We’ve all been there. Life gets a little crazy, and we start to neglect ourselves. We stay up late, start our mornings with coffee, and skip meals just to keep our heads above water. Perhaps we are caring for someone else, or it’s a particularly stressful time at work. Suddenly, it becomes easy to fall out of the routines that we have worked so hard to build. This is a reality I know all too well and have lived with for the better part of the last couple of years. We know that we need to make ourselves our own priority, but how do you do that when you have so many other competing priorities that require your attention?
As a ten-year thyroid cancer survivor this year, I know how important it is to remain vigilant about my health. Pre-pandemic, I was a regular at boutique fitness classes after work, and on Saturday, you could usually find me at my favorite kickboxing workout. But nowadays, I’m happy if I have 30 minutes to squeeze in an at-home cardio workout at the end of my day. Going out to eat with friends has been replaced by ordering takeout on my way home from my nightly visits with my grandmother. And sleeping in on the weekends has become heading out to the barn to get in a ride or two (if I’m lucky) or catching up on errands I didn’t have time for during the week. My self-care routine of hitting the infrared sauna for some relaxation and detoxification has also been on hiatus as of late.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed that I have felt drained, anxious, and at times, overwhelmed. While it may look like I do it all and have it all together over on Instagram, the reality is very different. I do my best to keep it together, but there are plenty of days when I am literally too exhausted to do anything. While my usual instinct would be to push myself to be productive, this new version of me is happy to offer myself the grace I need.
While my schedule isn’t likely to change anytime soon, there was one area of my life that I noticed could use improvement—and that’s my self-care routine. I always feel better when I am taking care of myself, whether that’s doing a workout, a meditation, or visiting a wellness studio. And carving out time for self-care is just as important as taking a meeting, doing errands, and all of the other tasks we do as busy millennials. So, here’s to taking inventory of what needs improving in my life and coming up with ways to incorporate more self-care into my routine again.