A group of bloggers are doing a series called Embracing Self-Care and each is posting on the same topic every Wednesday this month and they’re extending an open invitation to join in. Here are my thoughts on this week’s topic, Taking Some R&R. And check out the other installments as well: Know Thyself, Health and Spirituality and Peace in the Home.
Aaahhh. . . I get to talk about rest and relaxation. Should be easy, right? It’s all bubble baths with champagne and long strolls under beautiful sunsets. Well, not so much. Of all the topics in the Embracing Self-Care series this is the hardest for me.
With Ryan in school for the past year R&R for me was not been a priority. My ‘to-do’ list hung over my head and no matter how hard I worked it rarely got shorter. I was able to take some time for myself but it wasn’t as often as I wanted or needed.
So now that Ryan’s completed the academic portion of his degree (yay!) and is able to devote more time to taking care of the kids and housework I can scale back my workload and spend more time doing things I enjoy and give me reprieve from the demands of daily life.
But this is the hard part: what does R&R even look like for me right now? I’ve been go-go-go for so long that I hardly remember how to stop. So to get me started I thought about the general ways I can spend my time resting and relaxing rather than specific activities. If I spend my time within one of the categories I’m probably getting the break I need.
- Time with Ryan. I can tell when I haven’t spent quality or quantity time with Ryan. Even if it’s just watching a movie after the kids are asleep, time with him grounds me and keeps my focus straight.
- Time alone. I’m an introvert so time by myself is kind of necessary. Even if it is doing things on my ‘to-do’ list, doing it alone makes me feel pretty good, though a book and a pot of tea is preferable.
- Time with friends. My world can get pretty small after spending all day with two young kids. When I’m with friends, even with kids around, I get to think and talk about things that don’t come up in conversations with my 3-year-old. I love relationships and the truth, life and growth that comes from them. Even though I’m an introvert, I need to share life with others.
- Time away from home. When I’m at home I feel like I an urge to accomplish something but when I’m out in the greater world I can’t feel like I should do laundry or clean the bathroom. Whether it’s a day trip to Portland or a long weekend visiting friends and family getting out of the house lets me forget my ‘to-do’ list and just enjoy where I’m at.
I hope that as I adjust to Ryan not being a full-time student I’ll be able to make R&R apart of my daily life and continue to figure out exactly what works best for me.
I encourage you take some time to think about what gives you the time and space you need to care for yourself. Whether it’s going for a hike or window shopping the better we understand what gives us rest the better we’re able to meet ours and other’s needs.