I am a mom. I am a significant other. I am a family member. I am a friend. I am an employee. I am a fitness professional. I am a mentor. I am a Solopreneur. I am Mychele. That’s a LOT! I know that I am more but this list isn’t exhaustive (and I am exhausted just by thinking about it). I have been that crazy trainer with a car full of exercise equipment and water bottles with a full gym bag filled with various costume changes. At one point, I taught over 14 classes a week and drove in traffic all over the greater Los Angeles area to get to studios and gyms while being employed full-time and sneaking in mom duties. My SUV smelled like a gym. I was paying my dues to the fitness gods so I could be “legit” as one of the best. There was ZERO balance. I don’t recall having a life. I barely slept. I did not rest my body. In short, I was not practicing self-care. I was giving what I thought was my all until my cup was empty and I got injured.
Our bodies will let us know that it is time to rest by shutting down if we are not careful. It was so hard to watch my friends attending events and teaching from the sidelines. I feared that I was missing out on so much. During my self-inflicted rest period I rediscovered PLAY. I told myself that if whatever I was going to do wasn’t fun and playful that I was going to let it go. I made play a part of my practice. I also go outside to play. Studies show that your senses are stimulated once you get outside. Having a playful session outside enjoying nature’s gifts can boost your self-confidence and give you a feeling of connection in ways that being tethered to technology can’t.
I seek out experiences where I am able to explore, learn and be playful. The joy I get from giving myself and my students permission to play has changed the way I teach and look at life. It gave me the balance I was looking for. As much as we have to do as adults it may be hard to find balance. The catch-phrase “Work/Life Balance” is a misnomer to me. In my opinion, work is a part of my life. I am constantly trying to juggle things and give attention to the most pressing things in my life. Making deliberate choices as they relate to my work, life and play create feelings of accomplishment and satisfaction.
So much information is out there telling us to make time for self-care. I am sharing my story here so you can give some thought to what balance looks like in your life. What does self-care mean to you? How do you make time for you in your self-care practice?