The first step: Remember that it isn’t selfish to look after yourself. It is critical for your happiness and well-being. You have limits, and they are crucial to help you honor your health. You have needs, and deserve affection, rest, sustenance, and grace—just like everyone else. And you have dreams, and are worthy of the time it takes to pursue what makes your heart come alive. <!–split–>
When is the last time you did this? Each week, choose something that will add to your life:
- A colorful water bottle to encourage proper hydration.
- A beautiful new journal to record your dreams.
- An extra hour of sleep, or exercise, or creative expression.
- If nothing else, give yourself a moment: We all need a moment of grace, forgiveness, or acceptance every now and then.
Think back to what made you feel happy as a child. Was it the smell of a library book? Or listening to the crickets at night? Maybe it was strumming a guitar, or walking barefoot in the grass. Try to recreate those experiences of simple pleasure.
Speak Up For Yourself
Choose a trusted soul and voice the unspeakable:
- “I need help.”
- “I am afraid.”
- “I haven’t felt like myself in awhile.”
There is something about voicing the burden that makes it lighter. Give the people close to you a chance to support you.
Take The Pressure Off Yourself
What are you telling yourself about your parenting skills? What are you telling yourself about your appearance? What are you telling yourself about your long to-do list?
Now try setting more realistic expectations. Lower the bar; let something go. Ban the word “should” from your vocabulary today. And when you lay down in bed tonight, ask yourself, “Did I show up?” If the answer is yes, that is enough. It’s more than enough.
Notice The Good In Yourself
Take a moment to recognize any tough obstacles you’ve overcome, or lessons you’ve learned—and think about how far you’ve come. Then try to see yourself through the eyes of those who love you. They don’t see imperfections, failings, and mistakes. They see love, never-failing love. Try to see it too.
Take care of yourself and remember that God has your back! Go to Him in everything!
Your parish nurse, Kara