I used to always wait until the last minute and it was wrecking my life. In order to make deadlines for my books, I’d stay up late at night and often all night. During the day, I was trying to meet everyone in my family’s needs (I have three kids so that’s a lot of carpooling and lunch packing and mothering). This meant I was taking care of everyone but myself. In order to make these deadlines after using up my energy during the day, I’d eat junk. Popcorn and something sugary. Finally, last November I crashed. Two weeks of dizziness, then a frozen shoulder, interstitial cystitis and numbness in my left foot and right hand. And other unpleasantness that was annoying but not life threatening.
I was in extreme pain, confused, afraid and feeling lost. Tests were ordered and…
All I could do was rest and recover. Suddenly, I was doing physical therapy twice a week. Acupuncture once a week and I cut out unnecessary carbs and sugars. I began eating mostly low fat meats, veggies and fruit. I realized that I was actually taking care of myself! I lost 15 pounds and gradually learned to actually go to bed between 10:00 p.m. and 11:00 p.m. I’m still doing physical therapy and acupuncture but, eventually, as I continue to heal I will switch over to seeing a personal trainer.
I’m the last person to buy clothes for myself (I hadn’t been clothes shopping in five years) and last summer I actually treated myself to a whole bunch of new tops and even a little cover-up for my bathing suit. It felt good to take care of myself in this way.
I had to crash physically in order for my body to say enough. I’m working on saying no and making deadlines on my own time frame. I’m a work in progress.
But my message for you…take care of yourself first. If you don’t take of yourself then you can’t take care of anybody else.