The Importance of Self-Care
So, a lot has happened the past year for everyone. It tacked on after a major life change of mine. Just when I was starting to feel my normal self again *BAM* the world is in crisis. I tried to get back into blogging regularly but I find myself spending time on other things instead. It’s not like I have a lot of free time either. Having a toddler that’s almost 2 while working from home pretty much full-time still is a lot. You do not want to see the state of my house – trust me on that. But I know I am not alone in the situation I’m in. And I also know there are many others that either fare better or fare worse than me right now. So I count my blessings each day and make the most of it.
During these (I was gonna say difficult and while it is for a lot of us, I don’t want to minimize the meaning of that word) unprecedented times, it is essential that one takes time to practice self-care. It can be as simple as setting aside an hour to relax by meditating or reading or painting or whatever hobby you have that you enjoy. It can be as complex as setting aside hours in a day to carry out what’s needed for a very complex recipe that yields the best tasting sauce for a pasta dish that you’ve had in years. It can be a stolen 10 minutes locked in a room with a piece of your favorite cake while your kids are running around crazily in the family room. Whatever it is, I do hope you have more than 10 minutes to spend on yourself. That’s the first thing. Second thing is while you may feel rejuvenated with this small (or big) act of self-care, I hope that you make it a regular thing. Just like flowers need watering and vehicles need some form of energy to function, you do as well. And while doing the basic minimum is a given….the extra boost of a little self-care here and there is undeniably very beneficial for most. The flowers will definitely appreciate the fertilizer you’re giving them.
In my experience, being that I wanted to face parenthood head on, I made sure my husband and I did as much as we can by ourselves. At the end of the day, it boils down to our nuclear family unit. Sure, help from our family and relatives would be helpful but they won’t be here in our day-to-day lives (at least ours aren’t). So we still have to figure out what to do and what’s best in raising our son ourselves. I do not regret this decision even with the difficulties I’ve encountered along the way as I found what works best for us. I was a little overwhelmed in the beginning but humans are resilient. So I adjusted. My little boy is happy, healthy and so loved that I couldn’t be any happier. But going back to the point of self-care, during the newborn stage there were days where I desperately needed just 15 minutes to shower and it was hard to find that time slot. When my husband came home from work and I was able to have that 15 minutes…I emerged refreshed and ready to go. It’s like a reset button, but that’s just meeting the basic needs. Imagine what it would be like if I had time to sit down and work on a painting (I eventually did after the cluster feeding stage) or do something else for me that I enjoy like getting more sleep (you can never get enough at that stage). The first month after having a baby is like survival mode. It sounds funny but if you’ve done it without any or much help (for me, by choice) you know what it’s like. I should’ve planned for some self-care really at that time but we really didn’t know what to expect. In a future situation, I definitely will.
I’ve read that there’s an uptick in people dealing with depression among many other things. Cabin fever is real and a good amount of people are still hunkering down….having little contact with others due to the pandemic. Please take care of yourselves. Aside from the basic necessities, go for a long walk during sunset or take time to sit and savor a cup of tea. For me it’s as simple as slapping on a face mask or writing letters to my pen pals. It’s those little things that gives you a little boost that you didn’t know you need. It can make all the difference in changing your outlook for the day. Start small. I will cover more of these in future posts as time goes on since while the end is in sight it is not in the immediate future. No one’s really sure how long this will last. And so, we all need a little self-care now more than ever. Stay safe my friends.