Self Care - it is more then a luxury spa weekend
I wanted to write a little bit about self care today because it is something that is close to my heart at the moment. I am Mum to 2 primary school going children, I am working part time and developing a new business, I look after an elderly, (though thankfully healthy and independent) parent, and I am getting ready to go back and continue my education. I am busy ! We are nearing the end of the school Summer holidays here, and while it has been wonderful, free from routine and schedule, it has also been demanding and hectic. I have two strong willed, independent free spirited children that have their own ideas about what we should be doing each day, and trying to keep a balance between us all can be difficult. We are doing lots of outings, and day trips, and we are having lots of days with friends over, so the house is often full to the brim and slightly chaotic ! I have found that in the midst of all the madness and chaos and fun, my own self care has slipped. And I am feeling it now !!
Self care is something that is written about and spoken about a lot these days. It is something that I speak about on my parenting courses and with my clients. After all, if all parenting starts with self, then self care is essential for all !
Yet self care is so often the first thing that goes when we are under pressure. We put everyone else's needs before our own. We are at the bottom of the pile. This placing ourselves last often results in us building up resentment to those around us, friends, partners, children, and even resenting yourself. I know that this happens for me, and if I am not conscious it will result in my “blowing my top” … in other words, shouting at the kids because Im feeling taken for granted and worn out. But those are my feelings. No one has “made” me feel taken for granted. No one has worn me down. As a responsible adult I am the one that needs to look after myself and do what I need to do. I need to make myself and my needs a priority in my life, and not put myself at the bottom of the pile.
In the last few weeks I have not been a priority in my life (I have been running around trying to make everyone else happy), and I have ended up with a kidney infection and feeling pretty miserable. But I am conscious now of what I have been doing (or not doing) and I am ready to take action, for myself.
So what does self care look like ? Self care can be a luxury spa weekend, but realistically how many of us actually get to do that ? Self care for me, is everyday. It's a consideration of myself, and a championing of my needs, and an acknowledgement that I matter.
Self care is me, acknowledging to me, that I have needs, that I matter and that I am worth taking care of. Self care is going to bed at a reasonable hour and trying to get enough sleep. It's eating good nutritious and nurturing meals each day. It is brushing my hair and taking 5 mins in the morning to put on my red lipstick. It is sitting with my mug of green tea and listening to some nice music ... just because I can. It is going for a walk by myself (or with my kids - my choice) in the early evening. It is scheduling a night out with my best friends to nurture my soul and have some laughs. It is chatting with my partner about my deepest fears, and greatest joys. It is asking for help when I need it. It is dancing in the darkness with my children, light shining from the glow sticks around our heads. It is buying myself a bunch of flowers because they make me smile. It is blowing bubbles with my kids in the back garden instead of tidying it up. It is stopping, breathing, and giving myself a break. It is acknowledging that life is busy and hard and that I am doing my best. It is eating chocolate and toffees, because I want too. It is not worrying that the house is in a mess today because I am tired and need to rest. Self care for me is regarding myself in the way that I regard everyone else. With love, kindness and deep compassion.
My self care, may not look like yourself care. This is an important point, because self care for each of us is different. But all self care is a consideration of yourSELF, knowing that you matter.
I hope that you can take a minute today to think about how you nurture, champion and look after yourself. Most of all, I want you to know that you do matter. You are good enough. You deserve to be loved by you.