My life was over the top busy. I was a sin­gle Mom and had a busi­ness that demand­ed lots of my
atten­tion.  Between mak­ing time for fam­i­ly and work, I had got­ten lost.  I as in me, myself, anhour glassd I.  What was I doing for me?

Like the slow move­ment of sand in an hour glass, the things that fed me per­son­al­ly like friends, spir­i­tu­al reflec­tion, phys­i­cal exer­cise, ade­quate rest and fun, had slow­ly eked out of my life.  I had long giv­en up jug­gling the con­flict­ing time demands of life and had set­tled instead for a life of work and fam­i­ly.

Now my daugh­ter had grown up, seem­ing­ly overnight, and her life had become more focused on friends and school than being home with Mom.   I found myself at home, by myself with time on my hands.  It was a whole new world!

Self-care.  From the dic­tio­nary, Self, a per­son­al inter­est or advan­tage. Care, regard com­ing from desire or esteem.  Self-care is then treat­ing your­self with enough esteem to hon­or your per­son­al inter­est and needs.

In the last 30 days I have lis­tened to two reports on NPR about sleep depri­va­tion in the US.   The first was Ari­an­na Huff­in­g­ton talk­ing about her new book,  The Sleep Rev­o­lu­tion, in which she dis­cuss­es her career jour­ney that was so engulf­ing she col­lapsed one day from sleep depri­va­tion.  The sec­ond was about sleep depri­va­tion and its impact on work.  Accord­ing to recent stud­ies, 30% of the work force is seri­ous­ly sleep deprived; cre­at­ing an envi­ron­ment that fos­ters mis­takes in judg­ment.

Lis­ten­ing to these reports, I know I was not alone on my jour­ney to re-dis­cov­er self-care.  Just as lack of sleep has become a chron­ic con­di­tion in the US, lack of self-care, which includes sleep, is even more preva­lent.

At Mack­ey Advi­sors as we think about pros­per­i­ty, self-care is essen­tial in the equa­tion.  Pros­per­i­ty is about being suc­cess­ful and thriv­ing. While many asso­ciate pros­per­i­ty with eco­nom­ic well-being, we think of wealth not as the end goal, but rather one of the key tools in your pros­per­i­ty bas­ket.   Part of what that tool helps you do is take care of your­self.

Take a moment to reflect on your life.  What have you let drift ever so slow­ly out of your life that it is now like a faint mem­o­ry?  When you give your­self the gift of a moment to sink into your­self, what is miss­ing?  What shows up in your life, like a crav­ing in the way think­ing about your favorite desert makes your mouth water?  What one new thing do you most need to add to your life to take care of this one pre­cious self, you?

Address­ing these ques­tions may take some time.  It might not be a sim­ple fix.  If you’ve let friends drift out of your life, it is going to take time and ener­gy to win them back and make new ones.  If you have let your phys­i­cal body suf­fer, you may need to change your diet and your rela­tion­ship to exer­cise.  If your spir­i­tu­al life has fall­en away, there are many paths to reignite it.  What feels like the most sati­at­ing?  If you have let fun evap­o­rate, it may give you pause to think about what is fun to you.  Things lost take time to rebuild.  They also take a com­mit­ment.  Are you ful­ly com­mit­ted to find the space in your life for you?

As I began self care picturemy jour­ney to re-engage self-care in my life, there were so many gaps; it was over­whelm­ing to know where to begin.  As with all changes, I knew I had to focus on just one thing at a time to achieve my new big goal of self-care.  A reg­u­lar mas­sage seemed self-indul­gent.  Giv­en my propen­si­ty to fru­gal­i­ty, it also seemed finan­cial­ly indul­gent to me.  All in all, this was a great place to start since it pushed my com­fort zone in more than one area.   I chose a rhythm of every three weeks.  Every two weeks seemed too often and every month to long.  But every three weeks hav­ing a mas­sage gave me a reset on the stress that I had let build up in my body. The results of hav­ing a mas­sage on my well-being were unde­ni­able.  It felt hon­or­ing of myself and my body and in the long run, it gave me more time and ener­gy.

Once my every three week mas­sage became part of the fab­ric of my life, I rebuilt the oth­er areas that I had let slip away, friends, spir­i­tu­al reflec­tion, phys­i­cal exer­cise, ade­quate rest and fun.  It wasn’t always easy, but as I look at my life now, I am so hap­py that I made the jour­ney to self-care.

If you have tak­en the time to read this arti­cle, I hope you will take a few more min­utes to sink into your­self and reflect on your rela­tion­ship to self-care.  This is your one pre­cious life.  Make it a pros­per­ous one.

In Joy,