FAMILY CARE INCLUDES SELFCARE …easier said than done. Let me elaborate.
There is an old Bulgarian movie called: “Going to the seaside with the kids”
It kind of says it all and yet it didn’t make me nervous about this year’s family summer holiday. I was looking forward to it, focusing on how much time I will be blessed with playing with the kids without any disturbing thoughts like “the fridge is empty” or “we are late” or “did I just miss an important call with a client”, “the neighbours will complain again that we are too loud”.
I was a hundred percent sure our time together will be cloudless. And literally it was, it was super hot, sunny, transparent sky-blue waters. But when there are no distractions something starts happening on the inside. First my kids had kind of a melt down on the second day after we arrived, starting to throw tantrums for all kinds of insignificant in my eyes things such as what colour is the hat I took for them to the beach…They may have been too stressed by the sudden change of dynamics in our life so they needed some adrenaline, was my own explanation…
I managed to calmly navigate through these leaving them for the first time, without bribing, to get over with their own frustration and then move on. I saw these tantrums as a sign, they were testing my devotion and commitment and were willing to see whether I am that same mother they have to deal with while they are NOT on holidays….
Once my mind started relaxing as well, I started feeling a bit anxious. Was everything alright in my life? How does my post-three pregnancies tummy look like on the beach? Can everyone see my cellulite? Do people realize I am 40? What have I achieved in life? What kind of a role model I am for my kids?
You may be laughing by now, but switching from a super busy schedule to slow living is actually hard, EVEN FOR MY KIDS. Spending more than one day doing nothing (and be of no service to anyone, which was not always the case, but let’s say my hands and mind weren’t that busy as usual). It takes time and spiritual nurturing to get to the point when you don’t feel guilty (and worthless) about spending time doing nothing. Damn, it felt hard to start letting go of my monkey mind and not allow it to bother me any more.
During this holiday it occurred to me that most of us look at self-care routine as massage- and spa appointments but the reality is that self-care means slowing down, doing nothing, putting your feet up the wall when you lack hammocks at home on the terrace, and daydreaming.
So I wonder is there some kind of a mental gym I can drag myself to train my mind for moments like this, when I can let go of thinking, analizing and looking for meaning and results. Is meditation, or perhaps mindfulness, the answer and how is it possible to train for it every day?