Last week we spoke about physical self-care with the very basics being nutrition, hydration, rest & exercise!
This week we will look at the more mental aspect of self-care which I feel is the most neglected of all. Maybe, because we do not ‘see it’ or maybe because of feelings that come up when we try.
The first I will tackle and possibly the least done by most parents is ………
I can feel you squirming, the guilt already pushing its head up at the thought of taking a time out for yourselves. So here I am inviting you, to take a quiet moment and think about it. WHY do you feel guilty of doing something for yourself? When we find the real reason behind the guilt, we can than move forward to stop having such feelings.
Women tend to feel more guilty then men. In fact, a 2009 research, study by Etxebarria, published in the Spanish Journal of Psychology, surveyed women and men from three age groups (teenagers, young people and adults) about what situations most often caused them to feel guilt. The researchers found that habitual guilt was higher for women than men in all 3 age groups. Another study found that women report more guilt than men overall, when they take work calls or answer work e-mails in the evening.
Me time is an important aspect of self-care because it gives us a time to pause all the activities that we are juggling and breathe fully and deeply and actually more likely to see after this pause how to solve certain nagging problems. Me time can be lots of things but essentially it means doing something you truly enjoy doing.
So after exploring those guilt feelings, it is now time to think what makes you happy? (Yes, honestly think about it because when we become parents we forget the me that lived before and forget what made me happy). This could be taking photos, drawing, painting, hiking, reading (I can never get enough of that!), watching movies at the cinema, bowling, dancing and many many more. So look deeply into your soul, accept the guilt feelings and stay with them and let them flow and find out what makes you smile and happy.
The second part of mental self-care is time with friends – especially if you are a home maker and most of your time is with children! Because we all need some adult conversation. We all need to rant about the injustices, the frustration, the tiredness, the worry and the love we feel for our families. Finding a friend that will just listen to the ranting while laughing, crying and cursing with you is all we can hope for.
If friends seem far off, do reach out to health care professionals or support groups and try find your little support system that includes more than just your spouse.
What are your thoughts? how do you handle these 2 self-care habits?