Self care is something we hear a LOT about right now. Our lives are busier and more connected than they have ever been in the history of the human race, and dang it all, we are freakin’ exhausted! Depending on where you’re from, you may have been taught how to slow down and pace yourself more, but me – I’m from the good ol’ U.S., where the more you do the more you’re valued.
More work, more hours, more achievements and accolades, more competition, more praise, more money, more house, more things, more, more, more…… None of which are bad in themselves, but man oh man, when you live in a country that loves achievement, it can be rough. Add in the fact that I am an Enneagram 3 personality type, and I will work myself to the point of complete breakdown, if I am not paying attention.
That being said, how in the world do I make time for self care as a fulltime rv -living, working mom? With a lot of planning and discipline . 😉
I am with my kids all the time, with the exception of my weekly evening getaway that hubby and I set in place. ( Thank God for Fred Meyer, the only place open late where we currently are hanging out! ) He still works a traditional job, which means set hours away from the house. So, that leaves me and 4 very different, very energetic children to our own devices. We are also homeschooling ( unschooling really, if you want to dig into that) so that means that I need to be able to engage with them a LOT. Right now, these are the things I am finding as key to making it all (kinda sorta) work for us.
1 – Setting my alarm, and getting myself out of bed (without hitting snooze) before the kids. I am a huge Mel Robbins fan. (If you haven’t seen her TED talk, do it now!). The 5 Second Rule changed my life, and following her Mindset Reset this spring made a huge impact on me. One of the most basic, and most crucial things she has taught me is to GET.OUT.OF.BED.
2 – A delicious morning beverage. It could be tea, it could be coffee, it could be bone broth or lemon water with honey. Setting it out the night before so I can roll my groggy self out of bed and into the kitchen stat makes it that much easier to get going. It also increases the chances of enjoying said beverage while it is hot and without children climbing on me and spilling it.
3 – Daily intention setting. I start almost every morning taking just a few minutes to do my 5 Second Journal. I love that this isn’t a traditional journal or planner – it’s a way to really look at how I am feeling as I attempt to get my day going. It helps me make take inventory of what I need and want from today, in small bits, to continue tweaking my life toward my goals over time. It gets my brain juices flowing, and keeps me focused on my life vs. what others are doing.
4 – Scheduling hobbies and interests. I love to connect with others, and writing is a big part of that. Living in an rv with 4 kids around requires some discipline and creativity to allow that to happen. Hubby and I both have an awesome bamboo folding lap desk we got at Costco. In the am ( if I’ve gotten up with my alarm, he hem) I can pull it out quick, open up the laptop, and start jotting down my thoughts to share with you all. And wonder of wonders, my thoughts are a lot clearer when I’m able to type uninterruptedly. 😉
5 – Taking a time out. It’s a term the kids can easily understand from their younger years. To help facilitate it, we have a tension rod with a curtain hung at the top of the stairs into our bedroom. If the curtain is closed, the kids know it means do not enter. Then it’s time for something calm smelling, and maybe some stress relief music. Mom needs a break, and until she emerges, entertain yourselves and be quiet, lol.
6 – Relaxing and playing around. If you ask my husband, he will tell you this one is hard for me. My natural bent is, as I mentioned, to do something productive at all times. Letting go of (or shortening) my list of to-do’s and chores has been so helpful for my mental and emotional state. Some of my favorite memories we’ve made so far is the days I’ve let my lists go, and sat around watching Avatar: The Last Airbender, playing Mariocart, or combing for seashells at the beach.
Self-care looks different for every one of us. There is no magical formula, no set amount of time to achieve optimum self-care ( hello again, measured achievement type thinking). It’s about tuning in and paying attention to what you’re feeling, what you need or want, and making it a priority. Asking for what I needed was a hard step, but because my family loves me, they want to do what they can to help keep mom from running for the hills.
I’m still figuring it out and tweaking as we go, but right now, these things are making this momma feel mostly human. 😉 If you have a simple tip or self-care hack, I’d love to hear it!