The concept of making time for myself is something that I have always struggled with. I'm a care-giver before I'm a self-care-receiver. It is in my nature to put the needs of others before my own, even when I know that it might mean sacrificing what little time I may have for myself that day.
Sadly, this struggle seems to be a common thread these days. I hear the same or similar tale from friends from all walks of life; mothers, wives, business owners, educators, or freelancers, there never seems to be enough time.
As I dive into a second career as a part-time Pilates instructor, I’m finding the integrity of my intentions for this journey is being compromised. I began this new endeavor in my life because I loved practicing Pilates and I wanted to not just expand my own knowledge base, but I also wanted to share my passion with others.
For months I was diligent about getting my time in on the equipment – going to classes, taking privates, practicing on my own equipment at home – but as I started to teach more, the time I set aside for my own practice became less and less. After a long work day, my biggest challenge is to move my body and make time for my practice.
So, how do we regain our balance? How do we stay true to our path and ourselves? How do we juggle the demands of a 21st-century family, career and social life with our desire for self-care?
Start small but think big.
Write it down.
Personally, if it's not on my calendar, it doesn't exist. Try blocking off the time for your practice on your calendar. The time you set aside doesn’t have to be an hour, it can be 15 minutes or 30 minutes. Whatever you can fit into your schedule. It's perfectly acceptable to start small and work your away up.
Set an obtainable goal.
Decide what works for your schedule and for your body, set the goal and commit to it. "I want to move my body at least 3 hours a week" can be 30 minutes 6 times that week or 3 60 minutes sessions. Come up with a realistic plan that you can stick to, reward yourself with that much needed me time and move your body.
Find a buddy.
I know it's an often mentioned method but the simple act of telling a friend, "I'll see you at the studio at 4:00" can help hold you accountable to that plan. Someone else is now expecting you and vice versa. Support each other, motivate one another and thrive together! Sometimes, it really does help to know that you're not in it alone.
Above all, be honest with yourself about your needs and expectations. Find peace with what you can do, instead of fixating on what you can't do. We are here to honor one another and ourselves with the physical and mental benefits of our practice. Be kind to yourself. Most importantly, don’t forget to breathe!
~ Want to learn more from Mindy in a Pilates Class? Come to our new 4:30 Friday Reformer Class taught by Mindy at Move!