Just since writing The Importance of Self-Care Part 1, my life took a crazy turn! My 82-year-old mom, who also has dementia, fell and broke her hip. So I have been at the hospital or the rehab facility more than I have been at work the past 2 weeks. And I can tell you, I have not engaged in a lot of self-care. I am honestly struggling to write this blog post.
But maybe this is a good time to write about self-care, because I know exactly what happens when I don’t care for myself during stressful times. My sleep suffers. I eat crap. I don’t take as much time to journal or pray. I haven’t exercised and I’m not around as many life-giving people. As a result, I feel horrible. My body physically aches, and my spirit is sad and weary.
How will I get back on track? Two things come to mind.
First, acceptance is key.
I will have to accept that I cannot be with my mom all the time and that she will be ok.
I have to accept that she is disappointed when I am not there.
I have to accept that some self-care is better than no self-care.
I have to accept my own limitations.
That last one is especially hard, right? Accepting my own limitations means I need to let go of some things. It’s a question we all need to ask:
What will I let go of?
I chose to let go of my expectations for Easter weekend. A painter was scheduled to paint the interior of our house, so last week, while I was at the hospital our whole house, was in chaos. My awesome husband works from home and was able to manage everything from taking down the curtains to the painting schedule. He did a great job, but I had to let go of cleaning and putting things back together just the way I wanted. Right now, my house is “good enough,” and I have accepted that. I had to let go of things being “perfect” when my kids came home from college for Easter break.
The second key is to be intentional.
How will I be intentional about self-care?
By making these choices and doing these actions, I am caring for myself. I remind myself that my mom needs care, and I can best care for her when I am strong in body, mind and spirit. It all starts with caring for me.
Write down your answers and consider how you can let go, be intentional, and add self-care into your life this week. More self-care tips to come next week - I hope they help!