By Dr. Laura Markham
Are you Nurturing Yourself while Raising Your Child, yet? That’s what helps you notice when you’re off-balance and recover quickly, which is essential to resilience.
“Self-care builds your connection with who you are at the core of your being so that when the tides of life get rough, you are anchored and don’t get swept away.” – Timothy James
Our body sends us constant signals about what’s working and what’s not working in our lives. Those signals often come in the form of uncomfortable sensations in our bodies.
Sometimes these are strong enough that we interpret them as an emotion — we realise that we’re feeling frustrated, or sad, or worried.
But often, we just feel uncomfortable, or worn out, or irritable, and it doesn’t feel good. Before we even notice, we’re smothering our discomfort with little addictions to make ourselves feel better – comfort food, social media, online shopping. But that’s like having a blinking light on the dashboard of your car and responding by pulling the wires out so the light stops blinking. It isn’t exactly sustainable. Something will eventually break down.
When your energy is being sapped by things that make you anxious or weigh you down, you can’t be emotionally generous toward your child. That stone in your shoe may seem small, but it’s wearing you down, hobbling your full aliveness — and your relationship with your child.
What if you just paid attention to those little annoyances, and addressed them?
Even if each one takes a few weeks or a month to clear up, think how much better your life will be in a few months.
How do you know what you need to clear up? If it makes you feel bad inside, or “act bad” outside, it’s draining you. For instance, if you frequently find yourself in a bad mood at the same time of day, listen to the message your gut is sending you. Then, consider how you could care for yourself in this situation, while still being respectful of others? Depending on your issue, this might mean you:
- Start the bedtime routine half an hour earlier so you can stay more patient.
- Have your partner or friend take the kids all Saturday afternoon so you can finally tackle a project that you’ve been putting off, like making your way through that pile of bills and paperwork. (Be sure to approach the pile with gratitude so you can zoom through it).