Now that you’ve started to explore the status of your own self-care across the different categories and identified some of what you already do or wish to do that makes you feel both good and alive, it is time to look at what might be in the way. What is draining your energy? What are you deprived of? And what can you declare as an “absolute NO” on your way to better self-care!
- What’s draining you?
- Absolute No List
What’s draining you?
As you begin to look at incorporating more self-care into your life that will sustain you and bring more energy to your experience of parenting, it is important to also look at what might be in the way of you getting your needs met.
- Note, I use the word ‘need’ for self-care is a need for your wellbeing. It is also a win-win for the whole family because when you are well taken care of and honoring your own wellbeing, you will be more effective at taking care of the entire family.
So let us look at what is in the way: what is draining you? What are you deprived of? Physical energy? Mental wellness? Consider both physical and emotional needs, behaviors and wishes as you look within. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating/fueling yourself well? Do you get the exercise you need? Do you have time for yourself? How is your emotional health? Do you worry a lot and if so, what are you doing to manage those feelings? Do you have people around you to support you or help take some of the load off sometimes?
- What’s missing, the presence of which would make a difference for you in incorporating more self-care practices into your life?
Answer the questions above on a sheet of paper. Be honest with yourself.
Absolute NO List
Do you find yourself saying YES too often to things you later resent? Or over scheduling and then feeling overwhelmed? Or getting in a rut with something you know drains vs. fuels your energy? Or living out of alignment with what you’ve said is important to you? All these things drain our energy and affect our parenting! Are you drowning in a messy closet or in bills that haven’t been paid? Are you a slave to your iPhone, constantly checking emails and Facebook without even noticing? Is your playroom a disaster? Is your eating out of control because you never take the time to sit down for meals? Do you clean up your kids’ toys every night once they’ve gone to bed and mutter about it the entire time?! We have all been there at some point!
- And…it drains our energy and aliveness and affects both our sense of wellbeing and our energy for effective parenting…parenting the way we want vs. as our exhausted, automatic and reactive selves!
So I invite you to take some time and create your Absolute No List (an idea created by Cheryl Richardson in her book The Art of Extreme Self-Care, a great resource for your parenting toolbox). In your Absolute No List you will want to identify everything that you are no longer willing to tolerate in your life, that saps vs. fuels your energy, from unpaid bills to cluttered closets to skipped meals to saving those size 2 pair of jeans in your closet that do nothing but depress you, to saying yes when you mean no, to skipping your workouts, etc.
- Challenge Yourself!
Create your Absolute No List! Think about what really drains you, what makes you feel bad and what you are declaring as vitality sapping! It is helpful to revisit your list of values (from February, or if you don’t have one…create one now) and then think about what actions are not consistent with those values for you and your family. Go!
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