My 8-year-old daughter was administering personality quizzes to everyone in the house yesterday. She asked me, "Are you a social person?" Before I could answer, the other 4 people in the house all shouted an emphatic, "Yes!"
Yes, I love a good party. I love to connect with people. I thrive in social environments and on the flip-side, I require massive amounts of solitude. My own self-care routines keep me sane. They keep me being a person that I like very much, a mom whom I like and respect. Without it, I get downright grumpy and honestly, even a little mean.
I hear so many women say they don't have time for themselves. Baloney, I say. We all have the same amount of time in a day, it's how we use it that counts. It's paramount to honor yourself, to love yourself through action, not just thought.
For almost a week now, I've had my usual abundant "me-time" thrown under the bus of sick kids. So, how do I, and how can you, keep yourself a priority when you have little ones or sick kids demanding most of your time? In bite-sized chunks.
I normally take 30 minutes to an hour on each end of the day to myself. Yoga and meditation in the morning, journaling and meditation at night. During the day, I take a coffee break. I'm alone most of the day, but my coffee break is pretty sacred. 5-minutes during which I don't have to do anything. I can just sit and be.
This week, it's all bite-sized chunks. 5-minutes to stretch upon waking, or right after attending to the child who woke me up with sounds of sickness, you know the kind.
5-minutes once they're settled to enjoy the coffee that probably won't lift the fatigue of a night of broken sleep. Still, I love the taste of that peppermint mocha. And the silence.
5-minutes to step outside and breathe-in the hold that Winter still has over Spring here in Michigan.
5-minutes at a time writing until this post is finished. I relish the brief moments uninterrupted by the need to comfort a child, sick at or on the toilet.
5-minutes to put on some eyes and lips to wake-up this sleepy, un-showered face. The transformation is a meditation in and of itself.
5-minutes to get on my attitude of gratitude. These flu-type illnesses pass. They go away and we are lucky. My children are, overall, incredibly healthy.
5-minutes to mindfully eat my food. I must nourish myself to be able to care for my child.
5-minutes to empty my mind and release, release, release.
Sometimes these chunks of me-time last only a minute or two and that is enough. Enough to treat myself with loving kindness so that I have loving kindness to give back to my family. Enough to stay centered and grounded so I don't get overwhelmed with self-pity at my lack of sleep, solitude or the ability to get anything done. Enough to show the Universe that I value myself and therefore receive value from the Universe in return.
Here's an old Monday Minute to remind you why self-care is so important, even in bite-sized chunks.
Thank you for spending a few minutes of your precious time with me. How do you care for yourself when time is short? Share in the comments below or join the conversation on Facebook.