Why it's so important to take care of yourself.

I was never really good at taking care of myself.

Between my roles as a student, daughter, fiance, sister, and an employee, there just didn’t seem to be time for taking care of myself.

I was the queen of “Tomorrow I’ll start fresh,” and “When this class is done I’ll have more time.” I would overwork myself and make excuses as to why I wasn’t taking proper physical and mental care for myself.

I’ll admit: Lately, I’ve been in a rut. I’ve been lazy, and I’ve been disappointed in myself. It’s been a year of adjustments of new schedules, new roles, and new responsibilities.

9 months ago I graduated college and started working 50 hours a week. I went from working out 4-6 times a week to working out zero times a week. I used to love working out. I did it for myself. I loved the feeling of making fitness goals and achieving small fitness milestones; I loved that feeling of empowerment and pride. At first, I tried to keep up with my old workout routine. Because I had to leave for work at 6:30 am and didn’t get home until 5:30pm, I made a new schedule. I honestly tried so hard to stick with it. The first few weeks I powered through getting up at 4:30am and making it to the gym 3 days a week. Sadly, this habit only lasted for a month.

Days became weeks and weeks became months. Eventually, I grew accustomed to not working out. The thought of going to the gym after work seemed painful and less appealing.

I started grad school full time the first week of September. I told myself all summer, “As soon as school starts and you stop working full time, you can start working out again.”

It’s September 22nd. Don’t even ask me how many times I’ve been to the gym, because the answer is none.

In addition to my lack of physical exercise, my eating has been poor lately as well. My healthy habits always suffer when I stop working out; I simply don’t have the ambition to try and eat healthy if I am not exercising. I’ve been overeating lately, eating out too many times, and skipping meals for sugary and fatty snacks instead.

Have you ever been so disappointed in yourself where you aren’t even sure how you got to this point? That is currently where I have been lately. The Chelsea from a year ago would be repulsed if she saw how many attempts I was making now at exercising and eating healthy.

What has my excuse been now?

“I’m a grad student full time.”

“I’m engaged now and busy with wedding planning.”

“I have other obligations that are more important.”

But these are all what I have referred to them as; excuses. And nothing more.

My Professional Counseling grad program has been absolutely amazing so far at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. One of the most insightful parts of the program that has stuck with me so far is the importance of self-care. This was one of the first focuses emphasized in our program. As future counselors, it is imperative that we take the initiative to care for ourselves to avoid burnout and lead holistic and healthy lifestyles by example for our clients. We actually did a project related to self-care where we chose an activity that we loved doing and logged our time doing it throughout the semester.

Since then, the importance of self-care has been on my mind. I realize how much I have been cheating myself lately and how I know I am capable of being so much more. I get so sad when I think that 2 years ago I ran a half marathon and today I can barely run a mile without my lungs feeling like they are going to explode.  I’ve been neglecting self-care, and it’s time to make a change.

Self-care is so important to lead a healthy, balanced life. Without self-care, we are overloaded with stress and suffer from burn-out and emotional fatigue. It’s SO important to create some time for yourself every single week.

What do you like to do for yourself? Is it yoga? Reading before bed? Running? Praying? For me, my Self-Care comes in all different forms. I’m an introverted extrovert in the sense that I love being around other people, but sometimes I just need my own personal space or I get exhausted. On some weeks that I need it, my Self-Care can be in the form of going out for drinks on the weekend with my friends. In other instances, my Self-Care is blogging with a cup of strong coffee next to my laptop, or Netflix binging with Trevor.

I encourage you all to think about how much you participate in Self-Care activities. Are you creating enough time for yourself? Join me in my journey as I commit to new goals and taking better care for myself.

My self care goals this month:
-Write 3 times a week
-Run 3 times a week
-Get up early. (Mornings are when I feel the most at peace with myself).

I’m done making excuses, and I encourage you to do the same. If you spend so much time taking care of others, who is going to take care of you? We have to rely on ourselves and put ourselves first at times! I realize this can be hard when so many people are counting on you, but you owe it to others to give nothing but the best version of yourself.

What are you going to do for your Self-Care this week? Leave me a comment below.

Xoxo,

  • This is so encouraging Chels! I have been exactly where you are. Since moving out to Indiana and not having a gym (because I refuse to pay a ridic amount for a short term plan) I too am in a rut. I am so glad you are discussing the need to make time for just your self.

