I have been grappling with the practice of self care for over a decade. I absolutely love to give! I love to cook meals for my family, to pick up and play with my kids, to organize our daily life, to be a work at home mom who sneaks in a nursing break and a toddler cuddle and rushes to pick up the older kids at school to then turn on full time mom duty. However, several years ago I found myself feeling so grumpy and impatient, like ALL THE TIME. Couple that with being a midwife who gives so much, stays up all hours of the night, rushes around all parts of the state and you can end up burnt out.
Over the years I have tried to create some sort of self care routine. For awhile I was diligently working out daily, then I was making sure I was reading a book for myself, I tried solo time every week, a yoga class etc. If I am being honest all these things ever did was to bring me was to my knees when I couldn’t figure out what would be the best fit or the time to do it in. Doing yoga, or getting a bit of a break at a coffee shop never really helped much and I still had the sentence that had become my mantra, “I am so overwhelmed” going through my head ALL the time. Once I did take a break and I would return and still have the feeling of overwhelm going on I would actually feel guilty and more down….why isn’t this working!!!! Then my family picked up an moved all the way to Maui where I had much less responsibility and a slower pace and I still felt OVERWHELMED. The time in Maui allowed me the space to take a lot of walks on the beach and do some soul searching about where this “feeling” originated. I know most of us have those sayings that go on in our heads; I am just to stressed, to overwhelmed, to overworked, to sad, to angry, whatever it maybe. What I came to realize over time is that simply adding on a yoga class, some time with a book or some time away wasn’t going to shift that saying in my brain. Self care was not just a weekend away. Don’t get me wrong a weekend away, a yoga class, a run some time to myself are all amazing and needed but they don’t shift the mantra that many of us having going on inside. Self care wasn’t about adding onto my to do list for me self care was about transformation!
Transformational self care is what was born out of this slow realization. It is a process where you identify that once specific feeling, that one sentence that floats through your brain over and over again and spend some time with it. See what it is about, what triggers it, is it actually true or are you actually creating it? When I worked with my feelings of overwhelm I was able to stop each and every time that saying entered and like a scientist see where it came from, my self care became taking those moments when I felt like that to journal and explore where it was coming from, to talk to loved ones and dig into what was occurring within me and then to question and transform through it. My feelings of overwhelm then were welcomed as a way to explore and create space for myself within. What came out of this was a realization that I do to much. That I take on to much that doesn’t all need to be on my plate. That I can just breathe more and it will all get done and that I can rely on people to live in a family and community with me and ask for help. That I don’t need to be perfect and that feeling peaceful inside will mean so much more to me, my children and my family than a clean house and an on time dinner every will.
If you want to find out more about Transformational Self Care or Self Care coaching please contact me.