What do you do to nurture yourself when you feel (or to prevent feeling) overwhelmed by mothering/partnering/life? I'm especially interested in what brings you peace of mind and stillness.....things that uplift your spirit and give you energy to move through your days with grace and authenticity. I'm asking because I'm looking for ideas for myself.
Was hoping to find some nice ideas. . .
I suppose I make myself a nice, hot bath (and sit the littlest in the bathroom with me, with a favorite book).
Or make a cup of coffee/tea and tell everyone to take care of their own things until I've finished it (which usually works out pretty well, actually). Going for a walk helps too (when I don't have to talk to anyone else throughout). And if none of this is possible, I carefully select CD's for the car that I *need* to listen to, and play them a little louder than normal.
Sometimes I'll go to this trendy little coffee shop and bring back a cup of coffee, only leaving DD for 20 min or so with DH. Sometimes this can be enough of a breather.
Ideally - a yoga class followed by a nice hot loooong shower - followed by actually brushing my hair *and* applying moisturizer, without DD furiously signing "milk" at my breasts. I rarely get either one of those things (let alone one after the other), but when i do - boy do I enjoy it.
Just yesterday my brother (party loving bachelor that he is) who adores my DD offered to take her for a walk, DH and I rarely leave her with anyone - but we jumped at the opportunity and got in a quick stair workout at the park nearby. DD didn't even notice we were gone, and I felt great when I got home!
Sometimes even reading MDC can help uplift me too. Helps to read that I'm not the only sleepless, tired, overwhelmed mama out there.
A phone call to my Mom always leaves me refreshed and supported, I'm very lucky to have an amazing supportive mother who will tell me I'm doing a great job and she is proud of me.
Sorry that was kinda rambly....
Daydream about what it will be like when they are a little older. It also brings me perspective to hold them while they are still little because they grow up way too fast.
Remind myself of who and what I am to them - they just want to be with me and are not trying to be annoying. I remember how much my mom meant to me when I was little and that helps.
I hardly get time to myself so I try to find the silver lining. Getting a little extra sleep when I can helps (my kids require very little sleep so its been rough sleep wise for me).
My second son died as an infant so I find my appreciation for the two I get to raise is pretty great - even when it's been an awful day and everyone is moody and whiny (me included) I just don't sweat the small stuff because I remember the awful quiet after his death. In the midst of chaos DH and I will smile at each other and say "ain't it grand!" because it really is - even on the worst days.
As others have said, just a few minutes to yourself goes a long way.
Cheshire...I am so sorry for your loss. You shared your words of wisdom even though it must have pained you to do so. Thank you.
I got tired of my signature, but I still love my children and husband and miss my little brother.
There are two things which keep me going with mental clarity and grace....regular worship services at an awesome little church, and intense workouts at least twice per week. I mean weights, intervals, dripping with sweat kind of intensity just provides me with so much peace, as strange as that may sound. Wish I had started doing that YEARS ago.
If I'm able, I'll take a hot shower using soaps scented with essential oils (Purple Prairie Botanicals are my favorite.) I also love to burn incense and play music. I also enjoy yoga, but I don't have a lot of time to devote to it anymore. It's not over-the-top pampering or anything, but it does help me a lot.
Cheshire - I am so sorry to hear about your baby. :(
Solitude is what gets me centered again. I need a fair amount of alone time -- thankfully DH totally understands that and gives me lots of it. I get 2 evenings a week to do whatever I want -- most of the time I choose to hang with DH and the kids, but it's awesome to know that if I'm stressed I have the freedom to plan something for myself on any Tuesday or Thursday. Sometimes I'll get a coffee and sit in a cafe with a crossword puzzle, go for a walk, have dinner with a friend, go upstairs and work on a sewing or crafting project with no interruptions, have a long bath, or whatever strikes my fancy that day.
Come to think of it, I haven't used one of my "free" days in a couple of months -- I should plan one soon! Somehow things feel really easy right now -- it's weird, I guess I'm just in a good groove. Even though I've been at the end of a work project and DH has had several late work nights over the past few weeks, it just hasn't stressed me out -- I've still been able to really enjoy my kids and not feel like I'm itching for a break. I hope this momentum lasts -- it's nice!
ETA: DH gets Mondays and Wednesdays to do whatever he wants, just so you guys know that I'm not the only one hogging all the alone time. He usually chooses to go for a long run on his days. I wish I was like him and KarenEMT in having exercise be my centering activity! Maybe if I did it more it would become that way...
Definitely alone-time! Having a cup of chai at a favorite cafe and reading a magzine by myself, or spending time in my "craft room" listening to favorite music does wonders for me. I also like to bake or cook a nice meal while drinking a glass of wine & listening to music. If I'm realllllly grouchy, eating some favorite comfort food on the couch and watching The Office, Parks & Rec or 30 Rock (funny shows!) helps a lot. A long hot bath never hurts either.
Also, in general, I make sure to get as much sleep as possible, drink nettle infusions, take my cod liver oil & other supplements, avoid sugar, and eat lots of veggies-- those things help me feel taken-care-of -- but when everything is overwhelming I have no problem indulging in some sugar and/or alcohol and curling up on the couch!
Married to my sweetie and enjoying life with our fabulous dog. Expecting #1 in August 2012!!!!
I belong to a Broadway choir, and we have weekly rehearsals. The first few months of the year are a little rough, but once we find our groove, rehearsal is a real pick-me-up. And, our year end performance is always a lot of fun (really exhausting, though!).
I may move on to something else next year, but I don't know what. I used to enjoy yoga, too, but 1) I can't remember the last time I managed to do any without someone climbing on me, and 2) it just doesn't seem to work for me these days - even if I do carve out a short yoga session, I end up achier than when I started, which isn't conducive to a calm mental state.
Lisa, lucky mama of Kelly (3/93) , Emma (5/03) , Evan (7/05) , & Jenna (6/09)
Loving my amazing dh, James & forever missing Aaron Ambrose (11/07)
Proud Mama to DS1 09/07 , DD 07/09 , and DS2 06/11 . Feeling more and more blessed with each day!
Thank you for asking this. I'm not doing much, except taking little breaks at work to go online and read about parenting. Fun stuff, but probably not a good enough break. I'd like to take guitar lessons once a week. I'm about to have a second child, and don't know if we can swing it. But, that would be my "thing".
I use really nice quality skin care products that make me feel luxurious! I take as long walks as I can fit in. snuggle with my dh. And yoga once a week, and when I can fit it in a see a chiropractor once a week. Also I love to take baths.
Write. Read. Dance. Sing loudly! I used to fill a journal a week. Now maybe one a year. However I still love it. And I read a lot. Before kids I would spend the weekend with piles of books either in my room or out on the beach. Now I'll steal away and read a book in my closet or on the back porch. Girls know that if mommy is reading mommy needs to be left alone. Yes I dance like Elaine! I turn up the music sing loud and dance away! Usually that's when DH and the girls are grocery shopping. He's and aisle by aisle type of person so that gives me plenty of time.
For me, a soak in hot bath with a good book usually does the trick. And depending upon my mood, either a cup of hot tea or a glass of wine. Taking a little time to write for my blog at least once per week is great too - I view that as preventative medicine. :-) Oh, and how could I forget this one - baking a nice treat - tunnel of fudge cake and snickerdoodles are comfort favorites for me.
Apartment Farm - the chronicles of my cooking, gardening, crafting and other such things.