Posts Tagged ‘taking time for oneself’

O2Mask…submitted by guest contributor: Dawn H.

I was amazed at how demanding having a child was. I was also amazed at how I felt like I never got anything done! I had been married ten years prior to having my daughter. I was used to getting free time and completing my daily “to do” list most days. When my daughter was born, I joked to friends that she was my “new boss”.  Little did I know how demanding she would be, wanting to be held most of the time, along with nursing often and only happy if I held her. Shortly after I became a new mother, I had a health care practitioner recommend making it a priority to do something for myself at least once a week. I was surprised to hear this – especially since it came from a male. I guess I was overloaded with my body showing adrenal fatigue. I needed some rest and fun in my life. It was sort of like the announcement that the airlines warn you about “in case of loss of oxygen, please secure your mask first, then help others”.  How could I continue to care for my young child (especially when my husband traveled for overnight business often) if I wasn’t balanced myself? I realized I had not done much for myself in those first six months of being a mother.

I tried my best to figure out little ways that I could nurture myself. I started out slow like choosing an activity once a month that I enjoyed. I’d plan a creative outlet with a girlfriend and let my husband care for our daughter. At that time, my main passion was scrapbooking. I could enjoy and relax by getting photos into an album for others to enjoy. I realized after awhile that it was an activity that was still goal-oriented. I was supposed to be doing things for fun, right? If I was worried about finishing something, was that the most fun I could allow myself?Coloring
It’s taken me several years to get past this compulsion. I have managed to try a few new things with less pressure – things like playing in a monthly Bunco group, or doing some sort of art project. I rediscovered coloring books – yes, adults can color – it’s not just for kids! A friend shared with me woman’s coloring books with detailed designs that are just fun to color – a little or a lot at once. No deadlines, no pressure, just creative fun. I’m always looking for more ideas of simple, easy-to-do activities and ways to help nurture myself, so please share things that work for you!

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