Self-Care: Head Space
Monday, May 10, 2021
SparkFriends are such good resources. JEANKNEE shared how the word "nourish" helped her. I am trying to say that word internally to myself as I prepare my meals. It is the right focus.
In continuation of my last blog, WATERMELLEN asked what little things we do to take care of ourselves. I answered:
*Taking time to eat slowly and enjoy my food is key for me.
*Taking time to drink water (and relieve myself as needed) all day really helps.
*Wearing clothes that fit and that are comfortable including underwear
*Taking time to cook me something separate if hubby is wanting calorie-dense foods
*Taking time to store leftovers
*Taking time to "say" nice, encouraging things to me; noticing the good decisions I make
*Taking time to counter negative thoughts about me and my eating
*Reward myself by excusing me from doing things I don't want to do. A nap can be a great reward. We don't die from lack of housework!
In thinking about it, the biggest thing I missed is head-space, head room. I mean during the times I was gaining weight badly, I was so focused on my job, my 30 employees, our clients -- especially the child protective clients, that even focusing on my own child and family was hard, and I rarely gave my own needs much thought. Yes, I brushed my teeth. I did laundry still thinking about the current crisis. Yes, I bathed and got dressed every day with brain still trying to problem-solve. I slept when I absolutely had to. I didn't take time to think about how I was feeling, which was basically way, way overwhelmed. When I was eating I was thinking about clients and processes and meeting requirements. I grabbed food here and there but rarely thought ahead about what I would be eating. I grabbed food for family, too, and cooked some but my mind wasn't in what I was doing.
I lost most of my weight while I was still a full-time employee, although it was not the most challenging job of my life. I did have 8 employees and a budget of $500,000 a year to manage and some very needy clients, so it was no walk in the park. I did gain some satisfaction from successes and the money earned helped us, too. My child was in college by then. I consciously started taking time to think about me, to plan my food, to not think about others while I was gobbling food. I stopped at the gym on the way home. I started to take time to eat and pay attention to what I was eating. It made a tremendous difference.
Now having been retired for years, I have time for me. Oh, yeah. I still get up early at least half the time, on days like today when my grandkids need supervision in the morning and rides to bus and school. I can do that and I still think about me, plan my food, enjoy my food, take time for cardio and stretching and dancing and running friends. My daughter is definitely better at thinking about herself than I was at that age. I hope the grandkids always think about themselves enough to know what they are thinking and feeling. It is a much better way to live.