Creating a culture of self-care in your family
Many of you know that I am a big advocate of self-care. It is at the foundation of my life, and my work with clients. But it hasn't always been that way. Like so many things in life, I had to learn the hard way!
My journey toward what I would call "radical self-care" began around 2013, a few years after having my daughter. She was in the NICU for ten days, and then basically didn't sleep for more than two hours at a time for the next two years, so, of course, I didn't either.
At the same time I was experiencing several very stressful life circumstances, including financial hardship and a difficult marriage. And, even though I knew better because I had been in the healing field for twenty years at that point, I did not take care of myself.
There were many complex reasons for that, but upon reflection I see that one of them was that there was not a culture of self-care in our family. It wasn't communicated or supported that each of us was different and had our own capacities and needs.
Part of the problem too was that I wasn't truly aware of my own needs and capacities. At that point I didn't realize the extent of my sensitivities and the accommodations they required. And to the extent that I was aware, I didn't feel like my needs were ok.
So, I would just try to power through and meet expectations. As a result, I became chronically ill, which launched me onto a five-plus year healing journey.
Part of that healing was understanding how I function, and loving and respecting myself enough to set boundaries and meet my needs.
Now I understand that I am a person that needs more sleep than most. At least once a day I need to retreat to a quiet room by myself to recharge. I have a great need for regular time alone.
There is certain music that jangles my nervous system so much I have to leave the room...this one has caused many