Self care for me is a part of the process of happiness. Remember, happiness is not an end point, it’s an experience, a process. I’m not talking about the ear-to-ear grin of Christmas morning here – that’s one instant. I’m talking about being happy.
I’m taking part in a course, or a workshop perhaps, or a discussion group called Mama Renew. It focuses on working mothers rediscovering our identities outside of “mommy”. We meet once a month to read, work through, and discuss a chapter in The Mother’s Guide to Self-Renewal. I won’t write about the other moms in the group – their stories are theirs to tell, and in order for the group to function we need to trust the others absolutely. So from time to time I’ll write about the group, meaning what the major topic is and what my thoughts are, but not mention names or what they talk about.
This month is all about self-care. As you probably guessed from the intro. The main point is to establish that self-care is important for many different reasons, some will resonate more with different people. It asks, what do You need to be the best person, parent, and partner you can be? Also suggested is that you set three steps you can take to begin to make self-care a priority.
So, predictably, “Self what?” was my initial gut response. I feel all queasy inside at the thought of it. Mostly. But there are some things that I recognize that I need … and some that I want.
As far as physically goes, the big one for me is exercise. I just can’t seem to make that a priority though I know well how big a role it plays in my self esteem and attitude. It’s a step I might be able to do something about this month. I already know that evenings it’s just not going to happen. Really. But with my new job comes lunch breaks. Flexible, shiftable lunch breaks. I might just be able to work in something there.
Other important things are alone time. That’s a huge one. And I do get it once Cameron is asleep, but it’s not quite the same. I can’t do it yet, but I do see myself taking the odd “mental health day” now and then once I’m more settled in my position. Drop off Cameron and have a day to myself.
But then there’s the active path of happiness. I need to work on that more. I think I need to go back to noticing small happinesses again. Another thing I’ve already started doing is guided meditation. That’s something that in the past has done nothing but increase my stress levels … I get all twitchy and squirmy and my forehead starts to tick. I think it’s because it’s always been Mom trying to talk me through it. Sorry mom! There’s some perceived expectation or something that makes that just not work. But I’ve found a few web sites that have decent ones, and I find I can relax quite a bit.
So there I have one thing I’ve already started doing, one thing I can start tonight, one thing to start this month maybe, and another to do eventually.
- The strong, cool wind that gusted waves through the maples outside, accompanied by rumbles of distant thunder.
- Cameron bouncing alone on the trampoline, experimenting with what he could do. Jumping high, forwards, backwards, closer, away.
- The scent and crisp feel of line-dried laundry.