In precisely one week time we will be on an aeroplane flying off into the night on our first big family adventure...
In seven days we leave for Thailand and do not plan on returning for 6 months. Our bags are pretty much packed, our visas and passports ready to go and now we are just saying farewell to our friends and family.
Every now and then it hits me and my stomach does a little flip and my heart swells. We are well and truly treading the path we have always been too timid to follow.
With all that has been going on recently, taking care of myself seems to have fallen by the wayside again. Little by little the feelings of being overwhelmed and tired have been drawing out the little demons I had worked so hard to calm. It started with a little snap here, an unkind response there and has resulted in a full scale shouting and screaming, toddler style meltdown. Following that came the usual sequence of weeping, guilt, self loathing, guilt again, feeling like a terrible mother and a horrid role model. I could let those feelings consume me but I am trying my very hardest not to. I know that if I don't make a change now these feeling will just swing back and forth between the anger and resentment and the guilt and self loathing. I need to take care of myself so I can take care of the people around me. I need to love myself so I can love the people around me.
As a full time stay at home mummy my workload is not going to change. My daughters need my attention, time, love, understanding, empathy and patience. As much as it fills my dreams, stepping out of our life for full yoga practices and long meditations is not something that can happen at this stage in our lives, but finding a way to fit 'me time' into our days is essential.
Looking back I can see that I have been falling into a dark hole, I find that I have fallen into the habit of using my downtime to stare at screen. Removing myself from my reality without really winding down or giving my mind the rest time that it needs. Withdrawing from difficult situations by trawling Facebook instead of throwing myself wholeheartedly into my day. Not leaving the house or socialising with friends. Wearing the same clothes for days on end and pumping my body full of sugar and toxins. Planning for the future rather than living in the present. Falling back into the same bad habits.
Very much like a child, I thrive when I have a rhythm to my days, knowing where I am headed, having marker points throughout my day makes me feel anchored and safe. Having a familiar rhythm to my weeks, places to go, things to look forward to, people to meet. At the moment we are between homes, living out of bags and without any space to call our own. Finding the time needs to be separate to all of these things. Built into the fabric of the day, regardless of time or location. A habit.
Ways of taking care:
Get up earlier: This one may seem counter productive, but if in the morning there are an extra pair of hands or it is before others are awake those precious moments to breath and collect yourself before the start of the day are priceless.
Meditate: In this world our minds are constantly bombarded with information, constantly being stimulated. Meditation is an off switch for this. Just 10 minutes a day.
Yoga: For me, yoga is the 'one'. It eases the pain in my heart, head and body. There are many different styles, all wonderful in their own right; it is definitely worth experimenting and finding the one that is right for you.
Creativity: Writing, drawing, knitting, creating soothes the soul. I've started to notice that the less time I spend creating the more pent up, the more frustrated I feel.
Gratitude: It's so easy to stop seeing everything we have when we are feeling low, which is why is is so important to stop and take stock of all the things that we have. Using a journal at the end of the day to jot a few things about the day that have made you feel grateful, the small things as well as the big can help you look back, even on a bad day, in a positive way.
Feed yourself: When I feel down I have always been a real comfort eater. The worse I feel the more crap I put into my body, which always makes me feel hideous. Fill your body with food that is full of goodness, that will help give you strength to face the challenges of the day and will make you feel good about your body.
You are worth it: Wash yourself, brush your hair, put on clean clothes. Remind yourself you are worth it. You am worth taking care of, worth spending the time on.
How do you fit time for yourselves into your day? How do you strengthen yourselves to become the anchor for your children? I would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions on this.