Returning to Normal – A Case for Self Care

I find myself trying to return to normal this week.  A normal work schedule.  A normal way of eating.  A normal way of moving and sleeping.  A normal way of caring for myself.  

My kids are older and their needs of me as their mother are different, but ever still present.  

Everyone was home for winter break and here are a few things things we did…

Attended a Carolina Panthers game, had a gingerbread house building contest, hosted a boyfriend, hosted the in-laws, hosted a house full of high school junior and seniors overnight on new year’s eve, cooked lots of favorite meals, celebrated a child’s 21st birthday, cleaned out some rooms and redecorated a bathroom, attended Christmas Eve Mass and made a Christmas light drive at 12:30 Christmas “morning”, complete with hot chocolate and popcorn.  

As the college kids drove away Saturday night, I laid on the couch unable to move – literally exhausted.

I didn’t fully realize how much we did over break.  I also didn’t anticipate how much energy it would take to keep up with these young adults.  However, looking back – it was a great break.  

As I’ve gotten older, I finally understand the importance of caring for myself and accept that the consequences of not doing so are devastating. As I return to normal this week, I am reminded of the basics of self care.  

  1. Sleep – get back to a normal schedule as soon as possible, even if I can’t fall asleep or stay asleep.  Go to bed at my “normal” time and get up at the “normal” time. My body will soon adjust.
  2. Rest – find a few pockets of time throughout the week to rest.  I can lay down and close my eyes or watch a movie or read a book.  I am not yet sleeping “normally”; my body is recovering and I need to give it extra rest.
  3. Eat Well – focus on eating 7-10 fruits and veggies every day and consume lots of water. If I do this, I won’t have to worry about what else I eat!  
  4. Move – be active everyday!  I don’t have to have a fancy gym membership.  Dance around, play outside, or even clean the house – just do something I love and move..  
  5. Reflect – remember the good.  Too often we take down the decorations, throw away all signs of the holiday and return back to “normal” as fast as we can.  Sit, reflect, celebrate and remember.  

As you return to normal, remember – it is a process. It isn’t about how much we get done or how fast we return to full functionality.  Maybe it is about living, embracing and enjoying.  Take time to savor what was, what is and what will be – linger a little while. 

With purpose,

Kelly 

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