There was a time in my life when I felt very overwhelmed. I had been sick for a very long time. I felt like my body was betraying me. I couldn't do the things I used to do anymore. Before, I used to run all the time. I could surf all ay. My body was strong. Except then it wasn't.
Eventually, I found out what was wrong, and that was huge, because it meant that I could be treated. And while I wasn't 100% of my former self, it was (and is) SO much better than when I was lying on the couch, practically unable to move, wondering how I could feel like this before I was even 40 years old.
But I was still overwhelmed. Could I even run again? Would my arms and legs ever be as strong? What was the first step to take? I wanted to take time for myself but I felt guilty taking it away from my business and all the other things I "should be" doing.
The good news (if you want to call it that) is that I found out I'm not alone. There are LOTS of women out there like me. I've come across countless women in my time as a RI family photographer who are not putting themselves first. They may be new moms overwhelmed with a tiny baby, and they care for that little being and somehow forget to take any time at all to remember themselves. Or the moms of elementary, middle school, and high school kids who are constantly helping with homework, bringing their kids to activities. Where is the time to exercise, to take a little shopping trip for yourself, to do your hair in something other than a messy bun? There are so many things that you want to be doing and thinking about them is so overwhelming that instead of doing any of them, you just do none. Yeah, I've been there.
So here's my advice: DO JUST ONE THING.
Start with just one thing for you. Work it in. Green smoothies each day. Rocking killer eye makeup. A weekly massage. Some form of exercise to get your body moving.
It's what I did. One day I put on my running shoes again, walked out the front door, and started running.
I made it home.
The world did not implode.
I felt really good.
And I did it again, because I knew I could (and because the world didn't implode).
Once I took those first steps out the door, the feeling of being overwhelmed went away. I knew I could do this. And so much more (in fact, now I do an hourlong exercise bootcamp five days a week...and the world still hasn't imploded!)
The bottom line is, YOU CAN DO THIS. Take one step. Do one thing for yourself. Take that literal or figurative step out the door. Go find yourself again. Your self has missed you.