30 Days of Being a Love Machine: Day 26
Day 26 Challenge:
Plan a day of self-care in the next week (quiet you-time, sleep in, get a massage, bath, mani/pedi - men, all of these can work for you too) THEN DO IT. Don't flake on yourself. If something comes up, do it another day; be your best friend for the day.
Some of you hear about self-care and thing that sort of thing is ridiculous or way out of reach. You are the provider. You’re the nurturer. Without you, everything would fall apart! With the risk of “When Keepin’ It Real Goes Wrong,” you are the martyr, you are the victim. WHAT!
Those roles seem on opposite ends of the earth, but they are very closely related. Different sides - same coin. The victim is always someone who has no control over what happens in their life. Things are always happening to or being done to them - they are the target in their life. The martyr gives, and gives, and gives until they feel they have no choice but to continue sacrificing because...ready...things are always happening to them that they have no control over - they are responsible for the things that are being done to them. One cowers with arms over their face; the other goes in chest first with arms open wide.
In no way am I saying that you aren’t rightfully stressed out. As someone who was a teacher as a single woman with no kids, I would sometimes cry myself to sleep with how much stress I felt. My self-care was a few glasses of wine or a trip to the bar (by the way, NOT a healthy way to go about it). So, there is NO WAY that I can say to you hard-working parents, “I know how you feel.” Maury Povich would determine, “that was a lie.” However, if I knew then what I know now, I think I could’ve curbed that stress and prevented burnout.
Alright, so what now? How are you supposed to change this when you have so much to do, so much that you are responsible for? Well, you forgave yourself: guilt shouldn’t be an issue anymore (that’s a heavy-hitter when it comes to feeding into the victim and martyr role). What about time? You only don’t have time for what you don’t make time for.
It is possible. Get organized. Schedule it with your partner or loved ones. You can’t tell me nobody loves you enough to help you out. There are many people you’ve shown love to recently that would be honored to help such a loving soul like you show some love for themselves.
This one can be tough. We are taught, especially as women, to sacrifice. Server others first and always. Don’t be selfish. Our mothers and fathers would tell us that they would never have thought to do something like that; family comes first. Today is a new day. Studies are always evolving. There are reasons why so many of us had some rough childhoods. You want to help the next generation - work from a place of being replenished, not depleted.
Not sure where to start? Check your local listing for self-care. Can’t afford that? Take a bath. Too much effort? Sleep-in (don’t clean, don’t cook, don’t organize, don’t zone out on TV, don’t lift a finger - just sleep).
Rest your eyes and body, so they are able to handle what you do to them. “Self-care is so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel” - Eleanor Brown. Some of you try and it always hurts. Then, your job becomes looking for reasons of why your depletion is necessary and for the good of the job or the family.
For those who need metaphors, “You are not required to set yourself on fire to keep others warm.” There are times when sacrifice is the only way to go. There are times when self-care for recovery is the only way to go. There is a time and a place… Be picky.