“Nothing will work unless you do” – Maya Angelou
It seems that only as a passenger on a plane that is falling out of the sky, are we ever expressly given permission to take care of ourselves, in order to take care of others. ‘Secure your own oxygen mask before helping others’. Because you’re no darn use to your child or anyone else if you can’t breathe.
Self care is a buzzword right now and not before time. It seems we are finally awakening to the very simple truth that too much stress, bad food, multi-tasking to the point of exhaustion and not getting enough sleep… isn’t working out so well for us. For a thought-provoking inspirational read, as well as multiple proof of the fact, I loved Arianna Huffington’s ‘Thrive’.
Women, especially Moms of young children though, are determinedly adept at insisting that this is not the case. We’re too busy. We don’t have enough time. We’d love to… but we can’t.
Sometimes it’s because we don’t like ourselves enough to believe we deserve to be taken care of.
Sometimes it’s because we believe to take care of our own body and soul is selfish, vain or indulgent.
Wherever and why ever this refusal to secure our own oxygen mask first came from, we really need to turn it around.
I know I’m a better Mom when I’m not over-tired. I know I have more energy for my family when I’ve eaten good food. I know I’m nicer to be around when I’ve been for a walk, done my yoga, worked out or quietly read a book for a while. We really, really, really need to lose the crazy notion that the more we martyr ourselves to no rest, no quiet, no exercise, no nourishment for us, the more we’re making it work. We’re busy, doing it all, serving, mothering, busy busy busy. We think we’re ‘working’. But it doesn’t work. We have no energy, no motivation, no self love and no fun when we feel like that.
Nothing will work unless you do.
Just pick one: 30 minutes more sleep than usual. No screen time in the evening (never mind the kids, this is your screen time I’m talking about). 5 minutes (you’ve got 5 minutes) of absolute solitude and quiet. A walk outside. A good meal where nothing is important except the food and the company. Don’t try to do so much. Slow down. Whatever you’re doing that makes you feel manic and stressed and overwhelmed… stop doing it. It doesn’t matter. You’re doing FINE.
(My other treasured book of the moment).
“Rest and self-care are so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel.” – Eleanor Brownn