In this issue of Self Care Sunday, I want to focus on the power of slowing down.
We are at the end of May and for many parents, this has been an extremely stressful and busy month. As you know from previous posts, we currently homeschool, but my Facebook newsfeed is full of parents reporting on the many many many activities, shows and school projects their kids have to finish in the coming weeks.
We are fortunate enough that we already finished our school year, but that doesn't make the month of May any less stressful and as a mom, the weight seems to be piling up. Even though we don't have the endless school activities on our calendar, we still have dance recitals, piano recitals, summer activities to plan, Mother's Day, looking ahead to Father’s Day, 2 birthday's in the Month of June to look forward to, not to mention all the community summer festivals, etc. coming up. WHEW! I'm exhausted just typing all that out. And as mom's, this all stays in our heads, all the time.
That's why it's important to take time for ourselves. Even if 5 minutes is all you can spare, to just center yourself and just be in the moment.
I will be the first to admit that it's hard to clear your mind, if not virtually impossible, especially as a parent, but if you can just quiet the noise inside your head for a few minutes and bring yourself to inner calm and peace for a few minutes, it will help your productivity and mind continue to tackle all. the. things.
Feeling stuck on what you can do for yourself for a few moments? I hear ya, so we have compiled a list of a few ideas to get you started. These ideas won't take any preparation on your part--just a willingness to want to take care of yourself.
Is it sunny out today? Clear skies? Step outside for at least 5 minutes and look up at the sky. Observe the clouds. Remember when you used to do this as a child with no cares in the world? Oh how life has changed since hen, right? Well, those clouds are still up there--perhaps you can find that inner peace again by just looking up for a few moments. Look at the shape of the clouds, how they are formed- so weightless looking, the beauty in the contrast between the white cloud and a beautifully blue sky. Be present in the stillness of the sky for a moment.
Maybe there's rain where you are today? Again, remember playing in the rain as children? Most of us adults hurry through the rain, but have you noticed how kids approach it? How many times do you tell your child to "hurry up and get inside quick"? It's a lot for me, but my youngest especially loves to linger in the rain. Maybe you don't want to go outside in it, but stand at a window and just watch it rain for a few minutes. Let your mind focus on the drops while they fall and drift off to another place-contrary to what our teachers told us, It really is ok to daydream.
Do you have a deck or patio? How about reading just one chapter of that book you've been meaning to read but never have the time to? Don't commit to reading for a long time because that can be too overwhelming for a mom who has a lot going on and family depending on her. But 5 minutes of reading? one chapter? That small amount of time, doing something you love, for yourself can have profound impacts on your mental health.
How about using that same deck to sit with no phone and watch--really watch---your children playing outside. Observe the little humans they are growing into. Do they play differently than the last time you remember them playing? What areas can you see growth in them the easiest? what areas could they use some help in? Use even just a few minutes to see them for who they are in this moment right now. SEE them for them.
Pray. 5 minutes worth of prayer can change a situation. It can bring clarity to your world. It can center your soul. It can evoke a sense of peace and calm to help fuel you for the rest of the day. Even 5 minutes of prayer can help you solve a problem that's been weighing on your mind for a while.
Those are just 5 simple ways you can get some quick self care into your day. Surely we all have 5 minutes we can spare for something so beneficial in our lives...right?
Next week, for Self Care Sunday, I want to share some more tips but for self care moments that are longer.
But if you are someone who struggles with taking time to yourself and always feels frazzled by your days. Find those 5 minutes and try out one of our tips. Or more than one. Self care is so important for us so don't skip out.
Let me know if you have tried any of these and what you thought after. Did it help you? Do you have any other ideas on quick 5 minute self care activities? I Would love to know!