When you have anxiety, you sometimes forget about the things that you love about yourself. Instead, your anxiety is like this little devil that resides inside your head that tells you all of the things that is wrong with you. So sometimes you need to remind yourself about things you love about yourself. So in a self care journal…. remember to write at least one entry about what you love about yourself.
So here is mine…..
1.) I love how dedicated I can be to my family and friends. I have always been this kind of over the top motherly person. I will go to the ends of the earth for those I care about. It is an amazing quality to have. However, that little devil inside my head is constantly questioning how it appears to others. Am I too overbearing? Am I coming off too strong? Am I coming off too bad? However, I need to constantly remind myself that being a dedicated, loving person is a great quality.
2.) Perfectionism. I have a tendency to get stuck on a project until I get it right. Til I get it perfect. I have an OCD type of mannerism with almost everything I do. I will sit there and work at it til I get it done right. Again, the little devil in my head says that I just can’t ever get anything right. That all I am ever going to do is mess things up and waste money, etc. So sometimes, I just need to remind myself that paying attention to the little details and working to make things perfect is a good quality. It means that I take pride in my work.
3. ) Food. I love that I can cook. I grew up living on tv dinners, ramen and potatoes. We rarely had a home cooked meal. So the fact that I can read a recipe and later recreate it without going back to the recipe is a great thing for myself and my family. I love that my kids don’t have to rely on junk food. That I can cook food that is not only great tasting but that I can sneak veggies into it without my kids knowing or tasting. I love that I can win people over just by sending them food. I didn’t really know the people in my husband’s training class. However, most of them adore me from my cooking. The only thing the little devil tells me is that maybe something is seasoned properly or maybe someone won’t like this or that. But that is few and far between because I know my food is good because my husband eats multiple helpings of it every night.
4.) Planning. Mostly meal planning. I can sit down every month and plan out an entire month of dinners. I can plan it out and then make a grocery list and then go shopping and end up with a month worth of dinners with under $400 spent for the month. I love that I can sit down and write it up. I love that I can plan a menu and I love that I have all the bills planned out and know how much is coming out of the check every week. I love that I can plan out pretty much everything. I have a calendar on the wall right off the garage where I have all the dinners listed so everyone know’s what we’re going to eat every night. I have listed the days that my daughter is going to be taking lunch for the month. I literately plan out every little detail. There is not anything the little devil says in regards to planning. It is once I start planning and seeing how much is being paid out or what needs to be paid is when the anxiety starts to set in.
5.) Being early. I have this thing where being on time or late gives me this awful anxiety. I freak out if I am late or if I am close to being late. This is anywhere. I don’t like my kids being late for school, or events or even just if we have something planned with family. I just cannot be late. Ever. It is hard to do when my husband is incredibly slow. He is late to almost everything. He takes forever to get motivated or moving. And it drives me insane. The little devil tells me that people think I am weird or awful for always showing up early. I will literately show up early anywhere and just sit in the car til it is almost time to go in. Like at school for my oldest, I get there at 1 even tho she doesn’t get out til 2:30. I sit there for an hour and a half because I like to be first. I don’t want my kid to sit and wait for me or feel like I am not coming. I actually get a lot done in the hour an a half like school work, meal planning, budget planning, etc.
So there is my list of five things that I love about myself. I would love to hear yours.
Being a parent is by far one of the greatest things anyone can do. Now that doesn’t mean that everyone should be a parent. And I’m not saying that as a bad thing. Not everyone wants kids and that is fine. Because they know that they wouldn’t make good parents. However, that moment when you first hold your kid, at least for me, was the greatest moments of my life. I was 19 when my first daughter was born. The moment they laid her on my chest, I knew that being is a mother was one of the best things I could ever do.
While being a parent is by far one of the best things that could happen to you in your lifetime, it can be draining. Especially when the kids are younger. And especially when you suffer from a mental illness. With my anxiety, I fear all of the little and big things alike. It is like they are the same level of bad. A fall, a scrape etc. And these moments can be so draining. If you don’t have anxiety and have never experienced an anxiety/panic attack then you don’t understand how utterly draining they are.
As much as you want to keep trucking and pushing along for your kid because they need you. You are their everything. You cannot give them the best that they need, you cannot keep giving your all if you’re not at your best. It is like the saying ‘you cannot fill from an empty cup’ The same concept goes into being a parent.
Now there are some who think that if you’re taking some ‘me time’ then you are neglecting your parental duties. That is absolutely rubbish. If you keep giving your all to your kids without taking care of yourself, soon your kids are going to feel it. They’re gonna start reacting to it as well.
So you have to take care of yourself. You just have to. For the good of your family. Just a little bit a day can do so much for you. For your anxiety, for your relationship, for your family. Everyone benefits from you recharging. The best analogy I can give is your cell phone. At 100% its an amazing thing. It calls texts social media EVERYTHING. But once that battery gets down to 10% it starts to lag, slow down. Soon its dead. The battery has been completely used up and you cannot use it anymore. That is what it is like as a parent. If you don’t recharge then you’re not going to be of any use.
For me, I recharge by taking a long shower or a relaxing bath. My husband comes home and takes over some of the parental duties while I go and just digress. I relax. I recharge. I emerge clean and mentally refreshed.
So take some time to recharge. Everyone benefits from it.
Your life will only get better when you do. That’s not saying that you’re going to completely be better. Like with my anxiety disorder. It is always going to be something that I am going to fight. I just have to keep learning, growing and devloping new ways to fight my disease. When I work on myself….the rest will follow. Life will get better only if I get better.
When you’re injured…. you’re not going to get better if you keep doing what you were doing. For instance, when I was in 6th grade…. I fractured my ankle falling down stairs. I was also a bus rider at the time and had to walk a good distance to get to the bus station. I had to wear a brace and walk on crutches with a book bag full of books and my instrument as I was in band. After the first day of going to the bus stop going thru school….getting back on the bus then walking back home… my ankle was more swollen than ever….
I mean it was three times the size. It was awful. So in order for my ankle to heal… I stayed home for 2 weeks. with my leg elevated. My school work for the 2 week were brought to me by my older brother and I didn’t fall behind. But if I had tried to continue putting so much strain on my ankle…. they would be worst than what they are now…. I injured both ankles about 2 years apart. They still act up and hurt. They swell and let me know when I need to pause…put them up and take care of myself.
If I try to continue on a swollen fractured ankle….then everything would be hard and bad. I had to take the time for me. I had to fix myself. Then everything else followed. Once my ankle got better, I got better, life got better. Once I took the time to chill out, relax and heal… I learned how to walk better. I learned how to watch where I was stepping.
Life is the same way. You have to take care of yourself before life gets better. If you keep going while you’re having a bad moment in life….life is going to reflect that. You have to take care of yourself first. Everything else will follow.