by Mary Yerkes, CPLC, and Pilates Enthusiast
Seasons change. In a little over a week, the kids will be back in school if they’re not already, and the lazy, hazy days of summer will come to an end. For many of us, that means changes to our schedules as well, which raises the question—how do we maintain good self-care when the pace of life picks back up?
Last week, this question became a very personal one for me. You see, a little over a month ago, I got a new puppy, one that I’m committed to raising well with proper training and socialization. Only my commitment to providing my puppy with what he needs to thrive and the week’s deadlines didn’t line up. What’s a new pet owner to do?
And that’s not all. I was behind on preparations for a workshop I was leading, not to mention the 200 emails waiting for a response. I decided to soldier through at whatever the cost.
So, I did what most people would do when their schedules and routine change—I skipped Pilates class. Not once, but twice in one week. And I started self-soothing with sugar and carbs.
Did it help? I told myself it did, but my body told me otherwise.
So, how do we maintain good self-care when our schedules and routines change?

Self-Care Reboot: Become Aware, Assess, and Act

We can’t fix a problem, until we admit we have one. So here goes: My name is Mary Yerkes, and I’m a recovering workaholic. And when my workload increases, my self-care decreases. Fortunately, the amazing instructors at Studio BE call me on it when my life gets out of balance.
And as a certified life coach, I know that change starts with awareness. So after Carla called me out on missing class twice last week, I employed some life coaching techniques to back on track.
First, I assessed where I was and where I wanted to be. Sure, I love the work that I do as a writer and life coach, and I’m good at it. But any strength taken to an extreme becomes a weakness. And I wanted to be intentional about prioritizing my health and wellness, which required that I act, especially in light of some new health challenges.
So, I pulled out my laptop and calendar and decided to act. But not before asking myself these questions:

  • What are my physical, emotional, relational, financial, and spiritual needs in this season?
  • What are more core values? Does this commitment align with my core values?
  • Am I moving in my strengths, or is this an activity that someone else can do as well as or better than me?
  • What was my motive in accepting this commitment?
  • Does this commitment support my goal of optimal health and wellness?

After answering these questions, what I needed to do became clear. I canceled several events and commitments. Immediately, I felt a sense of peace.
What about you?
What next steps do you need to take to increase your awareness and assess your schedule and your health? Now act!