Yesterday was Father’s Day. It was also my 12th wedding anniversary. We drove an hour and a half to see my parents and sister’s family for the first time in 100 days. We went for a hike. We hung out in my parents’ backyard. We got takeout and kept to the social distancing rules. We got home and by the time the kids were showered and tucked in bed, it was past 10pm. By the time I showered and got settled, it was 11pm.

It was time to start my blog: Sunday night 11pm. But guess what? I am proud of myself, because for the first time, I actually told myself, NO. I am going to go to bed and I will write it tomorrow.

What does self-care look like for you?

It’s not easy to prioritize ourselves first. We have stressful jobs. We have kids to take care of. We have so many things (endless things) on our to-do list. We want to stay up and watch that series. We have our not-so-great habits. There’s always some excuse NOT to take care of ourselves.

But then the consequence is we crash. Physically we crash. Mentally we crash. Emotionally we crash. Spiritually we crash.

What does crashing look like?

Can you recognize your body signaling for you to slow down?

For me, I get migraines. I’ve had the longest streak of migraines in these past 100 days. I have chronic neck pain. I am emotionally low. I am not feeling like myself.

How are you?

Really, how are you?

Below are 5 ideas that I know I need to prioritize in my life (easier said than done, but making a list is the first step!). I hope some of these ideas speak to you as well:

  1. 1. Get Enough Sleep.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends 7-9 hours of sleep per night for adults. But it’s also important to keep sleep times consistent by sleeping by the same time each night and waking up at the same time. Avoid caffeine or excess sugar, as well as exercise and devices before bedtime.

I will try to sleep by __________ and wake up at ___________ every night.

2. Exercise and Move.

The American Heart Association recommends getting at least 2.5 hours of moderate exercise a week, which comes out to 21.4 minutes a day. Or exercise 5 days a week for 30 minutes and take 2 days off. Do squats and lift weights while you watch TV, go on a social distance walk, or join us online and Stop Drop And Dance! I promise it doesn’t “really” feel like exercise, which is why I love it – plus my kids can join in too =)

I will try to exercise ___________ minutes __________ days per week.

3. Eat Right.

Most of us grew up knowing the “Food Pyramid.” Have you seen this “MyPlate” image from the USDA Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion? They have an app you can download to help plan out your meals. For me, I eat pretty healthy at meals… until the late-night snacking monster comes out. So if you’re like me, then maybe an app like MyFitnessPal will help to keep you accountable on those extra desserts. But let me be clear, there is always room for dessert.

I will try to eat more __________and less __________.

4. Get Outside.

Did you know that in 2018 the Environmental Protection Agency said the average American spends 93% of their life indoors? I wonder what the past 100 days statistic was… 99%? It’s called “nature’s prescription.” Getting outdoors is linked to happiness, energy, and stress relief. If you garden, then congrats you’re probably soaking up at least 20 minutes of sunshine everyday! For the rest of us, maybe getting outside everyday is a challenge, so let’s plan something for the weekend. Some hotels are even starting to open up – maybe it’s time to look at mini weekend getaways!

This week I will go outside to __________.

5. Do More Of What You Want.

I always say that time is the one thing we cannot get back. Time is valuable and we have a limited amount of it. So what do you want to spend your time doing? Maybe you’re like me and you want to do everything. So the challenge becomes… figuring out what is at the top of that list and letting go of the others.

I want to do more ___________ and let go of __________.

The top of my list this week was: Celebrating my parents’ 49th anniversary. Celebrating Father’s Day. Seeing my sister’s family. Going on a hike. Drinking a Yammy Taro boba from my friend Sharon’s shop, Tea Fermata, in Los Gatos. A belated birthday dinner for my husband. Sleeping before midnight. Teaching Stop Drop And Dance. Inspired dancing with Katie and Sara this week who both donated $10/dancer for their birthdays totaling $540 for Black Lives Matter, $540 for Couscious Kitchen, and $540 for the Conscious Kid. Going to China Camp beach with my family. Hugging and tickling my girls. And finally, celebrating my 12th wedding anniversary with my hubby:

This is what my mom told me yesterday, “You have to love yourself first. Then you can give that love away.” She is 100% right, and I’m really going to try to work on my own self-care. I hope you will join me.

Love,

Grace

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