As a parent we are always on the go—prepping food, cleaning up the house, running errands, arranging play dates, getting to the dentist, picking up the kids from school, buying birthday presents, etc.—and that’s just the tip of our to-do list!
In addition to trying to be the best parent I can be, I’m also trying to pay more attention to what I do for myself. Am I making sure that I’m also covered? Am I making enough time to recharge? Am I taking as good care of myself as I am of the others in my household? When I first asked myself these questions, the answer was “No”—or at least not as often and as good as I should.
So here is what I decided to do for myself the last few weeks and it has made a huge difference in my overall experience of how I feel, relate, and think of myself, and thus about everyone else around me.
- I must—repeat must—do some kind of personal practice first thing in the morning. I cannot function properly without this. It realigns me spiritually, it physically strengthens me and my nervous system, and it is real quality time alone. When I think I’m too tired to wake up a bit before the kids, I envision a day without my practice—not worth it! So I get up.
- I make sure I have a good breakfast and don’t just eat the leftovers from my kids’ plates. When my blood sugar drops I’m not as pleasant as when I feel nourished. This taking care for me in relation to food is something I am really trying to change. This is one of my challenges and when I do it with love and dedication I feel so great! So I try to make a variety of meals, make sure it looks colorful, and mostly make sure it’s high-quality organic and tasty!
- I take several little breaks throughout the day. A cup of tea—and sitting down with that cup of tea! Or a walk around the block. Or resting with my legs up after I’ve run some errands. Basically doing nothing a few times a day makes a huge difference in how I feel. My nervous system is very grateful when I do this, and when the kids and husband come home later I’m more rested, more calm, and most importantly, more present.
- Making sure I don’t isolate myself. So when I set up a play date, I make sure it’s with a mom I like hanging out with too. Or I make some time to call my mom or sister, knowing this is recharging and reconnecting time not just “checking in.” It’s so good for us to socialize and hang out with people that are uplifting. It juices us right up and gives us new outlook on many things.
- Last but not least, making time with my husband—quality time—and even when I feel tired at the end of the day, or really just want to go sleep, simple talking together, laying together, making love together, or just snuggling while we each read our book. This quality time is so important in keeping our relationship sacred, alive, and healthy. We both thrive when we feel connected and close, and it radiates out to the kids and that makes them feel connected as well.
If you don’t take care of yourself, then you can’t take as good care of others either, so taking care of yourself is the best selfish thing to do!
Please share in the comments below any tips on how you take care of YOU.
Siridyal was born into a family of Yogis. Her mother, a Yoga Teacher and Healer herself, taught her the importance of a practice. In 1999, she moved to New Mexico to study with Yogi Bhajan, who helped deepen her understanding and inspired her to embrace Yoga as a lifestyle. In addition to enjoying life with her two beautiful children and supportive husband, Siridyal gives healing treatments and Yogic counseling sessions and prenatal massages from her office in Santa Monica, CA. Her motto: “Keep up and you will be kept up!”. For more on Siridyal, please visit her WEBSITE.May 6, 2012