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PSL Season should not mean Putting Self Last

self care Sep 19, 2022

It's PSL season, which for me signals crisp mornings, cozy sweaters, and more routine. I actually don't really like the Starbucks drink, but I still have one at the start of each season since I love what Pumpkin Spice Latte season represents. 

It wasn't always this way. PSL used to represent a season of "Putting Self Last" as it still does for many women. Back to school means that the mental work of mothering increases with forms to fill out, homework to supervise, chauffeuring to be done, and acquaintances to be tolerated. It can be a tough season.

If your kids are older, however, and you have an empty, or close to empty nest, you might need to get out of the Putting Self Last habit. A new study from the National Bureau of Economic Research has come out showing that age 47 tends to be the peak of unhappiness among people from affluent countries. The midlife years are often marked by depression, anxiety, sleeplessness, headaches and lack of concentration that have nothing to do with menopause. The root cause seems to be unfulfilled aspirations which is a fancy way of saying not living up to your potential. After years of September marking a time of getting everyone else ready for success, it's finally time to follow your dreams. 

Here are some ways to get started:

Set a big goal. You could take Italian lessons for that big trip you are planning next spring. You could start to work on the book you've always wanted to write. You could start the business you've wanted to start. 

Prepare for the new season. For years, September likely meant back to school shopping or buying supplies for a dorm. Take some time to prepare for your own new season they way you've been caring for others all these years. Buy some pretty new office supplies. Get a new calendar that runs from September to September. Plant some fall bulbs. Buy some new spices. Get a new portfolio to showcase your work or a new laptop. 

Diarize your goals. Use that calendaring habit most of us developed when we had children in school to map out the next few months for you. Call up friends who energize you and book them in for lunch. Buy theatre tickets or book a weekend away. And make sure you write these in ink and uphold these dates, the way you would a child's tournament or appointment with the orthodontist. 

Find new classmates. Just as this time of year meant you kids got a new teacher and new classmates, add some new people into your life. Join a club, take up a hobby, or become part of a membership group or a mastermind. 

Take up a new self-care habit. After years of caring for others, you've likely forgotten yourself. My favorite self care habit tends to be establishing boundaries since that practice will serve you well for years and will allow you to easily put other self care habits in place. 

Do a life audit. You can download my free workbook which will help you find out what's missing - or should be missing - from your life. Just as your kids will meet with a guidance counsellor to make sure they have the courses they need for college, you need to make sure you have everything you need for your happiness and sense of satisfaction. 

As you grab a PSL as you are out and about, make a promise to yourself that you will allow it to mark a new season in your life: a season where you will no longer put yourself last and you will put your needs on the agenda.