As a busy mom to 3 kids (and a husband, dog, business, house.....etc.) it seems that everyone else always comes first. It is not that I am complaining, but there are times when it is just overwhelming to think of all of them....and not me!
I had been dealing with a lot of anger and resentment towards all of them for a while, when I realized that it was not their fault. I was to blame. It was because I chose to always put them first. I put them before my own needs.
In that moment, I decided to try something different. One day, I decided to do a few things for myself. I was amazed at the way I felt at the end of the day. For the first time, I actually felt like I had taken care of me first. After all, if I can't take care of myself, how can I expect to take care of everyone else?
That lead me to make a list of the five things I love most and do for myself each day. Doing these simple things really have made a difference in my life. These are things any of us can do every day. Here's what I do:
1. Light my favorite candle. Scents can really make us connect with feelings and memories. Each morning, I light my favorite candle and allow the scent to fill the house. It instantly makes me feel better and takes me to those places of peace. Best of all, this takes NO time at all. It is just a scent that takes me a place of happiness.
2. Read. It may be reading a few articles on line. It could be the news. It is sometimes even a guilty pleasure book. Whatever that may be, I just find 10 - 15 minutes every day to do this. After all of the rhyming kids books we read every day, this is a way that my brain has a chance to think about what I want....and not about how the duckie was able to feel better by being nice to the bear.
3. Meditate. Whether you pray to a higher power or not, just a few minutes a day in prayer or mediation can clear your mind. I put the worries of the day aside and just focus on that moment. For me, being a Christian woman, I actually offer my stresses up in prayer, which seems to help.
4. Keep my to do list handy. Every day begins with a to do list. These are the only things I MUST do that day. If I happen to think of something else I need to do, I just add it to the next day's list (unless it is urgent and must be done today). That way, my to list is manageable and does not get out of control. Doing this allows me to plan my week out and I know what has to be done every day.
5. Hugs and love. The best thing I can do for myself is to give my kids and husband a hug. It may seem very small, but those hugs remind me of what matters most in this world -- them. They hug me with nothing more on their minds but to just tell me that they love me. When it comes to my husband, the hug is always followed with a kiss. Before any of my family members ever leave the house, the last thing we always say is I Love You. It just send us all on our way with a happy thought on our minds.....and why I get up and do the same things over and over again every day.
No matter what is on your list, just keep it short. Find those five things that matter to you and find a way to make them happen each and every day. When you take that time to focus on what you need to do to keep yourself centered and grounded, everything else around you seems to be easier to handle. Your life really can seem less stressful and in turn, you end up with a smile on your face!