Self-care Suggestions

Starlight

Woodpecker
Woman
I was wondering if anyone could share what they do for self-care?

I’m a long-time SAHM (like 15 years) and, for a while now, have this feeling like I’m in a constant whirlwind and can’t catch my breath (figuratively). I’ve been putting myself last on the family totem pole for a really long time and I feel like I’m burning out. I’ve tried going to get a pedicure or something like that every now and then but it just feels like a bandaid and as soon as I get the kids back from my mom’s, I’m right back into that “whipped around/holding my breath” feeling, if that makes any sense. I’ve tried taking long soaks in the tub with a nice bath bomb but, honestly, I get really bored just *soaking* and can’t seem to still my mind as I’m just waiting for one of the kids to wake up and need me. My personal prayer life has been suffering recently, as well. I’m just so tired emotionally. The stress/anxiety of the coronahoax bologna has definitely added to this feeling. I feel like my resiliency stamina stores are running on fumes.

Has anyone else felt this way? If so, what do you do to, kind of, “balance” yourself? Any suggestions, personal stories, or wisdom would be really appreciated.

Thanks fam <heart>

(Note: I do not feel depressed. I’m happy and content with my life and I love and am loved by my husband and family but I have been just feeling really strung-out for about the last year or so (even before corona) like I’m always trying to catch-up or something, it’s hard to describe. I always have something to do, something is always on my mind for the next day, etc. My family has turned into a lot of different moving parts and I’ll admit, I have been feeling overwhelmed.)
 

Luna Novem

Woodpecker
Woman
One thing is, we bought a massage table and the husband and I take turns (on separate nights) giving each other massages. We find that 40 minutes is the perfect time. Yes, of course, you're going to be on the giving end 50% of the time, but the other 50% is soooo relaxing! And honestly, being on the giving end isn't bad either, with some spa music on youtube, I just kind of space out, lol.
 

TexasJenn

Sparrow
Woman
I'd make sure your husband and kids understand you need some solo time. Everybody wants you around for many, many years, and chronic stress can take years off your life. You'll be more present and pleasant with everyone when you're refreshed and happy.

I live alone, so have the luxury of lots of free time, but maybe some of my self-care practices will give you ideas. I like hot bubble baths with epsom salt, long walks/runs in nature with music or uplifting talks, meditation, yoga and strength training, dancing to good music, creative projects, phone/video calls with friends, mani/pedi at home, skin care routine, reading, puzzle games, swimming, tea (my current fave is rose bud tea - so fancy and femme), pinterest creative brainstorming, journaling/writing, napping, essential oil diffuser/candles/incense.

Also, my latest thing is EFT tapping. You can find many teachers on youtube. There are taps to heal any ailment you can think of, including stress. I found a great teacher/healer and her taps are helping me clear emotional trauma I had been carrying since childhood - truly transformative.
 

Shedlight11

Pigeon
Woman
Sorry you are feeling this way.

It happens. I find that going for walks is really helpful, especially with the nice weather. Any kind of exercise helps me to remain relaxed and calm.

Also find that using these times to disconnect from social media, news and so on to draw closer to God whenever you can is helpful too!

Not sure where you live or your situation, but I am near a city and planning trips to quieter areas helps also. Maybe pack the family up and spend the weekend in the woods and in nature.

Tell people NO too. I find every weekend there's a family event, birthday, dog's gender reveal party, weddings. It never ends. It is OK to tell people no, especially if you are run down and not feeling up to it.

I am not the type who loves to get my nails done, I find it to be more of a chore personally. I take one day in the week to give myself a face and hair mask, my own nails and just to overall relax. I even soak my feet in some essential oils and warm water.

Relax your mind, have faith in God and trust in him that everything will be okay.

Hope you feel better soon.
 

TexasJenn

Sparrow
Woman
TexasJen, who is the teacher you like? I do EFT on occasion.
I think different teachers resonate for different people. Sonya Sophia has really clicked for me. Disclaimer: she's very woo woo and I don't necessarily agree with all her moral views. But for healing trauma, stress, inner critic, fear, doubt, I think she's a master healer:


Try her free 5-day detox if curious :)
 
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Lamkins

Woodpecker
Woman
I think different teachers resonate for different people. Sonia Sophia has really clicked for me. Disclaimer: she's very woo woo and I don't necessarily agree with all her moral views. But for healing trauma, stress, inner critic, fear, doubt, I think she's a master healer:


Try her free 5-day detox if curious :)

Thanks, I’ll check her out. I‘m used to overlooking the woo-woo. :) The whole EFT thing seems kind of woo-woo to be honest, but I’ve experienced the benefits. Since starting to tap I’ve wondered if the secret to it is facing the thing you’re tapping about rather than suppressing it. That’s hard for me, to turn and face and concentrate on something I‘ve worked so hard to avoid.
 

TexasJenn

Sparrow
Woman
Yes, the real power in it is the phrase: Even though I _______, I love and accept myself, anyway.

Even though I'm afraid/insecure/regretful/made a big mistake/worry about this/etc., I love and accept myself, anyway.

That combined with stimulating meridians/energy circuits in the body starts to rewire you energetically, very quickly.

Game changer for me!
 

Leeloo

Woodpecker
Woman
The term ‘self-care’ has always rubbed me the wrong way since it is often used by progressives as an excuse to overindulge and follow the latest floofy, trendy thing.

But I digress, because I know what you mean. We all work hard and need something in order to give back to ourselves. Once in awhile a pedicure does it for me, or buying some nice skincare I or something I’ve had my eye on.

