How many of you parents out there have been told that ME time is selfish? That ME time means that you are a bad parent, spouse, friend… a bad person? No? Just me? I used to think that any form of ME time was selfish, because I was told (by toxic people) that any form of ME time would take away precious time for my children, husband and from others; and that my desire to have ME time was simply unacceptable. These people were expecting me to please anyone and everyone else but myself, and it was exhausting. You see, when you seek to please others, when you put all your desires out of life on the back burner, you can really lose yourself in the process. I’ve been there, and while I wish I could say that I didn’t take the negative comments to heart. I did.
You guys, I was living my life operating on a cup that was empty most of the time, because I allowed my desire to please others, to destroy my inner peace. It wasn’t until I stumbled upon Rachel Hollis’ books “Girl Wash your Face”, and “Girl Stop Apologizing”, that I had one epiphany after another… and it was almost like I was seeing my life so clear for the first time in forever. The contents of those books, have not only changed my outlook on my life, they have changed MY life in such a positive way.
Sometimes, when you surround yourself with toxicity, and you are emotionally beat down by others, it is incredibly hard to see the forest through the trees. After reading Rachel’s books, I felt empowered, I felt motivated, I felt like I had control over my life for the first time in a very long time. I know that sounds super dramatic, and cheesy, but it’s true. For the first time since I became a Mom, I knew that I needed to establish a self-care system, so that I could not only show up for my life in the best way possible, but I could show up for my children, and my husband too. You see, Rachel Hollis’ books are really motivating, and made me realize that I was living a life that was based on survival. Now, I know that I am capable of not just surviving, but thriving, and it feels amazing!
Thriving NOT Surviving
Thriving not surviving is so important, because as a parent of a child with special needs, we deal with challenges that ‘neuro-typical’ parents don’t. Which means that we tend to have more on our plates than most, which means that it is even MORE important for us to have a self-care routine, or a means to intentionally fill our cup back up.
The truth is, as a stay at home parent, my children and my husband get me majority of the day. Not having me for a few minutes each day, so I can enjoy some ME time is not going to hurt anyone, but is going to BENEFIT everyone. Looking back, I realized that neglecting self-care, neglecting to take just a few minutes of ME time each day, greatly affected my ability to show up for my life. You guys, I am living proof that you cannot show up for your life with an empty cup.
Filling My Cup
Many people fill their cup in different ways, but for me I’m really focusing on my physical, emotional and spiritual health at this moment. How I fill my cup these days:
- Working-out: I enjoy good o’l sweat-therapy. There is something about the positive endorphins that I get from a good sweat-sesh, that really me feel powerful and strong AF. People ask me all the time what type of workouts I do, and to be honest it changes, a LOT. There are so many workout routines out there that I enjoy mixing it up – keeping it fresh and exciting. However, at the moment I am in the middle of Shira Nelson’s 12 week workout program entitled “Badass Beyond Baby“, and it is AMAZING. Not an ad, I truly love this program.
- Journaling: As I mentioned previously, I recently I read two books by Rachel Hollis “Girl Wash Your Face“, and “Girl Stop Apologizing“. Let me begin by saying that Rachel Hollis is one of my favorite authors. I really enjoyed listening to both of her books on audio; her personality is fabulous and her story really relatable… at least I really thought she was relatable to my own personal life experiences. On her website she talks about her “Start Today Journal” process, and I have adopted that process in my morning routine; again, this not an ad. If you haven’t heard of this process, go to her website and watch the video; it is explained beautifully. In a nutshell, I start every morning writing down the same 10 goals as if they already happened in the past. I have started living intentionally, and now begin each day on a positive note – and this process has helped me SO much.
- Attending Church: As I mentioned in a previous post “Returning to the Church“, attending church is now part of our routine, and part of how I fill the spiritual portion of my cup each week. I really enjoy it.
- Sleep: This should be a given, but we often get so wrapped up in life that we often do not make sure we get adequate sleep each night. I can only speak for myself, but I definitely do not function well on little to no sleep. I try my best to get 8 hours of sleep, although the quality of my sleep typically depends on whether or not my children sleep through the night. Both of my children have had sleep challenges since birth, and while we are working closely with our healthcare team to develop strategies to increase the amount of sleep they get, it’s still challenging at times.
Each person might have different values and different ways they fill their cup than I do, and that is OK! That’s the wonderful thing about self-care, it is NOT a one-size-fits-all; each person is able to find what works best for them.