Learning how to take care of yourself when you've literally been trained to care for others.
Friday, January 18, 2019
Self-care. Loving oneself. Putting oneself first. Taking some "me" time. All of these phrases mean fundamentally the same thing. In theory, they seem rather simple, but in actual practice? Not so much.
As a therapist and self-admitted type-A personality, taking care of myself and putting myself first once in a while is tremendously difficult. I’m 35 years old and have yet to master this skill. I run our household efficiently and take care of everything that needs to be done the moment it needs to be done. My husband is amazing...like, seriously the most incredible man in the world. He virtually *begs* me to let him help more but for some reason, I have a hard time letting go of that control. I think that because I'm doing the stay-at-home-mom thing, I feel like he shouldn't have to do any of the regular housework (which is absolutely ridiculous, trust me, I know).
I also have several people in my life who are emotionally high maintenance. (VERY) long story short, my brother is an addict who refuses to truly deal with his problems and my mom is in a severely codependent relationship with him and battles severe anxiety and depression herself. Her issues aren't new but they have become almost debilitating over the last year. I do what I can. I basically spent my entire pregnancy focused on her and her needs. The therapist in me says, "She is the only one who can fix herself", while the daughter in me finds it impossible to let go of my involvement in her mental health and personal drama.
As I'm re-dedicating myself to this journey, I realize that changing my eating habits is really only a small part of what I need to change. Allowing myself to step away from stressful situations, even if only temporarily, is going to be absolutely *vital* to my success or failure. Telling someone, "I'm sorry, I can't be involved in this right now" is ok. Allowing my husband to do the laundry or empty the dishwasher won't kill me. A lot of women would do anything for the type of husband I'm lucky enough to have and I know I need to let him take care of me in the way that I take care of him and our baby boy. I know that there will be times when I feel guilty for needing a break, either physically or emotionally, but as the saying goes, "You cannot pour from an empty cup".
With that in mind, my goal for the next week is to practice a little self-care. An extra nap during the weekend (which won't be hard as we're in CNY and are expecting a pretty nasty storm tomorrow). An extra workout while my husband takes baby duty. Letting the laundry or dishwasher sit until my husband can take care of them. Choosing to read a book or surf the Sparkpeople feed instead of vacuuming. It's these little things that will ultimately make the difference in whether I succeed in losing this weight for the final time.
I hope that anyone else who has the same struggles will try to practice a little self-care in the coming days as well