This is probably one of those topics you’ll hear me coming back to again and again here on the blog. It just cannot be stated enough how important it is. Self-care brings sanity, calm nerves, hope, & happiness.
I SO freakin’ wish someone would have pulled me aside as a young mom and explained just WHY self-care was SO ridiculously important. It would have made me a better wife, mom, friend. I would have just been a HAPPIER person.
Along the mothering way, I got it in my head that it wasn’t ok for me to make time for me.
Let me tell you where that (dumb) idea came from…
Several years back when I had five little ones under the age of 6 (yes, you read that right), let’s just say I was SWIMMING in exhaustion & overwhelm. I had very little support. My parents lived in another state, I was relatively new to the community, my hubby was trying to establish his business & so was gone a lot, all my friends/family were either busy with their own babies or were working. I felt so alone.
So I tried reaching out to a Christian lady from my church for help. All I needed/wanted was an afternoon off: a couple hours to regroup, take a nap, maybe get some backed-up house work accomplished. She had older kids & so I thought maybe she’d have some availability.
My request didn’t go over well. She turned on me… and I’ll never forget that look in her eye or the biting tone in which she spoke to me…
She said… “YOU got yourself into this mess…
this is YOUR problem… I will NOT help you…”
I was beside myself. It felt like someone sucker punched me in the gut & knocked all the air outta me.
If she’s thinking this… then… are other people thinking this, too?
Was there really NO ONE who’d be willing to help me?
Were my children & I really THAT much of a burden to others?
To say I was crushed was an understatement. Something inside me shriveled up & almost died that day. In my immaturity I lost hope of every asking for help in the future.
From that day forth, I was set on a mission to be absolutely independence.
I don’t need anyone anyway.
You’re right– I DID get myself into this “mess”.
I’ll carve my path out myself.
I don’t need sitters.
I don’t need help, esp if it’s going to be given begrudgingly.
I don’t need time off.
I don’t need breaks.
They’re MY “problem” & I’ll figure out how to solve things on my own.
Every time I felt like I couldn’t take any more, I’d simply need to replay this lady’s statements in my mind & I’d be able gird up my loins for more care-taking.
Fast forward four years… when I quite literally had a break. My body started shutting down with adrenal fatigue, anxiety, food sensitivities, digestive upset, & panic attacks.
So started my path to self-care.
So started my *having* to ask for help.
So started the hard task of *accepting* help.
“The Lord is Shepherd, I shall not want. He MAKES me lie down in green pastures. He LEADS me beside quiet waters. He RESTORES my soul. He GUIDES me in the paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. ~Ps. 23:1-3
If you don’t take a rest, God may very well MAKE you take a rest as He did with me.
Let’s hope it doesn’t come down to something debilitating before you take a needed Sabbath.
Now that I’m older/wiser, I have completely forgiven this woman. As the years have passed, I have witnessed her go through crazy tumultuous family ordeals. Perhaps I caught her on a very bad day.
And NO… one woman’s opinion does NOT speak for everyone else!
And NO… my children & I are NOT a burden to society! (And neither are you & your children!!!)
A HUGE part of my healing has been SELF-CARE.
I’d done SO much caring for other’s that I’d nearly forgotten to take care of me!
How can I give from an empty cup?
Why do airlines say adults/caretakers get the oxygen FIRST before children?
“Don’t you realize that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in you & was given to you by God? You do not belong to yourself, for God bought you with a high price. So you must honor God with your body. ~1 Cor. 6:19-20
Take care of your temple, ladies!!!
If you’re like me a few years back, you may be thinking:
*I don’t know where to start.
*I don’t know what self-care looks like for me.
First of all, go back to your childhood. Children are FANTASTIC at self-care techniques & doing things to soothe themselves and make them happy. Start there.
*Did you spend a lot of time outdoors in nature?
*Did you like hot baths or showers (or swimming in pools/lakes/rivers)?
*Did you paint or write?
*Did you have a fuzzy blanket to snuggle to?
*Did you like warm milk or reading books before bed?
*Did you love long car rides & travel?
*Did you like to ride your bike for hours?
*Did you have a hobby?
*Were you one of the unique kids that actually liked sleep & naps?
*Did you like to play sports?
*Did you like going to your room & being in solitude?
*Did you blast your music or sing at the top of your lungs?
*Did you like cooking with your parents or grandma?
*Did you like gardening or landscaping?
What did you do as a child that you could get lost in?
What soothed you?
What calmed you after a long day?
What things made you happy?
Guess what? Just because you’re an adult doesn’t mean you can’t do these same “kids activities” to bring you peace & pleasure. If it makes you feel any better, I have a special fuzzy blanket that I cuddle up to each night because I love the way it feels on my skin. So soft. Relaxes me instantly. If you had a cuddle blanket as a kid, go ahead & get you an adult version. No one will know… and honestly, no one will care. Do what you need to do for you.
Self-care can also come from another angle. Take a look at these other forms:
*If it feels wrong, don’t do it.
*Say “exactly” what you mean.
*Don’t be a people-pleaser.
*Trust your instincts.
*Never speak bad about yourself.
*Never give up on your dreams.
*Don’t be afraid to say “no”.
*Don’t be afraid to say “yes”.
*Be kind to yourself.
*Let go of what you cannot control.
*Stay away from drama & negativity as much as possible.
(This was from a meme I found online forever ago… don’t know who came up with it– but I give them credit.)
Other forms of self-care could be:
*eat life-giving/healthy foods
*don’t eat lifeless/unhealthy foods
*move your body daily with loving movement
*take a shower each day
*brush & floss regularly
*get a massage
*see your doctor(s) regularly
*take your vitamins
*wear clothes that flatter you & make you look/feel great
*tame the clutter in your house
Self-care can come in so many different shapes & sizes.
It does not have to take hours & hours out of your day.
It does not have to cost a fortune.
And there ARE people that will help you get that time off!
It will make you a better person… promise you!
So what will you do today to fill your cup?
What things can you participate in that bring a smile to your face?
**Here’s an excellent template if you need help brainstorming:
#liveawakened #livefullyalive #lifeabundant #selfcare #yourenotbeingselfish #rejoice #takecareofyourtemple #SHINE