I bulked up on self-care instead of subscribing to it.
In the past 4 months, while on maternity leave, the only thing I had on my to-do list was treating myself. In any shape or form. This included getting a massage every week, pedicures here and there, trying out new lunch places, and walking around the city with either my belly or baby in tow. I practiced yoga, meditated, and worked out.
I had the time of my life. Every day, I’d come up with a new thing to do (mostly alone), to take care of myself. I even put some social outings on my calendar. And I made sure to take naps galore. Oh heaven.
I told myself that the more I bulked up on self-care, the more ready I’ll be for the month of September when I’d be in “survival mode”. I knew that we would be in limbo in September (after our lease would end Aug 31) with nowhere to live, until we moved back to the states in October. So, we made the decision to spend a whole month at a farmhouse in the middle of nowhere France.
Because, oui, the idea sounded delightful. A vacation! The countryside!
And when I say middle of nowhere, I mean there are cows in the backyard field grazing the grass. Sounds beyond peaceful right? Except something else came with our lease expiring. The end of our toddler’s daycare, and the living with the in-laws.
So here I am, exactly two weeks in, in a home with 3 other adults, a toddler, and a baby. Day in and day out. With two more weeks to go. Seems fit that I broke down halfway in.
See, I’ve been telling myself that I can be in “survival mode” for a whole month because I bulked up on”self-care” in the meantime. I mean, that has to mentally help right?!
And by “survival mode” I mean being in a house that’s constantly noisy (hi, HSP over here), with someone always around, and not being able to do ONE thing for myself.
By one thing, I’m not talking massages or fancy lunches. I mean, literally sitting down to open my laptop and write.
The ONE thing that gives me the most peace.
Let me ask you, what happens when that ONE thing that gives you the most peace is taken away from you? With no notion of knowing when you’ll get it back?
I don’t know what your breakdown looks like (tell me!), but I cracked down and started crying while putting my baby down for a nap. Out of nowhere.
“Shake it off”, I told myself.
Cry, let it out, and then move on.
The next morning, as I walked down the stairs and heard my son scream at the top of his lungs, I started crying again. It was like a knee-jerk reaction, I couldn’t control it.
It seems that I reached my limit. I could no longer sustain “survival mode”. Without practicing self-care on a consistent basis, the frustration has accumulated to the point of crisis mode.
In my mind, I believed that walking hand in hand with self-care for a few months would give me the sustenance needed to handle this chaotic time. Unfortunately, it is not so.
I know that as an intuitive person, I’m pretty good at making sure that everyone else’s needs are met and taken care of, but I suck at knowing what I need. By the time I do know, it’s too late and I’ve left bodies behind me.
So for the rest of the time I have here, I’m going to make sure that I factor in at least one hour a day where I can do whatever I want, in peace. This means that I need to let everyone else know my needs so that they can support them.
What good is it to know what you need if you don’t tell others?
Today, I put on a nice yoga session on my phone, took my blanket outside, and got my hour in. Moving forward, I’m going to subscribe to self-care (even if it’s 10 minutes a day), instead of trying to buy it in bulk all at once.
To read this entire article with my advice on how to tackle self-care, go here.