Following Monday’s newsletter and blog, I received wonderful feedback from mothers who agree wholeheartedly with the sentiment of taking care of ourselves so that our loved ones are not responsible for our care.
However, the question reamins – HOW?
How do we find the time? How do we value ourselves enough to make this a priority? How do we ensure consistency? Many readers talk about starting with great intentions. Perhaps these new behaviors last a few days, weeks or even months and then fall by the wayside. Why bother to start something new when you know it’s going to end this way? Worse, we always feel guilty when we cannot keep our commitments to ourselves.
Here are a few tips:
1. Don’t start anything new in a panic. In other words, don’t let anxiety or guilt or fear drive a new venture. If you start trying to eat less or exercise more out of guilt or fear, it will usually end badly!
2. Take an inventory of where you are at the moment. Sit down and take a good look at what your life is about today. A good way to do this is to use a balance wheel. This is a tool that divides your life up into various areas – such as health, finance, relationships, mothering, career, diet etc. You then give yourself a score for each area. On my website I offer a free balance wheel that you can fill out yourselves. Please go to: www.themommyblues.com and find it on the top left corner.
3. Once you are clear about what is working and what is not working, pick NO MORE than one area to begin with. Tackle the easiest area first. I ask you to it like this because you are more likely to be successful with an easier task. Success raises your self-esteem and your trust in yourself. If you keep going with small successes, you will get there and have the resources to deal with the larger, more difficult challenges in your life.
4. Get a buddy or a coach or a therapist or counselor – someone you can be accountable to. You could pick a friend and meet once a month to work on your balance wheels. Or you could hire a coach. If the areas are particularly tricky or painful or challenging, hire a therapist. I offer ecounseling, telephone counseling, skype counseling and f2f (face-to-face counseling).
Over the next few weeks, I will visit this topic again! I believe it is critical and fundamental!
Good luck with your balance wheels!