Have you ever experienced a time in your life when it seemed like everyone close to you needed your attention and care all at once? I have had one of those weeks. Actually, I’ve had one of those months. Emotional distress, illness and injury have descended on my daughters, my husband, and even our cat. As a mom, I was the go-to care provider, a role I normally enjoy. But I was beginning to feel like I was living in a pressure cooker. After weeks of nursing and supporting my family, I was on overload. I could feel that I was reaching my limit of patience and encouragement. I didn’t have much left to give.
So, I made a conscious decision to take 2 hours to meditate and get a massage. This was not an easy choice because I had a long list of things to do. However, I knew that if I didn’t take time for self-care there would be a cost to me and to those who were relying on me. So, I made a deliberate choice to detach from my phone, my email, and the world. During my respite, I basked in my seclusion and envisioned myself on a private beach in Hawaii enjoying the ocean, a warm breeze, and a fruity umbrella drink.
You know what? It worked like a charm! I came home from my mini-retreat aligned, rejuvenated and ready for the next round of whatever came my way.
Now, I realize it can be difficult to think about taking time for yourself when you are a care giver (and most of us are in one way or another). Even if you know you need a break, you can convince yourself that you don’t have, or deserve, the time and the resources for that luxury.
Self-care is not a luxury. It’s a non-negotiable necessity.
If you are to be at your best with enough energy and presence of mind to care for others, you MUST care for yourself. I chose a massage. You may choose to take a hot bath, go for a bike ride, attend a yoga class or enjoy a great movie. Be by yourself or be with a supportive friend who makes you laugh. Do whatever rejuvenates you. But you must make the time for it because the time will not magically appear.
Today, take out your calendar and block out 2 hours (or more) each week for “ME TIME”.
Get creative about how you will treat yourself to an enjoyable activity that will take your mind, body and spirit into a place of peace and relaxation. Afterwards, express gratitude for allowing more joy into your life, and consequently, into the lives of others around you.