Today is International Self-Care Day. It’s a great reminder to take some time out of your busy life just for you.
Before you start saying, “I don’t have time” or “I cannot possible justify taking time out for just me.” I need to remind you of all the times you sat wasted in front of the TV drunk or laid up in bed with an awful hangover.
Can I also explain that self-care does not necessarily mean, booking yourself in for a 3 day Spa. It can be as simple as having an early night or telling your family to fend for themselves while you have a bubble bath or play an hour of computer games.
Taking as little as an hour a week out of your busy schedule solely for you and your needs, will mean you are more relaxed and refreshed to tend to your family and friends needs. That is a Win Win for everyone.
I used to think self-care was selfish. Taking time out for just me, felt wrong. I never felt comfortable abandoning everything or everyone to do something just for me. Since getting sober though, I have learned that self-care is not selfish and the people closest to me actually benefit too.
When I was still drinking
When I was still drinking, I would run around doing twenty things at once.
- I had to organise the kids, my husband, my house.
- I had volunteered at the kids schools.
- I had to plan out all our meals at home.
- I took on that project at work.
- I had to bake that birthday cake.
You get the picture.
There would always something I had to do. I used to say “I cannot sit down until all my jobs are done.” At the end of day, I would slump down on the sofa exhausted with a big glass of wine, or two or three. In the past I have snapped at my kids because I was so busy. I would get huffy with my husband because I was always the one picking up after the kids or doing the dishes. I was so busy, being busy, I definitely didn’t have time for myself!
Since getting sober.
Now, since getting sober, I see things so much clearer. I am in control. I was so consumed by all the things I thought I ‘should’ be doing, I lost track of what I would ‘like’ to be doing. Of course we all have commitments and jobs that have to be done but I did not have to do them alone.
Instead of being a martyr, I now ask my husband and kids to help out. I now think carefully before taking on more responsibility. I think, would I like to do this or is it because I think I should do this? What other people do or think is less important to me and I feel much more in control and relaxed. I am no longer so busy, being busy and the important jobs still get done.
There will always be jobs but you’re not responsible for every single one. Your friends don’t need you to solve all their problems, you can simply be a sympathetic ear for them and you don’t have to home bake every birthday cake just because the other school mum’s do!
Self-Care can be as little as 10 minutes a day and can be anything you want, as long as it is something truly for you. You will benefit from the time out and everyone around you will benefit from a happier and refreshed you.
Happy International Self-Care Day
If you would like further advise on your Mental Self Care read my article HALT for Your Mental Health.