“Self-care is how you take your power back.” –Lalah Delia
We’ve all heard flight attendants tell us in pre-flight safety to put on our own oxygen mask before helping someone else and I believe this is just as true in parenting. I used to push through exhausted, frazzled, and all the other emotions that come with parenting (and life in general) by telling myself I would feel better tomorrow. I still tell myself tomorrow is filled with a new start, new outlook, and new opportunities but, I no longer believe that a new day magically fills my cup and makes everything sunshine and roses. Nope. Reality is, it takes intentionally choosing to take care of yourself. With that, my final survival tip is…
Take Time for Yourself!
One of the ways that I work to be the best me for my family is gauging where I am on the scale of personal well-being. Here are things that I ask myself:
- Am I happy? I tend to be a dreamer and optimistic so, when my talk and thoughts become negative, I know I need to refuel.
- Am I kind? A warning sign for me that I need to prioritize “me time” is when my patience for others is lacking.
- Do I look forward to being around people? As an introvert, this is a big one for me. If I don’t look forward to being around people, I know I need to adjust my schedule to make some time to be alone.
- Am I tired? I am not talking about not getting enough sleep last night tired. I am talking about soul tired that keeps you from being excited about the next thing.
- Am I taking care of my health? When I get too busy, running, eating well, and managing my overall health fall to the waste side. Monitoring these things helps me see if I am in balance or out of balance.
I have learned being intentional about self care is much more effective than waiting until burn out hits. Here are things that I personally implement to keep myself in balance:
- Schedule dates with my hubby and others that fill my cup! We all have those people who know us really, really well. They are the people we don’t have to try to have conversation with, that are content just being in the same space together at the same time. These are the people I schedule time with to refuel.
- Schedule time away! I make a point to schedule time to do nothing but think, read, sleep, and simply not be a caregiver. I have found I need to find a refueling station 2-3 times a year for me to stay healthy at this point in my life. It is amazing what a few days away can do!
- Do something you love everyday! I love to run, read, take my kids on individual dates, snuggle on the couch and talk with my hubby, and get lost in music. Work (including house work!) can wait. Even if it is 30 minutes, take a break to enjoy what you love.
- Choose to say yes! I read a book at one of my scheduled times away by Emily Ley called Grace not Perfection and it made a huge difference for me. I have become more scheduled in many ways to manage the work load that comes from being a working stay-at-home mom BUT, I also started intentionally saying yes to the things that really matter and going off of our schedule to soak in the fun. There is nothing like being a grown up playing hooky from housework. 😉
- Be OK saying no! I cannot be everything to everyone. I am not supermom or wonder woman. Know your boundaries and don’t be apologetic about saying no when you cannot add something.
- Put yourself in time out! We put kids in time out so they can take a minute to calm down and re-regulate. I don’t know about you but, sometimes this is exactly what I need.
- Speak kindly to yourself! This one is probably the hardest for me. We as parents tend to be way too hard on ourselves.
I will leave you with the words from one of my favorite fiction books that I read in my “me time”:
“You is kind. You is smart. You is important.” –Kathryn Stockett, The Help.
Be kind to yourself my friends.
Founder/CEO Foster Arizona