I remember when my life was very stressful, raising 2 young boys, working long hours, being mom, wife, entrepreneur, and the go to person in the family for everything. I had spread myself so thin that I lost track of myself. Then bam! The universe bit me in the ass super hard!

A bunch of negatively impactful things occurred all at once and all I could think of was why is this happening to me!? When I was done trying to figure out why, I realized I needed to figure out HOW, how to stop it and turn things around. I was then and am still currently fortunate to have a great support system in my life and because of that I was able to find my strength to make the needed changes.

That was the beginning of my journey to a healthier lifestyle. I learned about good foods vs not so good foods for me. It was also a discovery that what exercise I did then, really wasn’t enough. And a time to renew my good habits I once had with meditation and focusing on the good things.

Who would think that all the above would bring me to where I am today? I certainly did not! Matter of fact, at that time all I was caring about was everyone else and that was it. I did, however, find the balance needed to make the necessary changes I wanted.

So why I am I sharing this with you? Because for one, I know now that I was not alone in the world when this happened to me and this may be where you or someone you know may be at this moment. And two, as I finished my walk/run in the park last week, while sitting in my car about to go home, I heard yelling. When I looked to see who and why, I saw a mom with 2 young children walking back to their car, the children young enough to still be in booster seats. She yelled loudly at her children over nothing important enough to yell like that, to a point I thought she was going to strike them. She was that angry and continued after the door was shut and while she drove away. My first thought was to pray for the safety of her children, that her anger would not inhibit her focus to drive and then for her to realize she needed a well-deserved time out for herself. Maybe she had no one to support her. Maybe she had a bad day or week. Not knowing her, I had no idea. Most would just judge her for yelling at them, but my first thoughts were to have compassion for her and to hope when she went home there was someone there for her, so she could collect herself and find peace in her evening.

There comes a point in life when taking care of yourself is just as important as the people you love. As to who you choose to come first is truly up to you, but to be fair, if you do not prioritize yourself as number one, you risk the chance of not being your best to others. That applies not only to your personal life but your professional life as well. Think about it!

It’s okay to say and think that you should be number one in line, to being the best you can and want to be. It does not mean you are selfish if the ones you love are cared for in the way you want or need them to be. Your sleep, your healthy food choices and exercise are your personal defense, your armor, against the stressors of life. They will always be there, and how you handle them like that mom did yesterday is where the huge difference comes in.

I don’t know about you, but I am a big fan of getting adequate sleep, a huge fan of eating healthy because it creates more energy and I feel better inside, and an even bigger fan of exercise because it not only boosts my metabolism, it helps me sleep better, and helps me focus on everything I do.

I’ll share one other thing with you real quick. I don’t walk/run at the park just to add to my routine, but because when I’m alone, outdoors in the sunshine, it’s how I meditate best. So, if closing your eyes to get quiet inside doesn’t work for you, then throw on a pair of sneakers and get outside!

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