A good friend of mine emailed me months ago about her divorce and all the challenges she’d be going through and raising her young toddler on her own. It hurts me to hear good people going through messes. But it can be blessings. That we need to see the unseen in our paths, to see how strong we are. How possible the impossible is. To believe in you.
Anyhoots, I wanted to share what I sent to her. That to rise from pain, struggle, grief, or boredom you must invest in yourself.
Here’s 8 fab and easy ways to invest in you:
01. Take good care of yourself — honor and cherish you.
I felt so ugly, unloved, clueless, overwhelmed to who I was, what I was supposed to be doing after Tim died. And I’m sure you might feel that way too. But one thing a wise person told me, is no matter who you’ve lost in your life, you’ll never LOSE YOU. That you need to realize all the things you can and will accomplish. Do not victimize yourself. Take a deep breath, and say “I CAN do this”, and not “why me.” Because why, why, why, becomes whining.
Your work, your kids, your finances, cooking, errands, etc it’s all overwhelming and everything is screaming for your attention. Your partner (or the lack of any partner at all) isn’t there cherishing you, cheerleading you on, making you feel special, to get you through those stressful moments. But you have YOU. And as ladies (and men too), we try to do everything to everyone, but its like that analogy of the airplane oxygen masks — you need to put your mask on FIRST before you put your child’s on. That as you take care and honor yourself, you will have more energy, love, and focus on other things and for others.
That to nurture your interior and your exterior. Focus on ways to get your body moving and active. Eating well. To look good. And feel good. And when you radiate awesomeness, awesomeness comes right back at you. You are a mirror to others. Mmm-hmm.
02. Map out and visualize what you want.
Happiness, peace, joy, love, etc is part of your birthright. You are absolutely deserving of everything you want and everything that you haven’t given yourself enough credit for. You need to manifest, to visualize, and map out what you want. IF you have faith. That’s the kicker. You have to believe that it will get better. Mm-hmmm… I have just felt this love and clarity recently because of truly feeling that things will get better. I created a vision board the beginning of this year (see this fancy vision board I created and how easy it is to make here).
I have my vision board on my dresser, and I see it everyday. It’s a reminder of my goals and dreams. I still want to be a mom, have an awesome husband, be successful, but taking small steps to achieve our big dreams and goals makes it more attainable.
03. Join a babysitting co-op or find a great reasonably, priced sitter.
I’m not sure if this is big in your area, but I’ve heard friends of mine do this (or at least take turns with each other’s kids). It’s a setup, where once a week or once a month, you take care of your kids and their friends for a few hours/ for an afternoon/ evening, etc., and vice versa. Or maybe a good neighbor, friend, etc would be willing to help out. This little allows dedicated time to focus on YOU. Whether it’s a few hours or half a day, so can check emails, run errands, or just do something fulfilling and fun for yourself— maybe a mani/pedi, calling a friend, going to the movie alone, etc. Once you realize that you deserve that time, your kiddos will understand that mommy needs to pamper herself so she can be a happier, more energetic mommy.
04. Fuse happy time into your day.
This can be yoga, enjoying your coffee, stepping outside for a quick walk, reading magazines, etc. This is small bits or an hour in your day where you can recharge, put yourself first, your sanctuary moment, create balance to your day. Sometimes for me, when things are super crazy, it’s just sitting with my coffee and turning off my phone and enjoying 10 minutes of sanity. For me, I’ve especially noticed when I step away from technology (my computer, my cell phone, etc.) that my mind is calmer and I’m less anxious. Though sometimes my happy time is watching a hilarious YouTube video for 5 minutes, but without interrupting it with checking email or whatever. You’ll notice as you prioritize these moments into your day or week, you’ll get better at it and realize that you can balance the crazy of your day with sprinkles of some smiling. Because the thing is, there is ALWAYS going to be distractions (kids, emails, work, etc) and its all about getting through those stressful moments so that we aren’t always a tight, aggro-stressball, which is so attractive, huh?
05. Don’t compare yourself to others.
I’ll admit this one was hard for me, especially after Tim’s passing. I felt like I was on island with my loss— that everyone was happy, in love and perfect—which was just my distorted view. But I’ve finally come to terms with who I am, what makes me unique, and to relish in my circumstance and situations that make me who I am. That every one has a different life situation, even though you see someone who has a life that you envy, that you become more depressed of your own life/ your situation because of comparing your situation to what every one’s situation is, that you feed that energy to your circumstance owning you vs. you owning your circumstance.
And sometimes we must go thru highs and lows, because of deeper life lessons that is part of our school of life.
06. Be patient.
Good things take time. I went to a blog conference last year and the CEO of Pinterest, Ben Silberman spoke about his career hurdles. He quit his job just before the dot com crash and had a job in an industry that was lucrative, anyways after 4 years, he finally got Pinterest launched. Now I realize he had an idea and hired talented folks to execute and make it happen, but it took time and he was half fearful and half joyful about his idea and if it was going to work. But now its something everyone is using and loving. That he had to patient and trust in what he believed.
07. Delegate and/or find experts that can help you if you can’t do something yourself.
We all need to give up the idea that we have to do everything ourselves. Many people want to help you out, but they don’t know how to ask you on what you really need help with. THIS really annoyed me while Tim was sick. I was so overwhelmed with taking care of him, researching his disease and treatment plans, working, taking care of my dog, that I didn’t always know the answer to when they’d say “let me know if I can help”. I knew I needed help, and half the time I knew what I needed help but the other part was that things were so intense and stressful, that the only thing I could focus on was that second or hour, not that evening or tomorrow or next week.
So, just remember to ask for help and when you don’t know how to figure something out, to ask people what you need, if they can figure it out for you. And realize the above things, that things take time, be patient with yourself and others, and things will happen.
08. Let go of your ego. Find your deeper connection.
We can all be control freaks. Seriously, right!!? But you know what, you gotta get out-of-the-way of yourself. And if you keep idolizing things that don’t serve you, what good is that. Some may call it collective unconscious. Some call it the universe. And some call it God. Whatever your word of choice and beliefs, you gain a sense of peace and clarity that you aren’t all alone in this big world full of drama and adversities. That things happen for a reason. To show you signs, symbols, introduce you to people, situations, experiences to help you grow, discover and have fun.
I’m not going to force what my faith is, what I believe, onto you. NOT AT ALL. But what I can share with you, is that going through my circumstance and believing in God—he has given me strength and confidence. That good things are still to come, that he’s got my back that he’s always been there for me, even when I didn’t believe. And still very much with me. I don’t have a religion. I have a relationship, and he’s providing some amazing miracles and filling my heart with joy. It sustains me, my family and my close friends.
My church has been my life therapy. The messages from my pastor have been like little nuggets of insight that helped me discover what I needed to do to be my best self, to take ownership of my life and situation, and to be thankful for what I had, that there’s always someone in a far worse situation. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from my pastor, Miles McPherson:
“We are all on a journey. And unless we die. You still have more life to live. Make it count.”
Anyhoots. That’s all I got for now. If there’s anything you can share that’s helped you, I’d love to hear from you. We are all getting through something and we need to lean on each other. To share. Inspire. Empower.
Love & hugs!
Above photo from my trip to Paris in 2012, near the Eiffel Tower.