It's important to not tell others what to do if you aren't doing those actions yourself. Sharing how I continue to practice what I preach in regards to self care and balance in my life.

It is all so easy to make statements and suggestions. It is often not so easy to practice what you preach.  I openly share with my clients (and readers) that I never make a suggestion on something that I haven’t tried or do myself. When we are honest with others, they are more likely to pay attention to what we are saying. I struggle right along with everyone else in regards to maintaining balance in my life. Work can easily take precedent over scheduling exercise, eating healthy and simply stopping to rest. I use this space to help educate but also hold myself responsible in regards to the suggestions I provide for others. I feel that as a counselor and coach, it is somewhat hypocritical of me to tell others to practice self care or change their schedule if I don’t share what I am attempting to do also. It is also important to share that I sometimes struggle with finding balance. As we move into Fall, like many others, my schedule has changed and become busier with not only additional work but fun additions of football games, weekend trips and monthly get togethers. Any small addition to life can throw the balance and suddenly make everything difficult to handle. After all, there is still the normal day to day activities included such as grocery shopping, cleaning the house and running errands. Knowing that the upcoming months are going to be tightly scheduled, I sat down in August and began looking at things I needed to do for myself. Sadly, I had delayed getting a massage for most of the summer (no excuses other than I didn’t do it), and now that I have a lighter hair color that means maintenance visits must occur more often. Fortunately, I was able to schedule both activities for  this past Friday afternoon. Although I did have work to do from 8:30 (site visit) to 12:30, all Friday afternoon was mine. This was also a great example of how I could model for the social worker who is receiving clinical supervision for me, I simply told her I could only see her in the morning as my afternoon was for self care. This was only able to happen because I had the time scheduled for myself.  I am grateful for the opportunity to look several weeks ahead in my schedule and realize I needed a self care afternoon. I don’t feel guilty about setting aside this time as my body and mind needed a rest. Sadly, many continue to struggle with the thought that self care is selfish. Without stopping, it is not possible to continue giving: to our work, to our family, to our friends. If you are fortunate enough to have today off, I encourage you to stop. Take a deep breath and reevaluate what you need to do next. Busy schedules often make it feel as if everything is a priority when the reality is very few things are. It is up to each individual to take a step back and recalibrate the balance in their life. Despite a very long to do list, today I hope to spend the whole day without makeup and not leaving my house if I can help it. I will prepare for the week ahead but that list can wait.

Do you practice what you preach or find there is a struggle? Are you taking some time to rest? 

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Grateful Heart w/ Ember Grey
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23 Comments

  1. Leanne@crestingthehill on September 7, 2015 at 9:42 am

    this is so true – I am a great believer in “walk your talk” and I’m learning (a bit later in life than you!) that self care is really important – there is nothing like a day at home in yoga pants and no bra to make the world feel like a better place 🙂 ~ Leanne

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on September 7, 2015 at 1:56 pm

      Oh Leanne, it is so wonderful to have a day where I can stay in and do nothing. It’s a continual practice to find balance but remembering ourselves is extremely important. Thanks for stopping by and commenting.

  2. Amy Atkins on September 7, 2015 at 11:29 am

    Thanks for the reminder. I’m on a weekly schedule and it helps keep me organized so I have some down time.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on September 7, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      I am like you and it’s been so helpful to remember I have to put “Me” down on my calendar.

  3. Bethany Magnie on September 7, 2015 at 12:08 pm

    It is a struggle for me! But one I’m really working on as I am a new mom and recently discovered I’m a introvert as well. Luckily my partner is amazing at helping accommodate my alone time lately, but it took some communication to get here for sure.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on September 7, 2015 at 1:54 pm

      Bethany, I’m so glad you know what you need. Sometimes it does take communicating with others what you need. Thanks for stopping by.

  4. jillconyers on September 7, 2015 at 3:11 pm

    I do practice what I preach. I’m too passionate about it not to. Making time to rest is a priority for my body and mind.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on September 7, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      Jill, it’s so refreshing to hear that others do practice self care. It needs to be a priority for everyone!

