September Overwhelm . . .

Is it just me or did you feel the exhaustion of all the families getting kids back to school this week?

By the end of the day on Tuesday I was wiped out.  Kind of sounds ridiculous for me to say, considering I don’t have kids and my week was pretty much the same as any other.  I did, however, feel especially drained and tired last week.  It could have been the cloudy days, the drop in temperature or just having a lot on my plate.  Nevertheless, for all of you Mamas and Dads with kids who went back to school, you are amazing!  I know your week could not have been easy.

With so much going on all at once, this is another reason to remember why it is so important to take time for ourselves.  Recently I’ve noticed something interesting.  The advice I get from women who are older and wiser than me is always the same – “Remember to put yourself first.”

I’ve grappled with that advice over the years.  Number one, because I didn’t understand it and, number two because to me it sounded selfish.  Most of us girls were not raised to put ourselves first.  I know for me I grew up with messaging like –

“Go see if your Mom is okay”, “Get your brother to eat his vegetables”, “Why are you watching TV when there is a sink full of dishes?”

This wasn’t bad parenting, I might say the same to my kid if I had one.  I just know that I wasn’t raised with a Mom who hit the spa when she was stressed, our household was busy and there was always stuff to do.  Doing for others and each other was an important part of that, there was no time to put yourself first.

After my week of feeling tired and burnt out I marched back into my studio on Saturday to tackle my giant to do list once again.

Here’s how that went . . .

I looked around, looked at my list, started cruising social media, felt an anxiety ball in my belly and tears began to well up because I felt completely out of control.  Now, I am giving myself some grace here because, well . . . you remember?  Peri-menopause!

In that moment I realized that the only reason I was feeling this way was because I had not put myself first.  Orders, projects and demands were piling up one me and I was drowning.  My work space was a mess and it felt exactly the same in my head, everything intertwined with no direction or priority.

Instead of beating myself up about it (which sometimes is my go-to) I took a deep breath, closed my laptop, turned off my phone and declared out loud, “Me first”.

I then proceeded to clean up my space, label my projects, prioritize them, write down a To Do list with due dates attached and a plan on how I would achieve everything on my list.  Damn, did it ever feel good and in one afternoon I gained my control back.

I do have a lot to accomplish this week so I’m back at it again today on this glorious sunny Sunday!  But, you know what I did first?  Hopped on my bike, rode through the neighbourhood, saw kids playing in the playground, teenagers on bike rides and the best was a family laughing and talking while joyfully stirring big pots of tomato sauce in their garage.

I think for any entrepreneur this idea of putting ourselves first is a constant battle, we do what we do because it excites us to serve others and give every last bit of ourselves to our business.

That’s all good but I think I’m slowly starting to learn that those things just naturally fall into place when I have the courage to put myself first!

Monica XO

As we navigate through all of this uncertainty I want you to look and feel stylish while you do so!  Stay tuned to your email this coming Thursday at 7am when we release a whole new collection of our multi purpose mask chain beauties.  Plus there will be an added twist! XO


Monica Graves

That means so much to me Lesley! I hope you’re doing something good for yourself today!


Well said Monica! Also, thank-you for sharing that as a reminder to all of the rest of us to work at doing the same.


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