For our next installment of Self Improvement Month Ambassador Sam reminds us of the importance of giving back to yourself and take care of yourself. For the first installment click here.

It’s the easiest thing in the world to forget to give to yourself.

You can easily fall into the routine of giving to your career, children, and relationships. Every aspect of your life requires you to give a part of you and slowly you begin to deteriorate, sometimes without even realizing it.

As a mother of 4 children I once found it incredibly difficult to take care of myself. I was constantly putting everyone’s needs before my own, exhausting myself in the process. When I reached my lowest point in a depressive state after my fourth was born I realized I needed to “fill my cup” more often, but wasn’t sure how to do it. I barely had enough in me to give to my children, let alone to taking care of myself.

I always had a love for the outdoors, but I felt I had to put my passion aside while I raised my children. Unfortunately, that lack of time outdoors contributed to my degradation.

I made the conscious decision to start giving back to myself and I knew that I needed to give myself to nature to accomplish that.

Nature takes what you have to give. It takes your worries and anxieties. It takes your struggles and hardships. It takes your fears, angst, and frustration. Nature takes all of these things but offers a return that is invaluable: it offers calm, solace, and clarity.

When I gave myself to nature, I gave myself to myself, as well. I began to make more time for myself to go hiking, to sit by the ocean in solitude, or swim at a lake on my own. I soon saw the improvement in my mood and ability to function in life. After a long road up, I finally began to feel like myself.

Now, spending time in nature is a daily occurrence. I bring my children outdoors everyday to give them the same opportunity to release their anxieties, struggles, fears, and frustrations. I also make time for outdoor adventures without my children so that I can challenge myself and allow for time of self-reflection. This is equally as important for myself and for my children: they get to watch their Mom get ready to conquer a summit. They get to hear the stories of the trail. They get to share my passion and grow with me.

Nature is my savior. It’s made me a better mother, friend, partner. Most importantly, it’s taught me to love myself: an invaluable lesson that everyone should take the time to learn.

2 comments on “Loving YOU!

  1. You are so right..as women we tend to put others and their requests before us and forget to make time for ourselves
    I learned a valuable lesson(depression) a long time ago that I need to make time for myself …when we make time for ourselves we can reground and then be better to go about our daily routines and demands. I am finding more and more the outdoors is my “grounding”
    Thanks for sharing your journey

  2. I have 4 kids – triplets plus one, who were separated by less than 2 years. I carried the triplets to term @ 7 lbs each. I was severely injured in every major organ/musculoskeletal system, and it took almost 15 years for me to get better. One of the biggest obstacles was finding the time to heal and do self care. I finally learned to do this, and the first thing I did when I felt well enough was to get back outdoors. It’s been a long journey, and now with an empty nest I devote a lot of time to all sorts of self-care, but hiking in the mountains is the most healing thing of all!

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