Slooow down. The message keeps hitting me in the head like a stone thrown by a bratty six year old on the playground. I rush around, running like a chicken with its head cutoff, trying to be everything to everyone, and then it happens. The “powers that be” (i.e., God, Buddha, Allah, The Universe … whatever term floats your boat) throw me a curve ball and MAKE. ME. STOP! Be it a bodily injury, common cold, or just an achy head or back, The Universe (the term I favor) sweeps the rug right out from under me and I screech to a halt.
It forces me to stop rushing, stop obsessing, stop trying so hard, and just be! Be present, be happy, be me. Every day, all day. Just be ME. Because, dammit, I am enough. In fact, I am more than enough.
Imperfections and all, I am exactly where I am meant to be in my life right now … and so are you. And it’s about time we honor that in ourselves. Show ourselves all of the love and appreciation we deserve. Make peace with where we are right now. Not where we were yesterday, or where we will be tomorrow, but where we are at present.
So I challenge you with this: give to yourself first. Yes, you heard me right. Stop giving OF yourself for just a few moments each day, and give TO yourself. Practicing self-care is one of the most important things we can do for our own well-being, if not THE most important thing. It can be as simple as eating clean and training mean (or maybe training “not so mean”), or going a step further and investing in a massage, facial or some other therapeutic treatment. And don’t even start with the excuses that you don’t have enough time … we’ve all got the same amount of hours in a day, sweetheart. You can’t tell me that out of the one-hundred and sixty-eight hours you have in a week, you don’t have time to take one measly hour out for yourself. Trust me, I KNOW busy and I KNOW excuses (I’m well versed in both) and neither will get you anywhere you want to be.
Taking time out to care for yourself will make you a better “you” to everyone else in your life. You’ll be a better friend, co-worker, son, daughter, sister, brother, mother, father, husband, wife (you get the gist). It’s something I preach to my clients on a regular basis, but truth be known, it’s not something I easily do for myself. To practice what I preach, and truly slow myself down, is something I struggle with daily. But I do it. Why? Because if I don’t The Universe will make me. And if you ignore those “powers that be” for too long, they will slow you down in a way that you may not quickly, nor easily recover from. And quite honestly, that scares the crap out of me. I know that I don’t do it enough (I’m a work in progress), but when I start to feel even the least bit rundown, or even the hint of a cold coming on, I slam on the breaks and immediately do something for myself, even if it’s as simple as going to bed early or taking a bath. And you can do it too. No excuses. No “maybe later” bullshit. Just be kind to “you” for a few minutes. Maybe it means taking a moment in the day to sit quietly and take a few slow, mindful breaths. We all have time for that. It doesn’t have to be a project. In fact, eventually it’s sure to become quite natural … something we’ll begin to crave and do on auto-pilot (I’ll let you know when I get there). In the meantime, it may take a little effort (maybe some self-coercing), but I have faith … we got this!
Need a little help slowing down? Click here to take a short relaxation break … I promise it will be worth your time, and did I mention it’s free???
Joy Perugini is an Writer, Speaker, Runner, Dancer, Yogini and Health & Happiness Coach, but above all else, she is an Entrepreneur. She finds her passion in helping others live their DREAM LIVES in their DREAM BODIES. Her twenty-four years of diverse experience in the health and fitness industry include establishments throughout the continental United States and Hawaii. Her Bachelor of Science degree in Health Science with a concentration in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine, provides a strong knowledge-base to her work. Joy started as a student athletic trainer at Eastern College in Pennsylvania and interned at a physical therapy center treating sports related injuries. During a two-year residency on Maui, Hawaii, Joy served as the Lead Fitness Trainer at the Grand Wailea Resort and Spa, rated the #1 Resort Spa in the World by Conde Nast Magazine. Joy’s tenure there increased her knowledge of the spa industry and importance of customer care. Joy was born and raised in West Hartford, CT and returned there as an in-home personal trainer, helping many clients achieve their wellness goals. She later managed a health and fitness center for a major international corporation based in Hartford, CT. Feeding her entrepreneurial spirit, Joy opened a boutique group exercise and personal training studio located in Plainville, CT, in June 2006. The studio offered customized training to individuals of all fitness levels and abilities, and housed a distinctively friendly atmosphere in an industry known to intimidate many. While still running the day to day activities at the studio, in 2014 Joy decided to expand her reach and spread her love of life, fitness, health and wellness far and wide by forming her web-based company, JoyFit Nation, LLC. Today, Joy spreads insight, motivation and inspiration by sharing her message online and in person via her signature programs, retreats, workshops and private mentoring, looking to provide "fitspiration for a happy nation" and quite possibly the world.