I have been hard-wired to believe that everything and every one else comes first and that one of the greatest parts of my personal qualities is that I am a survivor, a work horse, an I Can’t Do Everything All At Once But I Am Going To Die Trying type… very type A.

I have recently partaken in a large amount of introspective research. Listening to audio books on productivity and self-care and took the quizzes on my enneagram (type 8 wing 7) and how that plays into my life choices and identifying stress triggers, etc. I have also read a lot about my Myers Briggs, as well.

The thing that I have been neglecting is self-care. I was recently moved to a customer at work that comes with its own new sets of stresses and challenges and the transition has been really rough. I definitely went from thinking that I as the (kidding, not really – but it felt like that) to getting knocked expeditiously down to size. The overwhelm hit me hard, hit my immune system hard, dramatically drained my energy levels cutting into my exercise habits and left me struggling to get out of bed in the morning. I tried to do some small things to triage, getting a “happy light” to help simulate some sunlight that we are desperately missing in the Midwest for longer than I remember last Winter providing… I started taking vitamins (again, ugh – so gross) and trying to bullet journal for the sake of productivity — *while* still trying to juggle a complex new customer, kids and kid schedules while my son is in an intensive outpatient treatment program, doctor’s appointments, social life, home life, oh and grad school.

Yes, I have been trying to do all of this with grad school. On top of finding out that my specialization was a year behind the new curriculum for the specialization. (Old curriculum is for database managers and programmers… New curriculum is for data analysts and business analysts on less of a micro level). I had to drop the course and instead of immediately registering for another course and figuring out the issue with the curriculum later. I left it dropped. I took this two month term off and filed my request for formal permission/approval to move into the new curriculum spec. It was just too much.

It was just too much…

I found myself starting to slip all over the place, forgetting important things, not sleeping very well, not taking care of myself, having wine more often than my normal… in November I ended up in the ER because of bleeding ulcers that buckled me to the floor in pain and took my breath away. I thought something very serious was wrong, enough so that my husband called 911. I was very scared. I have teetered on the edge of falling back into a dangerously sensitive sleep disorder cycle.

I dropped my courses for the term. I stopped obsessively budgeting – this is one of the things I do in order to soothe anxiety, satiates my need to continuously plan. I started letting myself sleep in because my body said I needed it. I stopped taking medication to help prevent a slip back into a sleep disorder (THIS IS NOT FOR EVERYONE but I wanted to give it another try… do NOT stop medication for a true sleep disorder if you are currently under the care of a doctor for this…) and tried easing into sleep with hot chamomile tea and melatonin. I started reconnecting to some small hobbies; like my collection of Starbucks You Are Here mugs that is seemingly getting out of control quickly… but it gave me something to focus on outside of my mounting stress at work and with aspects of my home life. Photo below is um… officially outdated.

I went to get a massage since we had a gift card to use. Why not? Not something I normally do, but the gift card had sat for a long time and I decided it was time to use it.

I have lent myself to some mindless video games which was something I had recently started to tell myself I did not have time to do and was a waste of my time.

I completed a couple small projects that were taunting me unfinished every single day that I walked past it was some small reminder of a manner in which I ‘failed’.

I stopped beating myself up for being incapable of keeping up with my bullet journal and feeling as though it was a chore.

I joined Freshly and started having pre-made, healthy, meals delivered to me so I virtually did not have to think and could pop it in the microwave and know that what I was eating was healthy, preservative-free, lower sodium, and balanced.

We started ordering a local dinner prep carry out service for pre-made dinners we just needed to put in the oven.

I recommitted to social things I had gotten remarkably good at bailing on or avoiding. Not because I am antisocial, quite the opposite, but because my energy to give to others has simply been non-existent.

The last two or three weekends we had our groceries delivered because time was at a premium and it made me life easier in that moment.

I stopped reading the comments sections (I know, this should be rule number one).

We will see how it goes, but it is really long past time that I dedicate time for myself and invest my money where it is going to improve my life, honestly – our life, not just me all of us.

How do you prioritize self-care? What are your go-to’s?

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