Life can be beautiful. But it can also be hard, crazy, and cruel. It gets exhausting and overwhelming at times. When it rains, it pours and then it hails. The different seasons of our life bring different challenges and beauty. There will always be people who are better off and worse off than you so don’t compare yourself. Everyone has their own crazy and beauty.
It’s important to take care of yourself anytime but especially when you are in the middle of “crazy” or tough times. When your life is spinning out of control and you feel like you are being hammered by so many things, make yourself a priority. Do whatever it is that refills your love cup so you can continue to pour love out to others. If you don’t, you will be running on empty and won’t have anything to give anyone including yourself. What happens when a car runs out of gas? It stops. It doesn’t matter if it is in the middle of traffic, you’re in a hurry or it’s an emergency. If there isn’t any gas, it just stops. Then we panic and it creates even more problems and confusion. We have to figure out how to get more gas and who to call because the car won’t go anywhere until we refill the gas tank. Don’t let your love cup get empty. It will complicate things even more. Make sure you are refilling it daily.
So how do you take care of you?
- Acknowledge your feelings. It is important to allow yourself to feel things and work through them. If you try to ignore the feelings of hurt, disappointment, and anger, they will come out when you least expect them and in ways you aren’t expecting. It’s like shoving multiple trash bags full of trash into an already overfilled trash can. You shove and push and try to cram everything into it. Somehow you manage to get the lid on top of it. But after you walk away the lid pops off and the trash goes everywhere. All over the ground. The wind blows it everywhere. It creates a huge mess. Your feelings will do the same thing if you try to cram them down deep and ignore them. Acknowledge your feelings. Think, talk and pray through them.
One of the things that works for me emotionally is to have different boxes labeled and organized in my mind. Mainly, it’s the box of “junk” I keep neatly in its place. I keep that particular box closed and only open it when I’m ready. I wait until I’m alone and have several hours or the day to myself. Then usually on a beautiful day, I open that box. I go through the junk a little at a time. I feel it, think about it and process through it. The box never gets empty but there are times in my life it is so full it is bulging open. Other times, there are only a few things in it. I try not to ever let anyone push me to open my “junk” box. I only do it when I’m ready and in a healthy place. After I’m done for the time being, I pack any leftover junk back in the box and put it away until I’m ready again. I don’t treat my blessings like I do my junk. I don’t keep them in a box. I let them out so I can experience and feel them every day. I want to have the blessings surrounding me all the time. Mother’s addiction helped me learn this survival skill.
- Support – We all need support. Talk and share with people who love you. They make great sounding boards and they want to help. It’s important to share because through sharing we realize we aren’t the only ones going through tough times. We also gain knowledge from other people’s experiences. We are blessed and we bless others through sharing.
- Boundaries – You know yourself better than anyone. Don’t allow others to push you and pull you more than you can take. People who love you will understand and the others don’t matter. If you need time alone – take it. If you need to spend time with family/friends, do it. Whatever you need to do to keep yourself healthy, do it. When Mother was on a binge, she would call me over and over again. She would call other people and ask them to call me and let me know I needed to call her. I would get multiple phone calls in the middle of the night from her life line. I learned I couldn’t change her behavior and there wasn’t anything I could do to save her. It upset me and kept me emotionally torn up. I had to turn my ringer off or let those calls go to voice mail and then deal with them when I was ready and able. I tried to protect myself and keep myself healthy for my boys.
- Replenish – We all have love cups we use to pour love out to others. We have to make sure our love cup never runs empty or we won’t have anything left to give. How do you refill your love cup? How do you replenish everything you pour out on a daily basis? I love to spend time alone especially outside in my favorite swing listening to and watching nature. Sometimes I love to listen to older music that takes me back to sweet memories. Refilling is different for everyone but it is important for everyone to be able to identify what works for them. Here are a couple of suggestions:
- Spend time in God’s word
- A long hot relaxing bubble bath
- Date night, snuggles and sweet stuff
- Quiet alone time
- Get a massage
- Dance in the rain
- Turn the music up really loud and sing along or put on some oldies that take you back to a peaceful sweet time
- Lay on a blanket underneath a shade tree on a warm breezy summer day listening to the sounds of nature
- Take a nap
- Spend time with your favorite people
- Exercise, go for a run, yoga, bike, Pilates or your favorite exercise program
- Get distracted – Escape the craziness at least for a couple of hours.
- Go to a movie or watch a favorite DVD
- Hang out with friends
- Read a book
- Go to a spa or retreat
- Go on a weekend get away
- Go through old pictures and memories
- Get with family/friends and share funny stories and memories
Make sure you get enough sleep, exercise and fill your body with nutritious meals. Processed foods and junk will only make you feel worse. Take care of your mind, body and soul. Enjoy the Beauty. Savor the sweetness. Grow through the crazy. You are important and you have to make yourself a priority. Refill your love cup. Take time for yourself. You are worth it!
Any other suggestions? What do you do to take care of yourself?
Finding the sweet side of crazy!