Self care is the practice of protecting our own well-being and happiness particularly when it comes to stress. I don't know if it's a parent thing or what but I always have this underlying layer of stress that lives in my brain. It's that virtual file cabinet that has questions like "Did I remember to pay that bill? When was my last check up? Did I remember to give the kids lunch money? Should I have posted that blog? Is anyone gonna read it? Am I being my most productive self?" I could keep going but Im sure you get it, the questions only get deeper and go on forever.
At the end of last year as most people do, I started thinking about the changes I wanted to make in the new year, changes I thought would help me get rid of that stress layer. I decided to go back to work, because being productive is when I feel the best, it keeps me focused on the positive, & keeps me goal oriented. I made the decision to go vegan and to exercise more, because I wanted to live a healthier lifestyle. I definitely should have looked up what it actually means to be vegan because I was not that. I probably lasted 4-5 months with no meat or dairy. During that time I shared my new changes with my followers and friends only to discover that even though I was barely eating anything I still wasn't doing it right. I quickly realized that being realistic and honest with myself would help more in eliminating stress, so now I am a proud pescatarian.
Taking a digital detox has been very beneficial in eliminating my stress layer. Rather than scrolling the gram, or reading/seeing negativity I decided to put that down time into books. I have always been a book worm but before it was purely for the guilty pleasure of reading romance and mystery novels by Danielle Steele. Now I am a collector of books and I have expanded my literary choices to educational, historical, self improving and art. Each time I complete a book that feeling of progression eliminates another chuck of stress. The more I learn and feel myself improving the thinner that stress layer gets.
The changes I have made this past year have allowed me to move forward mentally. Things that I can honestly say held a weight on me are now non factors. For the first time in my entire life I feel immune to others criticism or opinions because I feel myself reaching a level beyond anywhere I've ever been. The more I educate myself of matters in the world, God, and self care the more I am able to put things into perspective and separate the meaningful from the distractions. I still have to work on it everyday because our world is filled with distractions but making self care a priority helps to fight the battle. Its not always easy to do when you're a busy mom but it is necessary.
"When we self-regulate well, we are better able to control the trajectory of our emotional lives and resulting actions based on our values and sense of purpose.” -Amy Leigh Mercree