As I got ready to take off on yet another trip, I watched a flight attendant demonstrate flight safety procedures for the hundredth time.
“Put on your own oxygen mask before assisting those around you.”
It’s hard to imagine attempting to saving myself before my children but the truth of the matter is if we lose cabin pressure and I don’t get mine on first I may not even stay conscious long enough it to help my children.
The sky isn’t the limit for this lesson. It can be applied to my everyday life. How often do I put my children’s needs before my own, and at what cost to myself?
If you had an hour to yourself how would you spend it? Working out? Eating? Taking a nap? Reading a few chapters of your book? Catching up on your show? What is self-care to you?
I feel like these sporadic “breaks” don’t happen as much as I’d like them to, but when they do it’s always a toss up with what I want to do with that precious time. Straightening my house is almost never an option I opt for. Usually my mind is screaming “NAP!” but I like the productive feeling of my other options more. Hey, watching a show on my DVR and deleting it totally counts as being productive.
It’s funny how a “relaxing” night to me usually involves my laptop open with work and my cold dinner in front of me and I’m excited to work on 20 things before bed while I catch up on my favorite shows after the kids are in bed. Often this results in me staying up way too late and being short of energy the next day.
This summer I’m hoping to kick this habit and get back to my earlier bedtimes. That means a more focused and productive morning before an afternoon of play. I’m also hoping to add back in my morning workout sessions. Remember when I lost 40 pounds? Yea, I gained that all back. My thighs are crying in my jeans so it’s time I get back to my better habits including taking my kids to the gym and eating better. Not only did I feel better about myself I actually felt better overall. Somehow more positive, energized, peppy (I guess all those endorphins!). Taking care of ourselves is no joke.
If momma ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy. Happy wife happy life. They were onto something when they came up with these quotes signifying the importance of a happy and healthy mom in the home.
I’m frequently reminding myself to slow down and focus on the important things in life. Not overworking myself, but spending time with my children who are growing so fast. Connecting and falling deeper in love with my husband. Making our home a place filled with light and love. And beyond that… Taking a step back alone, to hit the reset button.
Lately for me this means a quiet bath with a book, or a few minutes in the morning to pray and stretch. Some time in the evening to relax with my laptop closed.
I intend to spend a lot of time having a lot of fun with my family this summer, but I also intend to give myself a daily break too. I deserve it. I need it.
As parents we give so much to our children and taking care of them, but it’s so important that we take care of ourselves too. Take care of ourselves so we can be refueled, and refreshed to take care of those little people who need us most.
I’m curious what you do to take care of yourself. What is self-care to you?
Sometimes self-care means taking care of issues we’ve been putting on the back burner. A pain that needs to be checked out, or routine precautions like wearing sunscreen. Make sure you’re reading the labels on your medication and using your over the counters correctly. For more information about drug facts visit Know Your OTCs. You can also watch this inspiring video with tips to kickstart your self-care.
Photo credit: Allisa Latham Photography. Thanks so much friend for capturing some special moments between me and my little blessings!
*I believe it’s so important we take good care of ourselves so we can live long happy healthy lives, which is why I wrote partnered with KnowYourOTCs on this essay.