Wow…life is busy! Schedules are hectic. And the to-do lists are daunting tasks. When did life get so crazy? I often find myself thinking, “Life was so simple then.” You know what I mean. Pre-career, pre-mortgage, pre-major responsibility life. Think hard…you can remember. Nowadays, I sometimes feel like I don’t know if I’m coming or going. In addition to writing and working a small business, I work 8 hours a day teaching middle schoolers Health and PE, and I’m a single mom to a 16 and 12-year-old. After teaching, I have errands, food shopping, appointments, dinner to cook and household chores. Those of us that are working parents, also play taxi for our kids, and in the process try to squeeze in ‘quality’ time. Most nights I don’t sit down to unwind and relax until 9 or 10 pm. And guess what? Tomorrow, I get to do it all over again.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not complaining. I’m grateful for the loving people in my life that make it all worthwhile. However, life is hard sometimes. Am I right? I KNOW we all feel this way at times. Some days I’m so overwhelmed by all I have to accomplish, I can’t even get out of my way enough to start. So in my, eh-hem…forty…eh-hem….something years, I’ve learned a few things that work, for me, to bring a little calm back into my life. You might want to give a couple a try. Hopefully, they help you as well.
First of all, years ago, I hated the term “me time.” It seemed so selfish and self-centered. I’ve always been a people-pleaser and raised in an old, Italian, Catholic home. I watched my Nonni, wait on my Poppop and my mother wait on my father daily. They were happy to do it and the men in my family, were not only grateful, but they also did plenty to please their wives as well. Win-win. So I didn’t understand people who would spend a lot of their time, regularly to do something for themselves!?!
Now that I’m older, I’ve learned that there is real value in taking care of yourself. For the longest time, I felt selfish leaving my kids to get my nails done or go to a yoga class or for a long walk. Truth be told, I still feel bad at times. But I’ve learned the worth of self-care. One of my new favorite sayings is “you can’t pour from an empty glass.” Wow, that is so true! There have been many days I’ve exploded unnecessarily, snapped at someone or been overly grumpy due to sheer exhaustion. That doesn’t help anyone and accomplishes nothing except feeling bad later and regretting something I’ve said due to frustration and stress. Imagine a romantic date, a bike ride, stroll along the beach, a massage, a yoga class, or even sit alone, in a quiet place with a great book. It may sound too good to be true. It may seem impossible to fit into your busy life. But, trust me, not only is it possible, but it’s essential!
We have many responsibilities. That will never change. Make time for yourself. You won’t be much good to the people you love if you’re not practicing healthy self-care. Go ahead, live your best life. Take care of YOU! Because you are worth it.