    I can easily say that blogging is for myself…but in reality we all know that even blogging and keep up with social media is one of the biggest sources of stress! Since I don’t have a gym, I plan on starting yoga in the mornings and waking up about 30 minutes earlier each day, which I can easily do!

    Thank you so much for this inspiration in altering my schedule to live healthier. Love ya, bestie!! (:

    • Chelsea

      Aw I’m so glad this post resonated with you, chicka!!!! I know where you’re at. I’m in the midst of trying to find a new gym. I always used to go workout at my old high school’s weightroom, but the hours are weird. And the closest one in driving distance is 30 minutes away and I don’t want to waste the gas! So I’m in the same boat; trying to adjust! We can do this together.

      I know how you feel about the social media for branding. Been there, done that!!! I’m glad you are starting yoga, this had always been on my bucket list!!!

  • Tiffany Austin

    Great read! I totally agree there is always a reason not to take care of yourself. I’m also a mom, a teacher, and a grad student. I also run a blog. It can get to be a lot but self-care if very important to me. I try to go out with friends for a mid-week drink, take a bath and read before bed to feed my soul. You have to make yourself a priority!

    • Chelsea

      Oh my goodness. I thought I was busy!! First of all, I can’t imagine trying to juggle being a parent, a teacher, and a student! You are super-woman in my eyes!!

  • Lindsay Katherine

    Chels, I really needed to read this. I completely relate to you. I can’t tell you how disappointed I am with myself that I don’t make time for the things I always loved: working out and reading are at the top of my list. It’s hard adjusting to life as a working mom. I barely have time to shower and eat some days, but I’m done with the excuses. There will always be a reason to have an excuse. I’m going to write down my goals and find ways to stick to them. Thanks for the inspiration today – it was much needed.

    • Chelsea

      Aw Lindsay! It’s okay! You also have to remember that you are human and sometimes life gets in the way. How you bounce back shows your character! We are in this together. Small steps and goals. My goal for today is to run at 10am! Now that I told you, I can’t go back on my word now! 😉

  • Hil D

    I am going to try and find 30 minutes to myself to do something fun, this may sound easy, but with a baby, toddler and work it is near impossible and will mean trading sleep for it!

    • Chelsea

      I believe it. I’m not a mom yet so I can’t imagine how difficult life gets when you throw a child in the mix!

  • I want to be up and working by eight. I want to start crocheting regularly again. And I want to read before bed more often instead of dragging my laptop into bed and continuing to work. I’m starting to burn myself out. And because I work from home it’s so hard to set boundaries! I keep saying I need to, but I don’t even know what that looks like.

    • Chelsea

      I can imagine how hard that would be working from home. I’m sort of struggling with that right now, juggling blogging for a side job and school. I’m only in class twice a week and it’s hard to divide my time up. Sometimes I know I should be doing school stuff when instead I am doing blogging business!

  • Girl, this is so me! I used to love fitness and working out. Now I can hardly motivate myself to get up and workout even when I do have free time!

    • Chelsea

      Ugh. It’s all about habit. Trying to get back in that habit.

  • Amy

    I am currently getting over being sick, so once I do that I want to workout once a day by at least reaching 10,000 steps and making sure I don’t get sick!! I don’t want to be on my phone or social media as much throughout the day. I want to make getting up early and trying to get to bed a little earlier a habit. I also want to start doing my homework ASAP so I don’t put it off!

    • Chelsea

      Good for you, Amy! I am trying to get my homework done quicker and stop procrastinating as well!

  • I know exactly how you feel! Lately I have been slacking off on working out (actually for awhile now). I used to be in really good shape and once I started my old job, I was too tired to work out and now that I have a new job I have a new work schedule and by the time I get off of work, I have no motivation. I’ve been trying to work out at home by doing zumba videos or other fitness videos. I really need to get back into working out and taking care of myself. Hopefully soon we can both get that motivation back and get back to doing what we enjoyed before.

    • Chelsea

      For sure! Maybe a workout partner will help motivate you to get back into the swing of things? I started walking/running with a friend and that helps!

