Have you see the first animal quiz floating around Facebook? The claim is that when looking at a stack of animals layered on top of one another your personality is revealed by the animal you see first. It was pretty accurate for me, and several others said the same was true for them.
I saw a horse and here’s the description:
“Born to be free and wild, a horse values freedom above everything else. Being the dignified creatures that they are, they let their heart lead without much fuss. If this stately animal is the first one you noticed, you carry a wild spirit that is difficult to be reigned in. Yet, much like a horse, you are more than willing to help out and be supportive to people. You enjoy a good laugh with your close friends and spread cheer. If you have to choose between freedom and love, your heart puts your loved ones first before your own needs.”
The last line is the one that gets me into the most trouble each football season. “Your hear puts your loved ones first before your own needs.” Yep, that’s the way we role around here and in many ways it is the thing that keeps us afloat in the craziest part of the year. But as our boys get older and our calendar is fuller the needs of loved ones increase expodentially and there is less room for self-care.
Self-Care begins with Self-Awareness
Identifying times when I’m running myself ragged is the best way to stop the cycle before I end up in bed, sick and exhausted. So when I silly quiz confirms something I know to be true of myself I pay attention. More than that, Self-Care In-Season requires planning, preparation, and execution.
Here’s What In-Season Self-Care Looks Like for Me:
I take time to look at my calendar taking into account work, family obligations, and football games and then I plan times where I will have space for myself. This might mean building in a writing day where I head to a coffee shop or scheduling lunch with a girlfriend.
Planning requires adding appointments to my calendar and treating them as important as any other block.
Preparation might include meal prep, doing chores ahead of time, and communicating to the rest of the house that I’ll be taking time for myself. It also doesn’t need to be that detailed. Preparation might mean I make sure to pack my favorite pens and headphones in my bag along with my laptop and charger.
Execution goes back to planning. It means that when the appointment on my calendar arises I don’t bow out in favor of working a little more or serving my family. It means I take the time I need to refuel. You’ve likely heard the analogy of the importance of putting the oxygen mask on yourself before helping others place them on themselves?
Execution is applying the oxygen mask. It’s pushing away the guilt and trusting that life will be better when we implement caring for our body, mind, and soul.
Self-care is always important, but I encourage you to take additional care to implement it during your in-season. You and your family will be better for it, I promise.