September 10, 2013

Give Yourself Permission to Take Care of You

As parents, self care is something that is often put on the back burner. We are all spread so thin between  careers and work, keeping up a household and raising our children, that we forget about our own personal needs far too often. Sometimes we may feel guilty to just stop and do something for ourselves because it feels like we are taking away from our children or our family and the things that need to get done to keep your lives running smoothly. I know that is how I feel at times anyway.

However, I also know that it important for us not to forget to take care of ourselves. When you neglect yourself physically or emotionally, you may not notice on a daily basis, but over time you will begin to feel the effects of lack of self care. Your patience will be less, your energy will lack, you may begin to feel overwhelmed or even resentful towards all of your other parental and life duties. When this starts to happen, clearly, it can be detrimental to your kids and family. Your children deserve to have the best you that you can be. The problem is, you can not be your best self if you are exhausted and overwhelmed due to lack of self care. We all need to find balance in our lives, I believe this is the only way we can embrace every moment of the life we live.

Give yourself permission to take care of you. Take the time to enjoy some great novels, indulge in some reality t.v., get a new hairstyle, get a manicure or a pedicure (or both!), buy yourself something nice, go to Starbucks and enjoy some quiet time while sipping your favorite coffee concoction. Do whatever makes you feel relaxed and gives you the feeling that you have truly taken time out for yourself. Take a mental vacation, regroup, take a deep breath and enjoy knowing that you are doing something good for you, and that is OK. Let go of the guilty feelings, let go of thoughts that you are not being productive. Take in every detail that you enjoy about taking care of yourself. It doesn't have to be an 8 day vacation, just something on a regular basis that allows you to feel taken care of.

When you get back to your daily routine you will feel refreshed, energized and ready to handle the normal daily stresses. Your kids will sense your relaxation and they will naturally be more relaxed. Your entire day will feel more manageable because you don't feel neglected or resentful at all that you give of yourself. You won't feel as though you have given every part of yourself away.

I also believe self care is important for your kids to observe. It will allow them to see that you value your own well being and the you are important too. They will learn to replicate this throughout life which is an important coping skill to have.

So, think about something that will make you feel relaxed and content and then make some time to do it. Your kids will be thankful, your spouse will be thankful and most importantly, YOU will be glad you did.

Take a moment for you and let go of any guilty feelings that try to emerge.