|Image from Titus Dentistry|
I was brushing my teeth a few evenings back and I was struck by a realization: I hadn't brushed them that morning. Eww! How could I forget something so basic, so routine, so important? Perhaps because I was busy feeding and dressing (and, yes, kissing and hugging) my son, driving my husband to the train station, running errands, preparing meals--all those things that moms do. And because taking care of myself was such a low priority that I just plum forgot.
That's not okay.
Women are nurturers, nourishers, and givers...often to everyone but themselves. Unfortunately, a woman's health and well-being may come last on her long to-do list. That's not okay, either.
The Full Belly Sisters' philosophy is this: if you don't take care of yourself, you won't be able to take care of anyone else. Here's an example my sister and I give when working with clients: flight attendants on an airplane always instruct you to put your own oxygen mask on first before putting on your child's mask. Otherwise, you could jeopardize your child's health as well as your own. And you don't want to do that.
|Interesting that it's a dad in this graphic.|
So, let's spend seven days--that's all I ask!--focusing on taking better care of ourselves. Anyone can do this: you don't have to be a mom or a parent or a woman! Let's eat better, sleep more, stimulate our intellects and creativity, get our blood pumping through exercise. Let's treat ourselves more kindly.
I was kindest to myself when I was pregnant. I felt like the least I could do for the person growing in my body was to eat nourishing foods, to rest when I felt weary, to take the time to breathe and relax, to be gentle with myself. I remember--when my belly was big and round--I would take evening showers to soothe my aching body, then I would rub lovely-scented oils all over that belly. Part of this ritual was due to vanity (I was trying to avoid stretch marks!); a larger part was this newfound and deep respect I'd found for my body. I wanted to take care of me because that was the only way to take care of my baby.
|My well-moisturized belly.|
Pick a goal that is meaningful to you, one that motivates you and that doesn't seem too easy. You will rise to the challenge. And you will feel proud of accomplishing something that felt like it was maybe just a teensy bit out of your reach.
It'll be different for each of us. Some of us may want to take a 30-minute walk each day; others may aim to try new classes at the gym. Some may choose to cut out all sugar; others may put one less spoonful in their coffee each morning. Some may elect to go to bed an hour earlier than usual, to read instead of vegging out in front of the TV for hours; others may wake up an hour earlier in the morning, to do yoga or meditate or take a long (uninterrupted by children) shower. You may want to do something different for each of the seven days. Or you might want to join me in making sure you brush your teeth twice every day!
We'll officially kick off the seven-day challenge on November 1, after the mishegoss of Halloween and before the menu-planning mayhem of Thanksgiving. Start thinking about what your goal will be and what obstacles may currently be in the way of your meeting that goal.
Accountability can be a huge source of motivation. So, I ask you to announce your goal in the comments below (I'll announce mine, as well). Make it concrete; look at it when you find that you may be losing focus; let others here cheer you on. And, in seven days, come back and report on how you did: did you meet your goal? Or even exceed your expectations?
On each day of this challenge, we will post helpful tips, encouraging words, and small self-care "assignments," both here and on our Facebook page; we will also feature some special guest posts. It's going to be great. Join us!
Turn this challenge into an opportunity.
Update: Our Day One post is now up!
Update: Day Two!
Update: Day Three!
Update: Day Four!
Update: Day Five!
Update: Day Six!
Update: Day Seven!