It sounds like maybe a material thing isn’t doing it for you. You can just get burned out on life and the feeling that everything stays exactly the same even after you’ve done something to treat yourself is a sign of that.

As others mentioned, exercise or some scheduled weekly you-time on a focused mental activity might do the trick. I’m not familiar with some of the examples given, but I’m curious to check them out myself.

A minimal change in your daily routine is also highly recommended for people trying to break a bad habit. For me, it’s taking a slightly different route to work (or wherever), doing your daily routine in a different order. It gets you out of a rut. It sounds simplistic, but it’s often recommended to reset your brain.

And a pedi once in awhile doesn’t hurt either!
 

Kitty Tantrum

Woodpecker
Woman
I'm bad at this. I relate to feeling tired/empty/running on fumes. Like butter scraped over too much bread. :)

There are two primary things I need at semi-regular intervals in order to really maintain my sanity and not feel like everything is always a whirlwind: SILENCE, and SOLITUDE.

No car noises or electrical buzzing. No people within earshot. That's what I want.

It is so tragically rare.

If I can't have one or both of those things, I usually feel like I might as well not even try to relax.

I can't do the things that most of the women I know do to relax. The idea of going into a salon or spa, for example, fills me with some kind of existential dread. Once upon a time I was gifted a deep tissue massage at a very nice/high end spa. The massage itself was perfectly nice. But everything else about the "experience" - like all of the add-ons (aromatherapy and a bunch of other stuff I don't remember), the PAINSTAKING aesthetic and ambiance, how everything was JUST SO... the showers, the robes, the fancy soaps... Tedious and anxiety-inducing.

Cranking up a fire under the big water tank out back and mixing it with cold water from the hose in a big (clean) stock tank and taking a piping hot bath outside under the stars in the middle of nowhere after everyone else has gone to bed and everything is frogs and crickets? Now we're talking.

I remember when I was a kid and felt overwhelmed, I would very often go find a tree to climb, and sometimes stayed up there for a very long time! I discovered when I started living closer to town/in town that most people cut all of the lower branches off of basically all the trees everywhere, rendering them virtually un-climbable. I still feel scandalized by this.

I miss the middle of nowhere.

I've found that an acceptable stopgap for me is actually putting in earbuds and listening to Gregorian Chant. I do not understand the language, but that is okay.
 

Starlight

Woodpecker
Woman
Thank you ladies for all your kind, insightful, and thoughtful responses. I was talking about how I was feeling with my husband yesterday and he said he had been feeling the same way. We actually used to put special time aside for ourselves as a couple like @Luna Novem suggested but that had kind of faded away the last few years and I was trying to think of *why* and it totally coordinates with when my husband accepted a promotion at work: more prestige, money, and time at work but also more stress and less time at home. That was about two years ago and I think we both started “bootstrapping” our family/home life for my husband’s career. He’s decided to ask for his old position back as it isn’t worth the time/stress for him. He wants to spend more time at home with the kids and wants me to do something for myself. He suggested taking a class at the Community College or signing up for a fitness class and he wants to be available so that I can do that. He’s such a wonderful husband to me and I’m so grateful to him.

I’m definitely going to look into the EFT @TexasJenn. It seems effective from the small bit I’ve read but I might substitute the affirmation part with the Jesus Prayer or similar one sentence prayer. Something like, “Even though I’m stressed out, I know God is watching over me”. Personally, I’m not comfortable with “accepting myself as I am” as I believe we should always be striving to better ourselves to be more Christ-like. But that’s also how I wind-up myself as a perfectionist lol. I think the physical *tapping* part is what keeps the mind focused and present. I might try to incorporate the physical tapping into my other prayers and see if that helps keep my mind from wandering.

I’m also going to try switching up my routine like @Leeloo suggested. Whenever I do try to have “me” time (even something as mundane as reading or embroidery) I always put it off until the last hours of my day before bed which means I’m usually too tired and just skip doing it. I’m going to try using my baby’s nap-time to finish some sewing projects I’ve put aside instead of rushing through my household chores like a madwoman.

There are two primary things I need at semi-regular intervals in order to really maintain my sanity and not feel like everything is always a whirlwind: SILENCE, and SOLITUDE.

No car noises or electrical buzzing. No people within earshot. That's what I want.

It is so tragically rare.

If I can't have one or both of those things, I usually feel like I might as well not even try to relax.
[...]
I miss the middle of nowhere.
So much this for me too. I have a noise-canceling head-set. I might try using those with a woodlands/nature sound track.
 
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TexasJenn

Sparrow
Woman
I’m definitely going to look into the EFT @TexasJenn. It seems effective from the small bit I’ve read but I might substitute the affirmation part with the Jesus Prayer or similar one sentence prayer. Something like, “Even though I’m stressed out, I know God is watching over me”. Personally, I’m not comfortable with “accepting myself as I am” as I believe we should always be striving to better ourselves to be more Christ-like. But that’s also how I wind-up myself as a perfectionist lol. I think the physical *tapping* part is what keeps the mind focused and present. I might try to incorporate the physical tapping into my other prayers and see if that helps keep my mind from wandering.
Great idea. I feel ya as a fellow perfectionist (reforming and relaxing). I do something similar. I don't follow every teacher's instructions to the letter. I take what resonates and let the rest go.

I completely agree with you that we should all aspire to our higher nature to serve the highest good to the greatest extent possible. The funny thing is it's only once I accept and love myself as I am right now, flaws and all, that I begin to muster the faith, courage, strength, and will to do even better, to step it up another level in my mission of healing and good will. First be love, then you have much more love to give, which is a light in this world :)
 
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