  • It is so easy to push off self care because it feels like the opportunity will always be there, but then we get stuck in a cycle of poor health decisions! Each one leads to the next — I’m not working out, so why bother eating right? I’m exhausted anyway, so why even try to catch up on sleep? I’m so glad you’re stopping this cycle now and jumping back into self-care with a specific list. I need to make time to read each night this week to take care of myself.

    • Chelsea

      Exactly! They totally go hand in hand. I feel like I need to create time as well to lay in bed and read. I used to do that so much when I was younger and now I just don’t. Thanks for reading, friend!

  • Self-care is so important. I love your honesty and the transparency of this post, and I know that many struggle with the same issues as you talk about in this post. I know I have. And once you are not giving attention to one aspect of self-care, it’s so easy to slip in other areas of self-care too. Like exercise AND food, not just exercise. As if we’re saying to ourselves: what’s the point anyway, you’re not exercising so why would you try and eat healthy? I come across that kind of thinking with my clients all the time (I’m a life coach) and focusing on self-love (and self-care as a part of that) is really important to change those notions! Thank you for sharing <3

    • Chelsea

      So cool that you are a life-coach, and I’m so happy to hear that you focus on self-love and self-care! That is so important. Great to hear from you, thank you so much for reading! xo

  • Shann Eva

    It took me a long time to get to the point of caring about myself. I was too busy worrying about everyone else…babies, husband, etc. In May, I got sick of being overweight, tired, and feeling terrible, so I changed my eating habits completely, and now I’m back at the gym too. Dont be too hard on yourself. You’ll get there. Ps. I didn’t know you were in WI for school. I live near Milwaukee!

    • Chelsea

      Good for you!!! I’m so happy that you took the initiative and made positive changes in your life. That is so awesome! Yes right now I live 30 minutes north of Green Bay and I commute an hour to school. Wisconsinites unite!!

  • Jennifer S.

    It wasn’t until the end of a very messy, horrible, ugly relationship that I realized that the best way to recover and to be able to care for others again, was to first take care of myself. I’m not always very good at it, but I’m definitely getting better!

    • Chelsea

      Good for you, Jennifer. You have to take care of yourself first before you can care for anyone else! Wishing you all the best! xo

  • I’m happy to hear that you’re making a change! It’s not easy. It takes a lot of will power. By most importantly the environment in which you’re surrounded by must be contributing to this mentality. If it doesn’t, its like swimming against the current.

    Keep with it girl you got it on you! If you need encouragement… Come to my blog and I ????????

    Xoxoxo
    Sami
    http://Www.BemindfulYoureCreative.com/lifestyle/mindfulmornings

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much for the encouragement! xo

  • Love this! Change is hard, my husband and I have been trying to work out more in the mornings and it really has made a difference, even though there are many days I don’t want to.. Taking time for yourself is really important though!

    • Chelsea

      Right. I’m more of a morning workout person myself…just get it over with right away!!

  • Serene Mom

    Self care is extremely important. It’s strange that the older I get the more I realize that I need to take better care of myself. What the heck have I been doing all these years? I’m starting to feel like I need to wake up earlier and get more things done as well. It really is a peaceful time.

    • Chelsea

      That’s okay, as long as you are taking the initiative right now to take better care of yourself! Any time is better than never :)

  • I have such a hard time making time for self care too. I’m like you, I always put it off with excuses. I love this idea of making self care goals… it’s so important! This month was a bit overwhelming for me and I put off things like exercise and reading. And sleep… sleep is something that always gets lost for me. Last week I felt terrible physically on Friday and when I got home from work I slept throughout the evening, woke up for a few hours and then slept in late the next day. My entire attitude shifted and I felt ready to face work and life in general after getting some sleep. That kind of proved (to me) how important it is to take care of yourself, but have I been prioritizing sleep this week? Not really. This is a good reminder to do that. :) So, for the rest of this week I will get to bed at a decent time (I’ll go with 11pm, because I know if I try to set a time earlier it won’t happen… baby steps) and I’ll workout at least three times a week.

    • Chelsea

      I’m so happy I inspired you to make self-care goals! Sleep is vital to your health and overall well-being! I used to feel silly in college because everyone else was skipping sleep to finish school work, but I was all about that sleep!!! If I don’t get enough sleep, I shut down. I’m so happy you realized that you need to start taking better care of yourself..I’m always here to cheer you on!

