This weekend I have a little time on my hands because all of the kids are with their respective other parent’s and my husband is out of town with his sister. While I adore my husband and love those smelly boys to death, it’s also a wonderful respite when you can get the house all to yourself for the night. So tonight, the plan is homemade pizza with all the toppings that I want, a chick-flick, some good wine and then top it off with some chocolate parfait. But really, who doesn’t need a quiet house for themselves more than a mom?? And lately I’ve really needed it.
It sounds trite that mothers always put themselves last, but there really is some truth behind that. But constantly putting other’s needs before your own, is not a good recipe for healthy living, whether you are a mother or not. So today I’m giving myself a day off. Today I am not cleaning anything or cooking someone else’s dinner or answering a million questions or doing laundry. Hell, I probably shouldn’t even use the mental energy to write this post! Today is my day off. Tomorrow, I will gladly do all those things again. Because I actually like to do those things and to make other people’s lives better. But today, the only person’s life that I’m going to make better is my own.
Sometimes it feels like the most selfish thing you could possibly do is take care of yourself. And the concept of “self-care” can sound like a new-agey thing or something only the millennials do. Taking care of myself is not really in my DNA. But after my stroke, the concept of self-care became critical for recovery. Shortly thereafter, I became convinced that I could never go through the rest of my life without taking care of my emotional well-being. Just like going to the gym to help your body, it’s really important to give your mind a break whether you’ve had a stroke or not. Maybe it could be meditation, maybe it could be yoga, maybe it’s reading or sitting in the middle of your backyard to smell the air and listen to the birds chirp. And maybe it’s your favorite activity like cooking or sewing, whatever will quiet down the voice in your head it needs to be a part of your routine. I don’t always listen to my own advice, but when I quiet my mind I usually get out of the house to a quiet place like a park, but tonight I can have my quiet time without going anywhere. And I’m really enjoying my time.
I hope you find your quiet time, too, on a regular basis.
Here is a great list of Ted Talks on emotional first-aid. I encourage you to check them out: