Self-Care is NOT Selfish...
I’m a mum. I know how easy it is to look after everyone else in your family and just keep going. One foot in front of the other and whoosh, the day is over. You collapse into bed and are fast asleep in seconds. You don’t know why you’re so tired and have no energy. You get overwhelmed so easily and find simple things so difficult. I always thought tomorrow I’ll start looking after myself, I can handle this. Then the wheels start to fall off.
My wheels did fall off 1.5 years ago and it made me stop. So I stopped. I thought looking after myself was selfish. I thought my family needed me to do so much and I would be fine. I’m fine now. but I had to learn that putting myself #1 is so important and is the opposite of selfish. It’s self-less. When my cup is full, I have so much more to give everyone. I benefit and my family and friends benefit. It should be obvious but it isn’t. I learned how to ‘put the Qantas mask on myself first, then my child’, literally.
I have a wonderful therapist, S, who keeps telling me that my job is looking after ‘me’. She tells me I don't need to hold up the sky! She gives me permission to let other things go and just focus on me. I didn’t realise I needed permission, but I did. She tells me that what I’m doing is wonderful and to keep doing it. Do you have someone rooting for you in your corner? If not, I give you permission to put yourself first. EVERYONE in your life will benefit from this, especially YOU. C’mon, you have permission now so what are you going to do?
I love this article in My Child Magazine – How Self-Care will make you a Better Parent (page 40-43). Now I get it. It sure will! I hope you read it. You are a role model to your kids and they are always watching what you do. That’s huge! Making time to stop and be present is so powerful and is easier than you think. Skip the take away coffee and drink it in and people watch (don’t go on your phone!). Go for a walk and listen to music or your favourite podcast. You can look after yourself in so many ways, you’ll forget you’re looking after yourself! It should be fun and invigorating and joyful. Find your joy and then find some more!
Now when was the last time you had a massage? I just had one. It was wonderful and put me in a magical head space. If you need to make a date and take your partner and both of you go have a massage instead of dinner then do it. You’ll thank me! I have a friend who takes a day a month off for himself and he spends the day doing whatever he wants, alone. No negotiations to move this day. It helps him keep his groove and he often spends it at art galleries or with a walk in the forest. I might have to try that one myself – watch this space!!
Get creative and give me some ideas too please of how we can all support each other to be self-less and look after ourselves like never before! We can all use a reminder to stop. Self-care. Love ourselves. I love you and I’m listening…