Time to Pick Up the Self-Care Slack



It’s tough to think back to January 2020. There were so many hopes and dreams. So much excitement for a new decade. I had even picked a word to define my year, “self-care/self-love.” (OK, I know that’s not one word, but they go hand in hand for me). 

In January, I had a plan, purpose, and drive to take better care of myself. I was ready to start putting myself on my top 3 list. In fact, I had even created a #visionboard to keep me centered. 

I started out strong. Workouts were regular, healthy eating, and solid(ish) nights of sleep were happening. Then, in what felt like a blink of an eye, COVID-19 happened. There was nothing but time at home, and yet no time to do all that needed to be done. Determined to continue to take care of myself, I bought an inexpensive workout bike and downloaded an app to help me stay the course. I was continuing to meal prep and eat all the fruits and veggies. My resolve to practice self-care and self-love held firm.

Until one day, I woke up exhausted, both mentally and physically. Once again, I had lost my sparkle. The drain of being on 24/7, not only for my family but for my job, had gotten the best of me. Having to manage the constant stress and anxiety of my young children, who still didn’t really understand what happened, had worn me down.

While I haven’t gained much weight, I feel flabby, out of shape, and constantly pissed off. I don’t like my behavior, my attitude, my current lifestyle, and yet, I don’t seem to be changing any of it. Like Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz, I know I have the power inside of me. There’s no need for some special ruby slippers, fancy home meal delivery, or workout regime.

I’ve been here before, but the difference this time is the complete feeling of loss of control. That’s what has been the hardest part of 2020 for me. 

Rather than being the year of vision, it has actually put blinders on me. It has allowed me to pretend I’m doing enough and that I’m good enough. Frankly, I’m not, and I know it. My body feels it and has been telling me for some time to wake up! 

So now that the first half of 2020 has passed, with little self-care or self-love having happened, I’m preparing for the second half to pick up the slack. It’s time for me to take care of me because no one else will. If I want to end the year better than I started it, I need to remember the words I used to kick it off.

Self-care will translate into self-love, and only through self-love will I feel cared for.

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Maria Sette
Maria is a full-time mom, teacher, wife, daughter, and sister, who feels pulled in too many directions! Her older son Michael took over 24 hours to be born, and at six-months-old was diagnosed with allergies to dairy, eggs, nuts, soy, shrimp, and wheat…all after exclusively nursing because she was SO SURE that would help him be a healthy kid. Luckily at age 1, he began to outgrow some of his allergies. Fingers crossed the others will soon follow because that plus a husband who doesn’t eat any veggies and Maria always battling her weight makes for three meals to prepare every night. Luckily, Christopher, her younger son, is a cooperative eater! As someone who has always been committed to making positive change, Maria uses her privilege and position as an educator and mom to work toward a most anti-racisit, equitibile, and inclusive world. Recently, Maria has even started getting up at 5am to workout in her basement. (Thank you pandemic living!) She is addicted to reading chicklit on her Kindle app in the dark, most Trader Joe’s products, and watching TikToks.


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