As a new podcaster, of course, I want to learn all of the things. So, it will not surprise you that I am a very avid podcast listener. I try to get a good variety of shows…shows about taking care of yourself, shows about women starting businesses, shows about teachers and teaching, shows from men, shows from women…anything that can help me learn and grow. I am not one to “copy” others, as I want to be authentically me, but there is so much to learn out there and I want to be able to be my best me!
Funny thing is that many times, some of the same topics are being discussed on multiple episodes….and I don’t know if my phone really can “hear my thoughts” but it seems that this week almost every show I listened to covered exactly what I was planning to discuss this week here on the blog and on my own podcast. It is about taking care of yourself…and making yourself a priority.
When I was growing up and going through college, times were pretty tough money wise. Especially in college and even right after when we relocated from our small town to a big city (yes, a different cost of living for sure) for me to begin teaching. And, of course, it took time for my ex-husband to find steady work….and so I really did not make myself a priority. For me, making sure my daughter had food, clothes, and good social activities were my biggest focus. If she wanted the expensive shoes, I sacrificed to get them for her. It’s what we do as moms, right?
Then, as I continued to immerse myself into my work, going back to school to get my master’s degree, I thought, why would I take time to go do things for myself…I have more important things to do. It was at this time, I guess because I was starting to see that I was not going to continue to play small in the world of education, I realized that I needed to up my game as far as my appearance…and this meant learning to take care of myself. This didn’t mean health wise…you can always take care of you physical wellness on any budget, but this meant, how I was showing up in the world.
Thinking back to the podcast episodes I heard this week…I heard many people saying that as women, we tend to put our own needs to the side to care for family/children. This may mean going to the nail salon, getting our hair done, buying clothes that fit and are in style at the time. This really resonated with me, as I know I definitely had been there! Again, I was the mom, so I needed to put me second to ensure my daughter and family had all they needed. Why do we do this as women? I believe we give ourselves 100% to everyone else, and put ourselves on the back burner. I think we are conditioned to do this…we want what is best for everyone…and we resolve to be ok with everyone not including ourselves.
It wasn’t until I had to see that I was no longer going to play small in my career to believe I was worth the time and money to look like I could play the part. It took me about 6 years into my career…and I know there are still women out there who are farther along in their own lives and still not making themselves a priority. Don’t we think it is time to give ourselves the love we deserve?
Here is what happened when I stepped up my game…people noticed. I remember walking into a meeting one day, in my new suit jacket after a freshening up at the hair salon, and another school administrator said, “wow…you look great today!” This not only made me feel like I was noticed (as, at the time, I was still trying to secure that first admin job and needed to be noticed), but it also made me feel I was valued a bit more…that I caught someone’s attention and now they were paying more attention to my skills because of it.
So, how can we, as women, begin to take the step forward to begin taking care of ourselves? Baby steps are needed and here are a few of mine below!
- Choose one area to focus on. Maybe it is as simple as getting a fresh hair style or color. Maybe it is a manicure or pedicure. Maybe it is buying a new shirt to wear at your next event. Whatever you want it to be, you don’t have to go crazy expensive with it…start small and do one thing for yourself that will make you get noticed.
- Remember your worth. As women and moms, we know how hard we work. We need to remember that taking one hour out of our week or spending $50 on one thing is absolutely ok. It is not like you are going on a spree of spending…it is just one thing.
- Enjoy the time you take when doing this one thing for you. I saw a social media post this week from a woman who said she rented a hotel room for one hour…yes, I know that can sound bad, but she did with all good intention…so that she could have one hour of peace in her life. She arrived, proceeded to her room, and did whatever she wanted (which she indicated was just sit in silence and reflect) for one hour. Maybe you don’t need to go to a hotel room, but you do need to take advantage of your time and enjoy the moments the activity gives you.
As I always say, we need to change the way we are thinking about self care, self love, and how we are just plain taking care of ourselves. We deserve to be in a place to do a little something for us…and not feel guilt about doing it…and more importantly, enjoy the time spent doing it! It’s like that old saying…when something goes wrong on a plane, put the mask on you first before saving your loved ones around you. Think of your self care as just this…putting on your mask so that you are strong enough to be able to protect and support those you love! Until next time! Cheri ❤️