Today Stephanie shares her story with us. Thank you for being brave, real, and vulnerable Steph. You are amazing and I’m so grateful to know you.
One of the things I love the most about Get Out There Girl is that it gives women the opportunity to take time for themselves and teaches them the importance of self care. Which is huge! I have never been the best at self care. Truth be told I stink at it. As a wife and a mother of 5 kids (ranging from the ages of 13–2 and one with a severe epileptic medical condition) life can be stressful, busy and unpredictable. I have always just naturally put their needs and their wants above my own, which I think as wives and moms is pretty common and something we just tend to do without thinking twice. Is that wrong? No way! I think it’s extremely selfless but I have learned the hard way that it can also be very damaging. There needs to be some sort of balance with taking care of my own needs, wants and desires.
See, the problem I have is that when I do have an opportunity to do something for myself, or buy something for myself, or go on a trip or a GNO etc, I instantly feel guilt. Every single time. I have this self destructive habit and battle in mind and my first initial reaction is always a big fat NO! Why? I think because it’s the easy answer, the safe answer. So I come up with every excuse in the book to back up the “No.” Such as, not enough time, not enough money, I’m busy, or it’s selfish and irresponsible. I then stew over it for a long time. I let insecurities, guilt, fear and my anxieties creep in which then it takes things to a whole new level. Even if I end up saying yes, those feelings still linger. I overthink everything, literally everything! Needless to say, doing things for myself does not come easy or naturally. This is not something I’m proud of either. Although, I genuinely and sincerely love serving others and find great joy in caring for the needs of my family. I know it’s just as important to put myself and my needs high on the priority list. If I don’t, then feelings of resentment creep in and the victim mentality starts to take over. That is not a fun place to be.
I’m learning that the best thing I can do for myself AND for my family is to nurture my needs and to take time to do things for myself. Most importantly, to NOT feel guilty about it. I have a long way to go but I have been more intentional with it. I feel more balanced and I am able to be a better wife, a better mom and a better disciple of Jesus Christ. I am often reminded of the talk given by President Nelson a few years back. He shared a story about the oxygen mask, and that in order for us to be able to more fully take care of the ones that we love we must first take care of ourselves. I love this analogy and it speaks so much truth!
Another thing I absolutely love about Get Out There Girl is the focus it has on being in the outdoors. There is something very therapeutic to me about being out in nature. When I am in the outdoors whether it be under a starlit sky, sitting around a campfire, or hiking a beautiful trail, I feel a connection to God that I don’t feel any other way. I marvel at His creations. I find such peace and stillness that only comes from being out in nature. I felt all of these things at the Yoga retreat that I went on last year. It was so much fun! Not only was I able to go and be there with my 2 sisters and some friends, I was able to develop new friendships. I met so many women from all ages and stages of life, different backgrounds and beliefs. The unity, love and sisterhood that was felt there was pretty incredible! I learned new things, had some really neat experiences, made some deep connections, and left feeling totally rejuvenated! Oh and not to mention the yummy food!
I am so grateful that I fought off my initial “NO” (along with guilt, fear, anxiety and insecurities) and said “YES” to this opportunity that I took time for myself! I love EVERYTHING that Get Out There Girl is about and I hope to go on many more of the adventures/retreats in the future! I also just started the Self Compassion Workbook that Brittany wrote and it is awesome! I love that I am learning that self care is not a selfish thing at all. In fact, it is one of the best things we can do for ourselves and for the ones we love!