Lately, I’ve been working hard to slowly put routines in place in my life to take better care of myself. I’ve given up on the dream of fast fixes – for any area of my life – although sometimes I still get down on myself for making such slow progress in what seems is all areas of my life. Specifically, I’m working on honing my morning routine to add things that I feel are important, but that I typically don’t take time for because they are not urgent. They are big picture things – like spending time in communion with God, working on my writing, which I have always wanted to do more of, and taking care of my body. I’ve been in physical therapy for back issues (not Scoliosis related), and have started walking again, so that I can keep up with the family when we hike during our summer trips this year. I sometimes catch myself feeling guilty – like I should be working or doing something more PRODUCTIVE with my time. I can’t allow myself to just sit and enjoy a TV show once in a while – I have to be DOING something while I watch to justify it. I should be doing more work on my business, my family, and my community. But, maybe the truly important work has been this self care all along.
I’ve written about this subject before, but lately someone said something to me that made me rethink it – that time spent in relaxation is actually productive time. What? Yes, time spent in relaxation IS productive time because it allows our minds to unwind. We are productively unwinding. Time spent taking care of us is actually part of our JOB as a productive individual. Because, as we improve ourselves and work on us, we can serve our families better, improve our business productivity, and be more productive overall. We all KNOW we need to put the oxygen mask on ourselves first, but how many of us actually look at it as our RESPONSIBILITY? Something on our never ending agenda?
It’s tough. We feel so many pressures. And, when we have a loved one or child dealing with something like Scoliosis, it’s so easy to completely put our needs aside. But, dangerous things can happen – we can burn out, we can become the martyr emotionally, or we can physically become unavailable to our family because we’ve forgotten about #1. Our kids need us, our husbands need us, our jobs need us, our friends need us – but, the reality is that we need ourselves. Nobody else is going to care for us – we are adults, and need to decide we are important enough to do it. It’s not selfish, it’s our DUTY to our family to care for ourselves, too. It’s part of your job as their caregiver. I know that sometimes there are not enough hours in the day, but there are also lots of things we can say “no” to over time, and lots of less important things that crowd our day, our thoughts, our time. Your children are busy, too, but they are not too busy to help with things around the house. They may wear a brace or have physical discomfort, but they are still capable of taking more mundane things off your plate so you can focus on the big picture for the family. It will actually fill them with confidence in their abilities. Your spouse is also very capable, but you have to let go of certain things and let them do it their way (I know, super hard). You can tell people no and tell yourself yes. You can ask for help from those who love you. It’s not easy, but it’s very worth it. You are very worth it.