Have you ever felt that you just do not have time for yourself, between work, home, being a mum and wife, there is no time for anything else? How many times have you felt that you just want to run away to a tropical island and sip on cocktails all day? I have felt this many times, trying to start up my new business, completing my studies in Life Coaching and top of all that running around with kids, upkeep of the house, breakfast, lunch and dinners, grocery shopping, and the list just goes on. Fatigue hits, exhaustion is at an all-time high, and tolerance level for those in your household is exceptionally low. To me, this results in screaming at the kids because they are just not listening to me, and the tone for the whole day is set.
Through coaching and having day-to-day conversations with fellow mum's, the two main words that keep popping up are “priority” & “Commitment”. What powerful words they are, my biggest priority is my kids. Their well-being and education, everything I do revolve around them. So where do I then put my self-care and self-love on that priority list? For many years I was last on that list, till I realised that putting myself on the last of that priority list, I wasn’t giving my children the all-consuming love and care that they need.
What would happen if we were to move from the last place to first place then how would things change for us? Yes, some may say this is being selfish and my kids will always be number one. From my own experience as well as from my research on self-care and anxiety, if we couldn’t put ourselves first how can we ever give anyone 100% of our love and attention?
I am not saying you forget about your kids, or even take off for a weekend without your family, no I am talking about baby steps. Begin with carving out 1 hour a day for yourself, ask those around you for help. Our loved ones are always willing to help, I know speaking for myself it was always my pride that stopped me from asking for assistance. Till of course it was too late, and I was running myself to the ground. So "commit" yourself and ask for that help so you can take some time for yourself.
You can do what you wish with that one hour because it is YOUR hour. I spend my one hour going for a walk or run to clear my head. I come back much more relaxed and rejuvenated. At times my hours consist of closing my bedroom door and reading my book, saying a prayer, meditating, or a combination of all 3.
There have been many times I have hesitated to take that one hour because there are 3 full baskets of clothes that need to be folded, or dishes in the sink, or just something, but I am slowly training myself to let it be for just an hour. No one’s dying, the house is not pigsty even though in my head I might think it is, but in all honesty, it really is not. So, I force myself not to worry about any of this and take that one hour.
So where are you on your priority list? And if you are currently at the bottom of that list, what are you going to do to bring yourself to number one? When are you going to take charge of your mental health and pen in an hour for yourself? It doesn’t need to be every day, it can be 3-4 times a week, maybe it's half-hour to sit and not think, the time you carve for you can begin with anything, but just start with something. If you don’t start you are going to be the hamster on the wheel constantly running till it's too late and you burn out.
Cheryl Robinson wrote in her book The Art of Extreme Self Care "I've sacrificed my health and my relationships for work, given to others at the expense of my own needs, and watched my dreams slip through the cracks of a busy life. As a result, I've learned a lot about what it takes to put an end to the madness. When we care deeply for ourselves, we naturally begin to care for others - our families, our friends, our greater global community, and the environment - in a healthier and more effective way. We tell the truth. We make choices from love instead of guilt and obligation. And we soon realize that we're all connected and that our individual actions affect a greater whole."