Making Time for Self Care

Posted on April 23 2015

I am a mother of two young daughters. I am a daughter. I am a wife. I am a domestic Goddess. I am a start-up farmer. I am a customer service representative. I am responsible for a variety of tasks on a daily basis that help meet the needs of all the living creatures, big and small, inside of, outside of,  and around our household. I seem to play quite a few different roles in life, and while I graciously accept each one and carry it out to the best of my abilities, there comes a time when I feel so absolutely exhausted and drained that I forget about the most important role... ME. I am ME. I am a person with individual needs, desires, likes and dislikes, and I have my own ways of regrouping when I'm feeling tapped out and overwhelmed. It has taken me a really long time to be okay with taking care of myself, but I've finally realized that if I do not allow myself the time and space to relax, re-center, and do the things that I enjoy doing on my own, I will become angry, irritable, depressed, distant, and/or resentful. And it's nobody's fault except my own. Despite the fact that women's and men's equality has come a long way from where it once was, there is no denying that women are naturally considered to be the nurturers; the caregivers; the emotional ones. I think it's beautiful, and powerful, and frustrating as hell all at the same time, but I also think (no... I KNOW) that these parts of ourselves can help to cultivate some truly strong and loving relationships as long as we pay attention to our needs. For instance, I am a highly sensitive person, and I need a lot of time alone. Now, I'm sure some of you just chuckled, or perhaps guffawed out loud, or are thinking, "Don't we all?!" And if you did, I totally understand that response! If you have children, "alone time" is something that often seems to be a daydream wrapped inside of a bubble  being hurtled through space as far away from you as inhumanly possible..... yeah. Regardless of how distant the idea of taking care of yourself may be, the fact is that you have to consciously make the effort to tend to yourself, or else you aren't likely to get many opportunities to do so. What kind of atmosphere do you need to recharge? For me, I need to be completely alone. I don't want to hear the kids yelling or crying or laughing or bouncing off the walls; I don't want to hear the lawnmower going or the dishwasher running; I want to have the house to myself, or be outside alone, to do what I want and know that I will not be interrupted or disturbed. Sometimes, if it just doesn't work out to where my husband can take the girls out, I will lock the door to our bedroom, turn on some music or a movie, and do my best to ignore the goings-on outside of my little space bubble. Think about what atmosphere you need to breathe, and recharge, and then try to create that space for yourself as often as you can. What do you love to do? If you had a few hours alone to do whatever you wanted, what would you do? What are you passionate about that perhaps you don't get to spend much time doing? Gardening? Meeting up with a good friend for some adult conversation? Eating something awesome that you don't have to share while watching a movie that you'd be embarassed about if anyone else knew you were watching it? When you get the chance to do what you want, DO IT. What brings you peace? There are so many different activities that bring people peace, and it took me awhile to figure out which activities gifted me the most relaxation and inspiration. I like writing, sewing, and walking outside, but you may find the stroke of a paintbrush, your hands in the soil, or the smell of the amazing homemade baked goods that you whipped up (and that you totally want to send me) sets your spirit free! Take time out each day for self-care. This may seem easier said than done, especially if you're raising children or have a really hectic work schedule, but even taking 15 minutes out of your day to check in with yourself and identify what your needs are can make a world of difference in regards to your attitude throughout the day. Getting up 30 minutes earlier each morning, before the rest of the household awakens, allows you to create a morning ritual of intention and self-love that can help you start your day on the right foot. Make yourself a cup of hot tea or coffee, watch the sunrise, smudge, do some yoga or deep breathing exercises... whatever makes you feel alive and joyful, do that. If for some reason you aren't able to create this space in the morning, try to carve out time in the afternoon or evening to unwind and tend to your needs. It needn't be a complicated routine, just something for YOU and only you. Self-care (Self-LOVE) is crucial for every human being. We often feel as though we aren't deserving of having our needs met, or that we can't tend to ourselves until everyone else around us is happy, but these assumptions are wrong and completely draining. Please make time to care for your body, mind, and soul, and see what a difference it makes in your life, as well as the lives of those around you! Do you have a self-care routine? What is it? How do you make time to recharge? - Our Resident Mom, Lindsay Lewis


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