Self Care – Taking Care of You

Everyone needs a break from every day life from time to time. A break is different for everyone. Some people want time with family or friends. Other people need quiet time in order to feel calm and at peace. Some people need a break daily, while others need a break every few months or years. As bizarre as this will sound to most people, I like to have small breaks of 5-10 minutes every few days. My longer breaks are needed much less often. I found that I really wanted/needed a break after my oldest child turned 10. Apparently 10 years means I need a vacation. Up until that time I never really wanted a break from my kids or family for more than a few minutes, though they did go play with friends or visit family member’s home from time to time.

My suggestion is to get to know yourself. What makes you feel calm? What makes you feel frazzled? How often do you need a small break? How often to you feel the need for a longer break? If you do not have a support system, then please see this post about building a village of support. In order to take a break, you must have at least a small village in place.

Give yourself permission to take a bath, take a trip, or go to dinner without your child. Some people need this often, others do not. Do not let others judge you or make you feel bad if you need more or less breaks than they need. Everyone is different. Everyone needs a break from time to time in order to do their best as a parent or caregiver and as a human.

If you only have time for a short break, try the following ideas to help calm your mood and feel more centered.

Read a short magazine article.

Lay down on a soft rug or yoga type mat. Focus on breathing in and out while making your breathes longer each time.

Choose 4-5 yoga poses to complete. Corpse pose and downward facing dog calm me, but you may prefer other options.

Have a cup of tea, or other calming drink, while looking out your window or sitting on your porch or balcony.

Color a picture.

Stretch your body.

Sketch a picture.

Write a poem.

Choose any other activity that helps you feel refreshed.