Are you desperate for some rest? When was the last time you had ‘me time’? I hope it wasn’t in the 1990’s!
Years ago my father-in-law wrote me this prescription, as a joke, but probably also as a kind reminder to take some me time. At that time in my life, my three girls were very little and the advice was well received, but I have to admit the doctors orders were not followed. I struggled with the idea that it was my job to make everyone else’s life easier, better, cleaner….everyone except myself.
Is this sounding familiar? I gave to the point of exhaustion, anger and resentment. I didn’t know that rest periods, taking care of me time and letting others take care of themselves (to the extent that they could) was healthy and necessary. The patterns I had created of care-taking, though I thought it was what I was supposed to do, left me empty. I didn’t know who I was anymore. Have you ever felt this way? Many women do!
Through some rough life lessons, I finally woke up to the realization that how I was living as a wife, mother and woman was not healthy. Although I was great at taking care of others I had to learn how to stop and rest and not feel guilty about it. I had to learn how to take care of me. Doesn’t that seem ironic, that we as women can be excellent at caring for everyone but ourselves?! But it’s true.
When you start down the path to taking care of yourself and letting others do the same, it can take some time for everyone to adjust. They are used to the easy life of you serving their needs. “What do you mean you aren’t doing that anymore?” might be the cry heard from your family and friends. That is okay. Remind yourself that it is unrealistic to be at the beck and call of everyone 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. It is unrealistic to never need help. It is unrealistic to give up yourself to take care of others. It is not healthy, and honestly, it is a recipe for disaster.
So take heart, as well as you have cared for others, start caring for yourself. Listen to the music you like. Watch a television show that you’re interested in. Pursue a hobby just because you want to do it. And take time to rest! (Put your cell phone in airplane mode to stop that ringing if you must!) Follow my father-in-law’s Rx “Rest Periods (aka Me Time) #a lot. Take daily as needed,” and you’ll soon find that the symptoms of stress, anger, and exhaustion start to fade away and you’ll rediscover that person, that is YOU, starts shining through once again.