Friday, July 22, 2016

Take Care

When the idea behind parenting is taking care of new people so they can take care of themselves, it's easy to get lost.

Last week at Arkansas Women Bloggers, I talked about discovering your kids and mentioned the importance of looking in the mirror, too. While I focused on parenting in that post, today I am focusing on me and you. I hold the opinion that motherhood isn't about being the martyr who drowns while holding up her kids. You have to take care of yourself to be the best parent/person you can be.

Self-care options range from watching Netflix for six hours at a time to running a marathon. While every person's needs and rations of free time are different, I've been thinking about what I can do to keep my own wheels turning. In treating myself, though, I have learned a few things. My best care is something that leaves a positive impact. While watching TV for hours on end sounds like a good time {and maybe it is for you!}, it usually leaves me feeling worse. I'm bad about beating myself up over non-productivity, so I recharge by getting things done for myself. Some of you moms might be laughing at me thinking "time to yourself" is a mythical rainbow-colored unicorn, but it's not. It takes just a few seconds to refocus and renew, so look for opportunities. I know you need it.

These are just a few easy methods of self-care I grab on to when the world seems to spin faster. I felt like sharing them because I needed to remind myself, but maybe you could use a reminder, too.

  • TOGETHER As surrounded as I am by people in this house, sometimes parenting can be lonely. It is fulfilling heart and soul to connect on a personal level with other adults. It is imperative to spend time with friends who can empathize and swap stories or even wipe "kid talk" off the plate.

  • ALONE Date night isn't "alone" to many, but it's my favorite form of the word. A huge dose of self-care for me is calling a babysitter and being my husband's wife. Whether it's stealing TV time after the kids are asleep or a full-on black dress date night, time with Jonathan is good for my soul. He reminds me who I am.

  • STILL Sometimes the best treatment is a still moment. I use them to remember where I am and what's important. Sometimes this means taking a glass of tea to the porch swing or just folding towels on the couch while Nora's napping. Quiet moments are rare, so I try to notice and enjoy them.

  • SWEAT It's the opposite of warm blankets and hot coffee on the couch, but working out is therapeutic for me. My brain feels better, my body feels better, and I make better choices afterward. I don't just work out to look a certain way, I do it because I want to be strong and healthy. It does my body {and my mental state} good.

  • WRITE Moments of quiet at the keyboard {like the one I'm having now, for instance} fill my empty cup. Whether I'm sitting down to a fresh blog post, brainstorming ideas for youth group, or jotting plans on my calendar, this gives me a sense of organization and accomplishment.

  • GROW If you read last Friday's post, you know what my garden is to me. The sun on my shoulders and the dirt on my hands give me life. My thoughts wonder as I plant and prune and dig and harvest. I get to see the literal fruits of my labor. Just a few minutes in the back yard brings the calm I need. It keeps me... grounded.

I am in no way a medical professional. I am just a girl who gets very overwhelmed very easily, and these are a few of the things that bring me back. How do you help yourself?

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