Taking Out Life’s Toxins
I spend a lot of time worrying about toxins. I buy organic food, organic milk and I drink only filtered water. I make my own cleaning products using all natural ingredients. I do this because it makes me feel like I am taking charge of my life. I also do this because I’m a mom and it’s my job to create a healthy home for my family. The earth is a scary place when you think about the pollution and chemicals surrounding us. In my obsession with the silent toxins, I neglected to take care of the vocal toxins. I’m talking about the toxins who “mom shame” and the toxins who feed the work anxieties.
It’s taken me longer than it should have, but at 39 it finally clicked. Toxins are toxins and you have to get rid of them as though they are equal imposters. I started by purging my friends. It sounds so terrible to say, but I am talking about friends with a lower case “f”. The friends you make by convenience. Moms of your kids’ classmates, team mates or other moms whom you see often because you have to, not because you truly want to see each other. I’m not advocating an anti-social lifestyle, but a toxic friend is the same as eating junk food- at first it’s fun, then you just don’t feel good. Purge your Facebook list. Don’t accept every single happy hour invitation. Sit on the bleachers and just cheer for your kid. An uppercase “F” Friend will reveal herself over time. A lowercase “f” friend is filler and should be regarded as such. I have three kids and work a full-time job. I will forget your birthday, send a party invitation three days before the party, and flake when we make plans because sometimes I really am just too tired. I need friends who understand being a mom is hard and leaves little time for Girls Night Out. I want to be invited. Just don’t judge me if I can’t come. One day I’ll have an empty nest and a free calendar. When that day comes, I’ll fill it with all the uppercase F friends I wish I had more time for now.
The next step is harder. Does work feel like work? Most of us work because we have to, not because we want to. But if your work environment is toxic, you are adding stress and anxiety with each paycheck. You are worth more than that. If you truly don‘t like the people you work with or the work you are doing, invest in yourself and find a new job. The process of just looking for a new job will make you feel better. I know from experience, a bad job doesn’t get better. You just lose yourself a little more each day. It will also slowly ruin your health. Ask any doctor, work stress is real and can cause illness.I had a job I hated. I didn’t even last a month. Leaving is scary. Staying is scarier. Being the right fit makes all the difference. Much like a relationship, you should feel valued and appreciated. You spend more time with co-workers than you do with your family. Actually liking your coworkers make a huge difference. Be the change you want in your life- don’t just want a change.
Be mindful and take control. From what you eat to what you drink to who you surround yourself with, make the choice to take out the toxins. You only get one chance to live your life. Live Healthy. You’re worth the extra effort.