  5. Nina B on September 7, 2015 at 5:00 pm

    Sheryl, as always you write what I need to hear. I think self care is sooo important…for everyone else. And I love this truth bomb: “If you are fortunate enough to have today off, I encourage you to stop. Take a deep breath and reevaluate what you need to do next. Busy schedules often make it feel as if everything is a priority when the reality is very few things are. It is up to each individual to take a step back and recalibrate the balance in their life.”

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on September 7, 2015 at 7:11 pm

      As always Nina, I’m honored when something I’ve written means something to someone. We rush and rush and take little time to simply be. I hope you are feeling better and feel renewed.

  6. Michelle on September 7, 2015 at 6:56 pm

    From ember grey grateful heart- I find it is easier to balance as I get older and the kids are grown and on their own. I’m a firm believer that we need to take care of ourselves before everyone else. It isn’t selfish, it is reality. Days off should be used for a bit of R & R, but most folks just continue to work either on the job, at home or always staying busy. Great read.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on September 7, 2015 at 7:10 pm

      Thanks Michelle. I agree with you that I am also finding it easier to rest than I did when I was in my 20s. In the past, I would have spent today knocking myself out to get my house ready for fall. We’ve sadly become a society with many people that feel sitting to rest is being lazy. I’ve been thankful for having a day where I could work on my blog (something I don’t have enough time to do, sit on my couch with my husband and simply take a deep breath.

  7. Christine Everyday on September 8, 2015 at 11:40 am

    I LOVE that you scheduled your meetings around your self care. If more people did things like that, the world would be a better place!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on September 8, 2015 at 7:45 pm

      It’s sometimes a struggle but I have to put myself first or no one else is taken care of. We need to simply realize it’s a necessity and not selfish.

  8. Meagan on September 8, 2015 at 9:58 pm

    I’ve actually never thought about this – but I think in most cases, I do practice what I preach. Or, advice I give is from a place that I know works!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on September 9, 2015 at 6:58 am

      And that is what matters!! As I work in the mental health and health care field, I feel it is truly important to walk the talk – such as try to eat healthy, exercise etc. It bothers me in the healthcare setting when I see individuals who are obviously not taking care of themselves (of course, that’s another blog post about how stressed they probably are)

  9. Anne @ Love the Here and Now on September 9, 2015 at 6:05 am

    I love your blog because it never fails to make me stop and think. You share done great tips and reminders that I definitely need and can use. Thank you! Off to look at my schedule and prioritize and free up some space!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on September 9, 2015 at 9:23 pm

      Thank you Anne. I so appreciate what you said – there are always times when I wonder if what I have written has helped anyone. With our busy lives, we need to make time for ourselves. If we don’t do it – it won’t happen!!

  10. Krysten @ Why Girls Are Weird on September 9, 2015 at 2:38 pm

    I think for the most part I practice what I preach, although at times I know I can work better at it. Thanks for making me think!

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on September 9, 2015 at 9:25 pm

      I think we all need reminders that we are important. Keeping balance is often a struggle for me but I know I have to work at taking care of me. I’m so glad to hear you already have a good practice.

  11. Sarah @ Sometimesphotojenik on September 9, 2015 at 9:12 pm

    So so true! I love that you only suggest to your clients what you’ve tried yourself.

    • Sheryl @ How to Make a Life on September 9, 2015 at 9:26 pm

      I feel like it wouldn’t be right if I encouraged a client to try something I hadn’t done. There are many things that don’t work for me but just because it doesn’t work for me doesn’t mean it won’t work for someone else.

  12. Diana on September 16, 2015 at 11:37 am

    This is such a great post Sheryl. I feel the same as you. I really try to practice what I preach. With self care, it can get put to the side a lot, but we need to make time for it if we want to do all those other things.

    For example, yesterday I was having a horrible day. I thought about coming home and doing nothing. On the way home I talked to my mom (who made me feel better) and that gave me the energy and will to take a short walk with the dogs, which in turn gave me the will power to eat a healthy dinner and spend an hour writing. My night could have gone much more different if I hadn’t taken care of myself first and be beating myself up today, but I’m not because I took care of me first.

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