Last year was rough! I was grieving the loss of my dad, and the pain and shock threw me into a dark place. Nothing was exciting; I had no energy, going anywhere was a chore and goals... what were goals? I had no motivation; I was depressed.
The result in the months that followed was weight gain and feeling completely outside of myself. I was spiraling. One day, sitting on my couch, crying and not seeing a way out, I decided to see a therapist. That was the beginning of digging through my emotions and paying attention to my mental health.
Fast forward to December 2023. I had to buy clothes to wear on a cruise we were taking right before Christmas. Looking in the mirror made me cringe. Yes, it was the weight, but the weight made me realize just how much I had neglected myself. I quickly tried on the clothes, and with every tug came tears. I started to just glimpse in the mirror long enough to see if I could pull the outfit off.
We went on the cruise, and I noticed how much better I felt when I was getting in some steps and actually eating healthy. The food, for whatever reason, on the cruise was not that great, so I ate at a sushi restaurant that was fantastic. I felt lighter and better by the time the cruise ended.
I thought a lot about the upcoming year in those last days of December and what I wanted my story to look like in 2024. The words that kept popping up in my mind were..."Keep the promises you make to yourself." My pain had buried the promises I made to myself for a long time, and it was time for me to work through the pain but not allow it to keep me in bondage. So, I examined my heart and mind and thought about my priorities for myself.
The primary areas of my priorities are:
Deepening my relationship with God
Making my health a priority
Using my gifts to encourage others
Strengthening the bonds with family and friends
I decided to create a Self Care Checklist. One of my promises was to complete it in the morning and make my well-being a priority. This small change is already a game-changer.
There are a few other things I did, which I will add below, but here is my Self Care Checklist:
Self Care Checklist
Read through the Bible in a year (I am using the Bible Tree Olive app)
Read a Devotional. I am reading My Utmost for His Highest, Oswald Chamber (SO GOOD and only $6.99 on Amazon)
Prayer (I have a prayer list I go through)
Listen to a spiritual podcast (Usually Charles Stanley)
Read five pages of a personal growth book (Check out my recommendations)
Read five pages of a book on a topic that deals with organization/systems
Shot of So Good So You Detox
Check my weight (I bought a new scale that measures 13 components of body composition, the RENPHO Scale. I love it and actually look forward to weighing myself in the morning!)
Take my vitamins
45-60 minutes on the treadmill
5 Minutes of Stretching
I wake up between 5:45 am -6:00 am. However, I am aiming to rise at 5:00 or 5:15 am to add time to write.
It may appear to be a long list but I am finished by the time I take my daughter to school at 8 am. Before my work day begins, I have already carved out and dedicated the time to take care of myself.
I struggle with consistency so prayer is always needed, and please keep me in prayer to stay disciplined! In the words of Charles Stanley, "Discipline, not desire, determines destiny."
Make it a week of keeping the promises you may to yourself... You MATTER!
Friend, how can I pray for you in 2024? Let me know!