So many of us in our busy lives are always taking care of others before ourselves. I see it every day and I am guilty of it myself. As a mother, wife and professional, I sometimes find myself at my very wit’s end before I realize that I need some me time. When I hit that point, I go into meltdown mode and it’s really unnecessary had I listened to my cues to slow down days or hours ago. It’s not always easy, especially if one works at home because the office is “always there.”
So how do we find time in our busy lives to take a break and do a little self-nurturing?
Some people may go to the spa, the movie theater, out to eat, get their nails done, maybe take a trip to the beach or nature. For me, one of the things I love to do is take a nap.
I must have inherited this from my dad. All of his life and until the end of his days, my dad was a serial napper. If napping was an Olympic sport, my dad would be the uncontested gold medal winner every time. He was a career soldier, talented salesman and a warrior in every sense of the word. He nurtured my mother until the end of her days. If anyone needed nurturing, it was him and he wasn’t afraid to declare his me time with a good book featuring Sherlock Holmes, followed by a nap. The only requirement was coffee must be available (didn’t matter if it was fresh or cold for hours- it can be reheated) when he woke up. He loved rainy and foggy days, saying that they are “perfect days for a nap.” It was no surprise to me at all, that on the day of his funeral, the weather was rainy and foggy, right out of a Sherlock Holmes novel.
How we nurture ourselves determines how we can nurture others. If your energy is low, and you do not replenish it, how can you possibly be any good to anyone, even yourself? We chug down energy drinks and find ourselves more stressed than ever, mistaking a chemical blast of energy for the real thing, and then get surprised when we have anxiety attacks and depression. What goes up, must come down and a crash never feels good.
You don’t have to spend a lot of money or to take a lavish vacation to just “heal up” as my dad would say. Sometimes a small picnic in your favorite park in the sun with your family can do wonders. The sound of children playing always brings back memories of hanging out at the swimming pool on the army base where I spent my teenage years. The sound has a relaxing effect on me as the beach would have on someone else ( I do love the beach, though!)
Before I was a mom, I used to have “Mel Days” where I would go to my favorite park in the mountains called Pen Mar, and lay on my back in the grass and watch the clouds. It has a great view of the valley below. I would imagine all of my drama and problems were in the valley. Then I would bless them and release them. I would then drive a little further and go to the Grotto of Lourdes for some blessed spring water.
Next time you are outside, or in a favorite park, take your shoes off and ground yourself to the Earth. Imagine all of those chaotic thoughts and worries flow from the bottom of your feet into the grass. Notice how better you feel? Good. Now do it again!