Friday, February 3, 2012
Caring For Ourselves
As the new year approached I found myself sitting with my two best girlfriends having our own after Christmas celebration with our families. A tradition we have held for most of the last 10 years.
While our husbands took the kids to the park, we took the time to catch up and fill each other in our lives. As we chatted I found that we each had the same dilemma of finding time for everyone and everything else but ourselves. It was leaving us drained, exhausted, frustrated, and irritable. We had been neglecting ourselves and our time with each other so that we could devote our time and energy to our spouses, children, extended families, and the overwhelming number of volunteer activities. Not that any of those things are unworthy of our time. They certainly are worthy. But I have found from my personal experience, that I can be a better wife, mother, daughter, sister, and friend when I have taken some time for myself.
Taking time away from the “to do” list, and letting go of my perception of perfection is my gift to me. It’s waking up earlier than everyone else and spending time with a mug of tea, my Bible/devotional and spending time praying for the people in my life. When I pray for others I find an inner peace that helps me prepare for the day. But when I don’t take that time my day is too hurried and chaotic.
In taking an informal survey amongst friends, I asked what ways can we take care of ourselves. Here are some suggestions:
--Letting yourself read a book or work on a craft project even if everything isn’t perfect (Rosann)
--Redefine personal time: a nap here, five minutes with a book there, a call to a friend (Becky)
--Make a list of things that bring you joy and try to do one or experience one a day (ex. fresh flowers, warm jammies, special food) (Erin)
---Give time to things that make you happy and try to share that happiness with others. In that way, you are able to take care of yourself and develop inner growth (Sham)
--Make two things a priority for yourself: Sleep and exercise, in that order. Then everything will pretty much fall into place (Alison)
--Think about the silly things that brought you joy as a teenager like dancing in front of the mirror lip synching to Madonna and do it again and laugh (Felicia)
--Saying "no" sometimes to others and not letting yourself feel guilty because it really IS okay to NOT do everything and give yourself a break sometimes. I think that is HUGE when I think of "self care." Oh and having gratitude, prayer time, and time reflecting on God's awesome creation and our many blessings! (Kelly)
Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)