It’s been a rough few weeks. A show where I sold my jewelry ended up not making as much as I hoped, finances in our household are tight, Tim’s health has been poor, James isn’t sleeping well – hence none of us are sleeping well, one of my friends lost her baby, we laid to rest Tim’s Mom, both Tim and I are not eating well, and I’m overwhelmed by the disarray in or house. There is probably more, but I think that all of this is enough to stress anyone out.
So how am I keeping sane? SELF-CARE. And lots of it! The past Joelle would be totally losing her s**t right now because she never looked after herself. As a matter of fact she thought it was selfish to do so. Then she got really sick with postpartum anxiety after having James. After that a lot of psychotherapy to undo that way of thinking occurred and here we are. Now I place self-care at the top of my list and you need to as well.
The whole saying is true, “You need to put your own oxygen mask on when the plane’s going down before you can help others.” or something like that. A dead person can’t help others. And a frazzled, stressed out, insane person can’t be a good wife, mom, friend, productive member of society etc. And don’t think for one second you are being selfish by doing so. You are actually being selfish by not doing so because eventually you will be so drained you will need to rely on someone else to help you, thus possibly draining their energy supply.
So first you need to look at why you believe self-care is selfish. Take some time to sit down and write out the reasons you think looking after your needs is wrong. Next examine each thought and ask yourself, “Is that really true?” Then write out how you’d feel if you were better rested, less stressed, more positive etc. What you’re writing out is actually how you’ll feel after practicing self-care. Finally, write out all the things that you can do for yourself like taking a bath, painting your nails, reading, watching Netflix, going for a walk, getting a massage, spending time with friends, meditating, going on a mini retreat, etc.
Now for the best part. DO THE THINGS YOU LISTED FOR YOURSELF. At first I felt hella guilty when I quit working at a reasonable time and went to bed with *gasp* things unfinished. Or when Tim looked after James and I had a bath. Or asking for help when I needed it. I used to be too proud and thought I could be super woman. Enough of that nonsense! I’m a regular mortal, and so are you. Self-care is like learning anything new – the more you do it, the easier it gets. My guilty feelings used to be at a ten, but after doing this for a year they are now at a one or two. Sometimes they are not there at all.
Yes it pisses me off that it self-care seems to come a lot easier for most men without the guilt and most women have to work harder at taking me time. But at the end of the day it’s just another difference between the sexes. There’s really not much anyone can do about this and it doesn’t really bother me any more. But I do know that when I wasn’t taking time for myself, I sure got more angry at Tim for taking time for himself. Just sayin’.
What I have found in married life is creating a schedule with Tim has helped tremendously. I am one to get really edgy if I don’t get alone time or I don’t know when I’ll get a chance to work on my own projects. With a schedule, I now know when I get work time and when I get me time. Knowing this also helps me get through the not-so-fun parts of my day so later on I can get things done for myself or have some fun.
So in closing, I hope this post will help you on your journey to self-care. Did I miss anything important? Have something to say in general? Please let me know in the comments below. And happy you time!