  • I have made MANY of these excuses….”after college, I’m not going to be as tired at the end of the day and I can start working out more” “after college, I’m going to be able to do more things that I want to do” “after college, I’m so excited to come home and relax and watch TV with nothing to do”

    While all of that rings true, this needs to start now!

    • Chelsea

      It’s so hard though in college. I can definitely relate. Are you almost done with school?

      • YES!!! I graduate in December! It can’t come fast enough

  • Great post. I am can really identify. It is so easy to let things slip. I schedule self care activities and then keep the appt with myself. I have found that if I don’t eat right or exercise that I am not only feel unwell but it hurts my productivity.

    • Chelsea

      Exactly. I literally have to schedule mine in as well!!

  • Great post! I just did a post about the importance of self-care and I can definitely relate. Sometimes when we have tons of stuff going on, taking care of ourselves is the first thing that we give up, but it’s so important and it seems like you’re well on your way to making “you” time.

    Best Wishes,
    Allison Jones
    http://www.LiveLifeWellBlog.com

    • Chelsea

      That’s so awesome, Allison. I’m glad you realize the importance of self-care and are making goals to work on it. WE matter!!

  • You just (mostly) described my life! I am also queen of “tomorrow I’ll just start fresh” mantra. I think it’s good, on one hand, to be willing to let go of the no nos you made today and start fresh tomorrow, but NOT when you just keep pushing tomorrow off. I, too, am busy like you. I am mom, student, wife, employee. Life is crazy but I totally agree that self care is important, but we try to push it off, often!

    • Chelsea

      Oh my goodness, I could not imagine throwing in being a mom in the mix! That would just be crazy for me. So happy you make an effort to prioritize and take care of yourself!

  • Oh gosh…this is hard to read because it is SO my life. It doesn’t help that my husband is an avid triathlete who runs about 80 miles a week! I feel like I’m pretty good at choosing quiet, slow time for my heart to read and do things good for my introvert soul but I need to get better at choosing things that are good for my body. Thanks for the inspiration :)

    • Chelsea

      Oh my gosh. Holy Intimidating!!!! It’s great that you are admitting where you need work- I’m with you. I do a lot for my soul but I need to do more for my body!!

  • I know that i said this on Facebook already but I REALLY loved this post. Thank you so much for sharing all of the details, your heart and for inspiring us to choose good things for our bodies!! SO glad that I connected with you through Blog Passion Project!!
    Blessings, Rebecca :)
    http://www.caravansonnet.com

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much for your support! It makes me so happy that you loved and shared this post. I am SO happy I am connected with you as well! I love BPP!! :)

  • Marissa Pedersen

    Great post! It’s really important to take time for this.

    • Chelsea

      Thanks, Marissa! It certainly is!

  • Ilona K.

    I would love to workout but I can’t really find time for it. Is it my excuse? I don’t think so. I should stick to the plan and workout more. Thanks for the Inspiration and great post!

    • Chelsea

      You’re welcome! Happy Friday! :)

  • YES! It can be so hard to remember that we are important enough to take care of! I have 4 little ones and so often I am running around taking care of them, that I don’t do anything for myself. Not only does that make me unhealthy, but it shows my children that I am not important. Remembering to take time for myself is something I’m still trying to get better with, but I’m celebrating the small steps I take!

    • Chelsea

      I like that you added, “It shows my children that I am not important.” This is a great point because your children will learn by example…I’m so happy that you realize that you, too, are equally as important!!

  • Rae

    I’ve definitely been there. In college I made it a priority to sign up for a PE class, so I swam 4 days a week. In law school I swam five days a week, before my classes and started skydiving. Then work happened complete with 90 hour work weeks and travel and I stopped swimming, eventually stopped skydiving and it’s been a chore to get back into the swing of working out.

    • Chelsea

      Wow, skydiving! How awesome. I would love to try that someday.

  • Neely

    Such an important read!

    • Chelsea

      Thank you so much!

  • Olivia Tchinnis

    Lovely and so important for everyone to remember (myself included). Thanks so much for putting this out there! Personally, I sure needed the boost.

    • Chelsea

      I’m so glad it helps. I’ve been working on this myself and glad to hear that it resonates with you!