How do you normally feel by the end of the workday? For me, I am exhausted. When I go home, it is time to switch my hat from educator to mother and wife. I usually drive myself home, in a daze so bad, at times it seems as if the car is driving itself. Once I reach our home, and prepare to switch my roles, I have to take a moment. I find myself always sitting in a parked car, in the driveway, staring at the garage door. The neighbors who are walking their dogs are used to it and they just wave as they pass me by. I often feel as if I just need a moment to decompress. To breathe. To unwind. Just a minute. Usually, that minute turns into thirty unless I am interrupted. Oftentimes, as soon as I pull up, here comes the household knocking on the window. Alone time is over sis.
One day I finally told my husband in frustration, why don’t you all let me sit in peace? That is my self-care time! As he looked at me as if he was confused, he told me that he was checking on me. He shared with me that there have been too many instances where loved ones were assumed to be sitting in the car, and they were actually hurt or in distress. Wow! His heartfelt response immediately changed my perspective. My family was not coming out to the car to be a bother, but to check on my well-being and to make sure that everything was okay with me. I immediately felt bad.
Then I asked myself, why is my idea of self-care sitting in my car in the driveway? Do I not think I deserve more? Because in fact, I do. So, I instantly began to think of ways I can improve my ideas of self-care. Why do we feel as if we do not deserve more when it comes to our own self-care??
Being a special education teacher, it is common to teach my students the 5 Ws when working on reading comprehension. As I started planning new ways to recharge and love on myself, I came up with the 5W's of being selfish. When you follow an outline like this, it makes it easier to plan and gather your ideas for self-care.
Ask yourself, “Who are you doing it for?'' You may need to constantly remind yourself that this is for YOU! You may also ask yourself, “who will I do it with?’ There will be instances and activities where you will need to do it alone. Then there will come a time where self-care will be needed with the girls. Besties Brunches are always a vibe!
Next ask yourself, what do you want to do? Think about the things that will give you pleasure, ease your anxiety, calm your fears, and clear your mind. Figure out what you want to do and plan accordingly. Make sure that you are being intentional about this step.
First rule-Don't reschedule your own self-care plan. BE SELFISH! This is time for you! We give our time and our efforts to so many people and then we end up completely stretched thin. No more sis! Now is the time to figure out your when and it needs to be immediately! ASAP! Pencil yourself in on your personal calendar and do not feel guilty about how soon it is or how often. Make the date!
Where are you going to go? Curious minds want to know. 😉 Where will this take your mind? Only go places that will truly have a positive impact on your mind, body, and soul. Will it be to the movies? Or maybe a solo cation? Spa days are always a pleasant refresher. The options are endless. Just do not let me see you parked in your driveway.
Why are you doing this? It is so important that “FOR ME” is always the answer. Do not be afraid or feel guilty to tell yourself or loved ones, “I am doing this for me!” You are the priority so keep that at the front of your mind. Always let that be your why. My therapist reminded me of something so very true. “You come first. If you cannot function, what do you have to give? If you're not together, mentally, or physically, what will you have to give?” You are your why.
It is time to be selfish sis! I challenge you to figure out your 5W's of why you want to be selfish and show yourself self-care! Have fun! Remember, you deserve more than sitting in the car.