We've come to the last week of our Embracing Self-Care series, and I must say this has been one of the best series I've taken the time to think through and write, as I've really had to take a good, hard look at my life and figure out if I'm putting myself in a place to be the best wife, mom and friend that I can. I've seen areas where I'm doing pretty well, but I've also seen areas where I need to make some changes. Following through with a series in and of itself feels like a pretty good accomplishment for me as well.
I probably would have fizzled it out if it weren't for the friends who have been working through these topics with me. It really has been a community project as we've encouraged each other in the comments and been inspired by each other's visions for taking care of ourselves so we can better take care of others.
This week, we're tackling the last topic of the series, which is all about rest and relaxation. Do those words sound more like figments of the imagination to you?
I'll be honest, I can make changes left and right to try to take care of myself, but I'm not going to get to being my "best self" if I'm still exhausted. The deeper I get into motherhood, the more value I see in making sure to give myself time outs to rest and rejuvenate.
Scheduling in rest
A little while back, I read on a friend's blog that she schedules in an hour of reading time for herself every afternoon. Reading really does revive me, so since then, I've made it a point to take a bit of time, even just 20-30 minutes during the day to read.
Reading is something that I really value, so I need to make it a priority to not let it get pushed to the edges of my day when I'm too tired to enjoy more than a paragraph or two.
The more I think about it, I realize that if I don't intentionally plan to rest and try to relax (turning off the mental to-do list is hard, but it can be done with enough distraction), it simply will not get squeezed into my day. Problems arise, messes get made, play dates go long, etc., etc. I'm not a napper, but relaxing with a book can have the effect of a power nap on me, so it's become a vital part of my rhythm.