Saturday, January 1

Self-Care for Moms (Word of the Year 2022)

The past couple of years have been pretty intense...  I don't just mean 'rona issues, but aging parents, dying parents, teenagers getting their licenses, starting a small business, and having our one income family become a zero income family INTENSE.  It comes with the territory of being in that sandwich generation, and I know that many other parents are feeling the squeeze, too, right now.  Therefore, this year's word of the year is self-care.

Like many of you, I wear several hats simultaneously: wife, mother, daughter, sister, teacher, business owner, farmer, writer, taxi driver, maid, cook, etc.  What I don't wear so wear is the 'relaxed' hat.  My sister actually got me a shirt that says, "I run to burn off the crazy."  And it's true.  Except that due to injuries, now I can't run anymore.  Enter a new self-care schedule...

Why bother with self-care?

Well, partly because if one more person tells me I need to do yoga, I may slap them.  And there's no place in this society for that kind of behavior.  But mostly because of the root cause of that behavior -- being stretched too thin for too long.  When your sympathetic nervous system is the most active system in your body, that's a problem.  (That's your fight or flight one.)  Fortunately, as someone who works from home most of the time, I have a little bit of wiggle room to try and squeeze in one more thing work on self-care.

Tweaking the Schedule

To that end, here's what I'm aiming for this year.  Check back with me in March, and we'll see how well it goes.  One thing I AM doing, which should help, is giving myself permission to fall off the wagon.  So many times, we make resolutions, and then when we fail to keep them regularly, we just toss them out the window.  But with this new schedule, if stuff happens, then it happens...and we'll try again next week!
  • Monday
    • Board game night!  It used to be a family tradition to play board games on Monday nights...and then the kids got older and things sort of drifted to the wayside.  But it won't be long before they drift into even wider circles and leave home.  We are reinstating game night for a little cut-throat fun.
  • Tuesday
    • TV night with the family.  By the time we finish Boy Scouts and Civil Air Patrol, admittedly we usually get home pretty late on Tuesdays...but are wired.  This is the perfect night to pull out those black and white tv shows we love and wind down with the boob tube before bed.
  • Wednesday
    • Spa Day....or more likely, physical therapy day followed by a salt bath.  Wednesday is our go-to-the-city day.  For you more urban and suburban folks, who may not be in the know, rural folks tend to gather up all their errands and appointments and scheduled them on one super-long day.  For us, that almost always ends up being on a Wednesday.  (I do it on purpose -- it's double coupon day at the grocery store.)  If possible, once a month, I plan to add a massage to this city trip, too!
  • Thursday
    • Sleep in...  By Thursday I'm usually tired.  I've put in a couple of late nights with extracurricular activities, and turning off the alarm clock to let my body get the rest it needs is the perfect mid-week treat.  Of course, this one is much easier to do if you don't have littles...
  • Friday
    • Hit the hay...  Whether curled up with a book or somebody else, tonight's the night to pack it in and call it a week.  Typically, hubby is pretty worn out after a full work week as well, so we'll turn in early and hand the remote over to the kids to watch a teen movie.  But absolutely no working after 6pm on Fridays!
  • Saturday
    • Say no to technology!  There will be times that this is easier said that done, and I realize that.  Particularly during busy times or when we're preparing for an upcoming trip.  However, with the paring down of social media, this should get easier throughout the year.  I foresee issues keeping this one on cold, rainy weekend mornings...
  • Sunday
    • Curl up and read...  Whether it's from a devotional or a new fiction novel, this day is dedicated to resting and reading.  After all, an introverted bibliophile's best friend is a good book!  This day is NOT for reading new curriculum, homeschooling magazines, or anything else that could be construed as work-related.  It's about restoring the soul.

And that's it!  A small tweak each day of the week that provides a bit of self-care.  They say that small changes add up to big effects...let's see if the adage still rings true.  

What changes will you make this year?

Here are some of my favorite books to start at the new year.  We read one together as a family, and I usually have a different one for personal use.  Do you have a good one to add to this list? Comment below!

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