Friday, December 26, 2008

Gift of Self Care

Been thinking of the best Christmas present one could give themselves. The gift of Care comes to mind. How does one truly care for oneself?

I find that folks often ignore their needs, give to others, depleting themselves in the process while losing the awareness of how to take care of themselves.

I have been paying particular attention to my spirit and my body to determine types of energy with the effort to increase positive flow in my life.

Here are a couple of things that have surfaced for me, please feel free to add to the list as you ponder with me.

1. In general, I feel good when I am watching movies or reading fiction. It takes the focus off of my life and story and I can think about other people or other stories.

2. Take a vitamin. Each time I take a vitamin I have a silent affirmation
that I am doing something good for me.

3. Cook a home cooked meal, without rush. Putz in the kitchen.

4. Take a nap. The best days for me include a nap. I feel a little selfish like I know I could be doing several other things-- but that makes it even more delicious.

5. Play a game or go somewhere special with the kids (zoo, Franklin Park
Conservatory, road trip). Whenever I do one of these things, I feel like
I am a good mother.

I remember taking the kids to Niagara Falls and we were on a bus heading to some site and tears came to my eyes. After reflecting, I realized that I felt good about the experiences we were having and hoped the kids would remember special times together. This happens when we go really special places or even when we are close to home. Anyway, feeling like a good mom really helps me feel good overall. I think we as parents always feel like we fall short. Revelling and basking in the goodness is worth doing.

6. Yoga. My body is more achey lately. I did buy a membership to Bally's
and found out the next day that they went belly up (ugh!). So, I am in
search of a reasonable option to get my exercise in. Stretching is much
needed but I really enjoy going to a gym or exercising with others. In the meantime, giving myself a good stretch is a good trick.
7. Spend time with friends (new and old ones). I sometimes feel isolated and alone-- with energy ebbing. There are many folks that care about me and would like to spend some quality time together. I think with the hustle and bustle of what needs doing, we sometimes forget to reach out and ask. My experience is that when I ask, I almost always get responded to with an enthusiastic, "Yes!". Why don't we ask more often? Not sure. Time to look around, make some connections, enjoy time and experience fellowship. Right after Christmas is a great time to do this.

I continue to pay attention and read the meter inside of me asking, "What gives you energy Erin?, What takes it away?" And then, adjust accordingly.


Anonymous said...

Your presence with the kids today really helped me to relax. It's been a wonderful Christmas, and you've been a good part of it.Thanks a bunch.
Love, Papa

AndyK said...

Those are good ideas! I have similar (and overlapping!) resolutions like that. I'm also trying something new for me, which is to make some specific written goals for a 4-6 month period, like to visit a place, take a class, some personal objective.

Erin said...

Papa, I am so glad we got together. The kids love being with you guys and you are full of hospitality. I would never have thought of us as relaxing-- just goes to show that ya never know.....

Erin said...

I once was very goal oriented, but I have been floating for awhile. I think it has been a good lesson in dealing with limbo and such, but it feels time to get back to my natural self--a person with aspirations and dreams.

I truly believe that if you reach for something, you can most likely attain it. My main issue is figuring out what I want.

I have used a metaphor to describe this:

Some people find that when they are in a body of water, treading and with fog all around that they will decide to swim. They believe that swimming somewhere is better than nowhere.

I however, find that when I cannot determine which direction to go, I will continue to tread water. I am a strong swimmer and am able to swim well but, without a sense of purpose or direction, I feel lost and in limbo.

So, my main task is to figure out which way to go, then, there is really no stopping me (Well, at least that has been my experience thus far).

There is also a time when your legs get tired and you have to decide whether to sink or swim--treading may not be an option anymore. It is then that magic can happen. I just hope that I swim toward the shore :-) or maybe an island, or run into a boat........