The last two weeks have tested my commitment to self-care (and sanity). On the home front, there have been birthday celebrations, trips to the orthodontist, school conferences, and a first report for my fourth grader. Work has centered around hosting a table at the Natural Childbirth and Parenting expo, as well as pre-planning posts and newsletters in preparation for an upcoming vacation. Volunteering at church, trips to the car dealership, and the usual domestic duties also have to be fit in. These are all wonderful and exciting things, but without vigilance commitments to others can easily eclipse commitments to myself.
This balance isn’t news to any mom out there. Being pulled in multiple directions and taking care of others is part of parenting, part of community.
The good news is that the people who love us want us to thrive. They want us to be happy and healthy!
It is often ourselves that we fighting more than others. We are choosing to put others’ needs always before our own. Sometimes this is because we fear being thought of as selfish if we step back to nourish ourselves. Other times, it is accidental. We simply get busy and forget to put ourselves on the list. It doesn’t become evident until we crash, or find ourselves yelling at our kids because we are so overwhelmed.
I have been guilty of all of the above. Awareness is a the first step in making positive changes. In the last week, I have deliberately included self-care in my daily routines. I arrived at meetings early to enjoy some quiet work time or just a cup of chai tea by myself, I asked for help from my family when I needed it (before I lost my temper), and I spent time with a cup of tea and a good book on a daily basis as this nourishes me. By planning for breaks, I was able to get everything done without becoming overwhelmed.
Here are some other ideas to help you remember to take care of yourself.
- Put something on your schedule that is just for you EVERY DAY. Schedule this first if you don’t think you can fit it in.
- Start your day with prayer, Bible study, meditation, or other nourishing practice
- Ask your family for help. You don’t have to do everything alone. It may be that your loved ones are just waiting for you to tell them what you need.
- Arrive early so you have time to breathe. This works for pretty much all events.
- Have a consistent bedtime routine that relaxes you. Helpful suggestions can be found in this post.
Self-care will look differently for each of us and may change over time. Find what nourishes and replenishes you. Make sure you do these things on a regular basis. We can’t take care of anyone else if we are not at our best.
If you would like help this process, please contact me to schedule a free health consultation.Teaching self-care is my favorite part of this job.