Life is so busy these days, from shuffling back and forth to work, school, appointments, and extracurricular activities, you forget how important it is to take a moment just to yourself and breathe. I’m very guilty of this, always taking care of someone else’s needs all the while neglecting my own. The world is very demanding and there is always something to do, who has the time! Here is why self-care is so very important.
This is a huge one for me. If I’m not mentally healthy, it’s almost impossible for me to be at the top of my game. I struggle hard with anxiety, so if I don’t take the quiet moments to myself and calm my inner being, I lash out. Lash out at my husband, children, and close friends. Our mind is our greatest gift but can also be our biggest weakness. Thoughts will start to creep in and distract me from my life and I will forget to live in the now and be constantly worried about the what if. While some people look at situations as what can go wrong, a person with anxiety will look at life and think, what will go wrong. Remember to take some time every day to spend with yourself. Breathe, watch a show, read a book, take a warm bath, and just let everything go. Some of my go to bible verses for when I feel overwhelmed and anxious are:
Phillippians 4:6-7 “Don’t worry about anything, instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.”
1 Peter 5:7 “Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares for you.”
Sometimes, and I hate to admit this, I get angry with God. And you know what, that okay, because I serve and almighty, patient, loving, God who is always there waiting for me to come back.
Can’t Pour From An Empty Cup.
I went to a check up one day and my NP asked if I was okay. Having just given birth a few months prior to that, I looked up with tired, tear filled eyes and murmured, yes. She told me something that I have thought about a lot since that visit and that is, you can’t pour from an empty cup. That tugged right at my heart strings because I knew she was right. I was over extending myself. Being new to the stay at home mom thing, I was trying to do everything, postpartum care, newborn, cleaning the house, laundry, making a home cooked meal every night, taking care of my older child, and being a wife. It was a lot of unnecessary pressure I put on myself and after a few months, I was starting to crack. Trying to be everything to everyone is a lot of hard work , and to be able to properly do that, you need to fill your cup first.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20 “Do you know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, who you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” We are precious to him and hold great value. We need to take care of our temples.
We are in the middle of getting our house ready to sell, so on top of my busy schedule of chores, chauffeuring, and taking care of my kids plus some. I needed to get some work done on the house and pack. I went to the grocery store, by myself praise the Lord, and I found myself dragging. My body and mind were so tired, that I was practically leaning on the basket to hold me up. Having not gotten my moments alone to relax and mentally reset, my body has started to turn. Am I the only one that happens to? I break out, I get serious brain fog and I’m just so tired and cranky. You know what fixes that? My wonderful husband takes the kids for a few hours while I regroup and get right with myself. When my mind and body are healthy, I function at a higher level and I can seriously take on anything.
Tips For Getting In That Self-Care.
Wake up early. It’s hard to get into that habit of having to wake up at an earlier time but trust me, it helps. I wake up before my kids, have my coffee, slowly get dressed, and say out loud what I am thankful for. Do this and you’ll see a big change in your attitude. This also helps you not have to rush. Rushing out the door in the morning is just opening yourself up to that anxious feeling that can be hard to shake. Preparing the night before, like laying out your clothes, packing your bag, helps with being able to take it slow in the morning.
Take a few minutes during the day. For me this is the glorious moments when the kids are napping. I sit on the couch with one of my DVR recordings and I watch it uninterrupted and in peace. Just that little 30 minutes or so of sitting and not doing one chore or tending to someones else’s needs, helps me refuel for the rest of the day. After, my little 30 minutes, I go back to cleaning, laundry and everything else. When I worked, I would go sit in my car alone for some of my lunch break or go out to eat with some coworkers, a good laugh makes everything better.
After bed time: If you’re a mom sometimes after you get everyone to sleep, all you want to do is go to bed also. If you can do it, take some time to be in silence, paint your nails, put on a face mask, eye masks and meditate. You’ll be amazed at how rejuvenated you feel.
*Pro tip: helps if you put your eye masks in the fridge. Talk about sweet relief.*
Friends Night: This is one of my favorite things to do, it’s important to be able to relax and let loose with a few friends or your partner. Organize a night out, go see a movie and out to eat. Or get your nails done and be pampered. YOU DESERVE IT.
No matter how you decide to unwind, just do it! To be a better partner, mom, employee, boss, sibling, and friend you need to take some time for yourself. Remember you can’t pour from an empty cup.
With love and grace,