Self-care...SELF-care...SELF-CARE!! Yes, I said it. The forbidden fruit. Why do we marvel at the idea but refuse to partake? Especially parents, managers, spouses or any other individual who is responsible to another. Perhaps the word "self" skews the true meaning of self-care. For so long, opting to take care of yourself was seen as selfish. Is it? Or is it more beneficial to those we are responsible to care for? Is it more beneficial to give ourselves ample amount of rest, a moment of quiet, a lunch break, a long walk, a good laugh with friends, a day at the spa, so that we won't become depleted of energy, passion, and willingness? Consider the times in which you were cranky and received a customer complaint. Consider the time your child simply spilled milk and they were sent to their room. Consider the time you and your spouse argued after having not seen one another all day. What was lacking within you that triggered these events? Lack of sleep? Lack of space? Lack of laughter? Whichever, there was a lack within YOU; YOU weren't cared for.
The first step to self-care is honesty. We allow the perception of others towards us, immortalize us. We ARE human and we have deficiencies regardless of how often they surface. We get tired and that's OK. Sometimes we aren't able to do a favor and that's OK. Sometimes we don't have anything planned and would prefer to use our leisure time just doing nothing and that is OK. Perhaps if we were more transparent in our vulnerable moments, people would expect from us what we're capable of and not what they want from us. Be appreciated for your qualities, not your services. Service has a price but the qualities we inhibit, priceless. Yet we sell ourselves for accolades.
A day off won't make you any less the exceptional employee you are. Mom, send the kids to the grandparents' house for the night and get some rest. The kids won't discard the countless memories of you caring for them from a night of separation. What will resonate with those you serve, is that when you are tired, you are tired after ensuring their care, and when you take a break, you return to pick up where you left off, refreshed, willing and passionate.
Partake of the fruit! It's exceptional and far from forbidden.
Here's to the call offs, the nights away from the children and sometimes declining to do a favor with absolutely nothing planned at all.
Here's to being well while functioning.