I mentioned in the “About” page that I am a massage therapist. I am. I have been for 12 years now. I own my own private practice here in Southern Arizona. I love what I do. I am passionate about healing. What I love most about it, is that it’s like a super power we all have inside of us. We heal ourselves. Our body’s immune response and even emotional healing, all comes from with in. Part of my job is to educate people on wellness such as exercises and stretches they can do to correct postural distortions that may be causing them pain or recommendations on how to live a healthier balanced life. One of the hardest things for me to realize was that I was living a lie. In my own life I wasn’t taking my own advice that I so often give to my clients.
I won’t get too much into the past, but I will say I was in an unhappy marriage and was taking care of everyone else. I put my kids, my husband, my parents and even my clients first. I took care of each persons needs while ignoring my own. This was something I was doing to myself , but was not being honest about it. It took me about 10 years to finally speak up and say what I needed. It was still one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do in my life. To say that I wanted a divorce. Admitting that I made mistakes and admitting that I couldn’t fix it or make it work any more. Staying was killing me from the inside out and that was even worse than having to take that very painful step.
Suddenly I was forced to look at myself, alone, and say “Who are you now?” I always tell my clients that self care is important. It’s crucial to your health. Now it was time for me to start putting myself and my wellness first.
I started doing the things that I love but had always put on hold for my family. In doing so my life started balancing out. I started learning the importance of putting energy in all the different areas in my life. Now I teach others how to balance their lives too, but am also actively practicing what I recommend to my clients.
The facts are that there are 6 areas of life that we all have. If all of our focus and energy is spent in only one or two of these areas we start feeling drained, tired, depressed, stressed, even angry. Over time this leads to exhaustion and burn out. Having a healthy balance in these areas allows us to feel better because we aren’t continuously pouring our energy into only one aspect of our lives. In our society I feel this happens so much to everyone. Whether it’s spending all of your time working and not being able to take time for yourself, or for moms who always put their families first and ignore their own needs. Even children who are feeling the pressures of education and preparing for their future. There are a lot of examples and everyone is different, but we all have these things that seem to take up all of our time and energy. Ignoring these other areas of our lives are what really takes a toll on our physical and mental health.
Keep in mind, the balance won’t always be shared evenly, but when you are feeling drained, stressed and depressed… Stop… and look where you are putting all of your energy. If you are neglecting certain areas in your life, start doing little things in those other areas to start creating balance in your life.
Life has ebbs and flows, hills and valleys. Nothing will always be perfectly balanced, but if you can recognize the imbalance, then you can start to pay attention to those other areas and make small changes that will lead to great improvements in your health and wellness.
For me, doing different activities in the outdoors covers every one of these categories, so I feel fed. I feel rejuvenated. The things that I really love to do might not be what you want to do and that is perfectly fine. It has been proven in studies that being outdoors does improve mood. Chemically our brains and bodies need what we get from nature. Even if it’s just a stroll through a park, hiking a trail, mountain biking, etc. I love camping, kayaking, fishing and hiking.
These activities cover each area in my life and helps to create balance. I then am rejuvenated and empowered to attack the week ahead of me. This is why I say going into the outdoors or going to the lake is a necessity for me. My well being. My mental health. My physical health. My life… Depends on it. I have to make going out and doing these activities a priority.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I still believe, as a mom, that putting my kids first is important, but I am realizing that taking care of myself needs to be a priority. I am not a better mom when I am exhausted and drained. In-fact, I am more irritable and less patient, so I can honestly say I am a worse parent when I have no energy to give. I also want my girls to know that taking care of themselves is not only ok, but it’s important. It’s ok to love others and put others first, but don’t forget about yourself.
I know this was a longer post and I thank you for taking your time to read it. Part of my purpose with this blog is to teach wellness and self value. So, put yourself out of your comfort zone. Learn something new. Grow… and see how your life will change for the better. You deserve it. Find your joy. Find your happy place and make your wellness a priority, because it does matter. You matter. So love yourself so that you can be better for the people in your life who need you.