[Editor's note: The thought of starting to take better care of yourself can be daunting but it doesn't have to be. These interviews feature individuals who have successfully incorporated self-care into their daily routines. Read them, be inspired by them, and take on the challenge of self-care!]
Tell us a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Hi, I’m Sam! I live in Chicago, and work downtown at a bank doing projects around - basically - helping the bank track how much they’re spending on different projects. I’m a numbers nerd but I love people, so it’s a good funny fit for me! I come from a huge Polish Italian family, which means potatoes and pasta are my comfort food ;) Growing up Catholic, I always wanted to be “one of the boys,” so I have a huge passion for faith and feminism. I’m channeling that into my blog FemCatholic.com.
What is a typical day like for you?
My husband Matt and I have a toddler, so the day usually starts at 5:30... or whenever Little Man wakes up. I used to have trouble getting up for 8am class in college, and now that feels so LATE! Haha. We watch Baby Einstein’s “Farm Animals” pretty much every day, and trade off corralling Liam while the other person gets ready for work. I usually drive him to daycare and come home to jump on the train downtown. If I can snag a seat I read or talk to my husband on the train (he works downtown, too). At work I’m on the computer or in meetings most of the day, and my team has started doing coffee runs to the local chain down the street, which I love... I love coffee! With lots of cream ;) My husband leaves early to pick up Liam except the nights he has class for his MBA. We usually heat up a frozen crockpot meal for dinner, or grab pizza. I hang out with Liam until bedtime, and then get him down while my husband starts homework. Then it’s an hour or two of free time, and Matt and I watch an episode of The Office before bed.
What has your relationship to self-care been like throughout your life? Did you always make it a priority?
I honestly never really understood what the whole “self-care” thing was about until recently... but looking back I so needed it! In college I was really active in student clubs, a few different social circles - and I loved all of it. But when I became an RA senior year, I lived by myself and was also was serving all these women in my section. Some of the work drained me a lot, and I felt BAD - because clearly this was such a good thing to be doing! I ended up also agreeing to help plan a women’s conference on top of everything else. At the time I thought it was just not being able to say no to a cool opportunity, but looking back I realize — that was me crying out for self care! I loved the logistical and strategic planning, and it gave me an outlet for that energy. A similar thing happened when I had Liam. I was so excited to be a mom - and thought, OBVIOUSLY this is such an important thing! But it was all of a sudden really tough to get out with friends - and my day to day was filled with responsibilities that - I didn’t want to admit - honestly didn’t give me energy. I started my blog FemCatholic.com in part because I think I was starving for that creative outlet - it was something that almost just poured out of me.
What is your favorite self-care practice?
Definitely working on my blog. It’s taken me a while to admit that. A friend recently pointed it out to me - I was saying how guilty I felt doing more WORK when I was home and should be playing with Liam or cleaning or something. I knew self care was important, but I always had heard of it as getting your nails done or doing something relaxing. Which I don’t mind doing! But I noticed it doesn’t give me that energy to be ALIVE the way my blog does. I’ll come home and work on it after a long day at work and all of a sudden not want to go to bed! Haha. It’s been really freeing to identify that as self care for me. It makes me happy.
Is there any area that you struggle to take care of yourself? How do you want to grow in that area?
I definitely struggle with taking care of my health. I think it’s just something that’s so easy to ignore on a day-to-day basis… I think, I’ll just eat out today because I’m busy. Or, I have a long day so I’m going to rest instead of work out. So I’m trying to be less focused on the immediate gratificationThere and focus on the long-term self-care aspect.
What do you wish you could tell your younger self when it comes to self-care?
I would tell myself the key to self-care is doing things that give you energy. It’s not just relaxing the way other people relax! It’s doing things that make YOU happy, regardless of how silly or logical they are.
Coffee or tea?
Current favorite TV show?
This is Us
Early bird or night owl?
“In order to be irreplaceable you must always be different.” -Coco Chanel
Crunchy or smooth peanut butter?
Thank you, Sam!