We all know someone who, from the outside, has checked all of the boxes. She seems to have it all. She shows up with freshly baked muffins at the PTA fundraiser, cooks dinner for her family, smiles when she’s with her husband, shuttles her children to and from endless activities, has the cutest pics on Facebook, had the great education that has led to a 6-figure corporate 9 to 5 gig. From the outside.
On the inside, it’s a very different story. She hates to bake and never has energy to cook the meals she forces herself to put together in the evening. She keeps her children busy in every activity because isn’t that what she’s supposed to do? She has more of a business partnership than a romantic relationship with her husband but would be embarrassed beyond belief if anyone knew that. She hates her job and only became an attorney because that’s what her parents wanted her to do. She can’t remember what she enjoys doing. The last time she had a hobby was 1998. She knows this isn’t the life she wants to be living and feels as if it’s too late…she’s already wasted her talents. Even if she did pivot and change directions in her life, she fears she would fail and is horrified by the disapproval she’s sure she’d receive from her family, co-workers, and friends.
Do you know her? Are you her? If so, you aren’t alone. She’s everywhere. In fact, I was a version of her. I studied hard and got my PhD including completing my clinical internship from one of the top placements in 5 years. I married the boy I met in college (albeit on a much slower timeline and in a much less conventional way than my family and society would have liked). I had the townhouse in the ‘burbs and the safe government job. And I was miserable. “Really? This is the feeling I’ve been working so hard for?” I turned my attention on self-care and rediscovered what I enjoyed. I implemented some very basic tools I had learned along the way….crazy things like taking deep breaths, eating mindfully, going to bed at the same time each night, talking to myself kindly rather than like that mean bully from the third grade. I became calmer. My loves and joys in life became clear once again. My husband and I love to travel and wanted to see the world. We weren’t ready for the commitment of having a child, let alone posting perfectly-posed pictures of them on Facebook. So, when I got a job overseas, we went, and in doing so, I took back my turn.
How did I take back my turn? I decided. I changed my thoughts to align with and support my values, and the rest fell into place. Was it all rainbows and unicorns? No. But even on the tough days, I was in integrity with what I knew to be true about myself. And my truest bad day still felt better than living someone else’s good day.
Maybe you’ve been living a check-box life….doing things because you are “supposed” to.
Maybe you’ve been feeling irritable, depressed, or anxious. That’s your body’s way of telling you to pay attention because something isn’t working.
Maybe you’ve found yourself daydreaming about what you could have done differently.
The best thing about changing your thoughts to feel better is that you can start right away. You can start with your current life. In fact, you have to, because if you don’t get your thoughts in order now, the irritability, anxiety, and depression will keep following you, reminding you that something still isn’t working. These negative emotions will keep trying to get your attention until you listen. I want to help you out of the fog. I want to help you tear up your check-box list. Let me be your guide to reacquaint you with taking care of yourself in little, manageable ways that you can incorporate into your life now.
I have a free resource for you. Everyday Self-Care: Your Holistic, Quick-Start Guide to Feel Your Best teaches you four simple and effective strategies to reconnect with you…the you buried under all of the shoulds, have-tos, and musts. Get it below. Remember that nothing changes if nothing changes. The time is now. Click the button below to join my email list and receive this beautiful resource. Let’s go, my friend!
And if you want to get all of my best strategies for self-care that will help you to feel better no matter where you are in your life, get my shiny, new book, Everyday Self-Care: Your Proven, Holistic Guide to Feeling Better. Nothing changes if nothing changes. This book will be your guide for making changes that stick because it gets you the root of the issues.