Making Time for Me
I struggle to make time for myself. I work from home and I juggle household responsibilities, being a wife and a mom. By the time any free time rolls around, I’m either too tired to do much or I just want to spend time with my family. Right now, my family is so much of a priority that I forget to take a moment and take care of me. You’re probably wondering what this has to do with MS, right? When I’m constantly pouring into everyone else, it’s easy to forget to prioritize my health. I’m so bogged down by the monotony of everyday life that I tend to get depressed and down. And, by the end of each day, I’m not feeling the best and I’m beyond fatigued. The thing is though, you can’t keep pouring into others when your glass is empty. You see, I have the tendency of letting my glass run dry.
Getting moody and irritable when I'm overwhelmed
I don’t get a lot of time alone. It’s just the season I’m in. We have young children to take care of, so I know that alone time doesn’t come often. I tend to rely on the fact that one day I’ll have all the time in the world to be alone. But, the thing about not having much alone time is that before you know it, you’re snapping because it feels like everyone is constantly needing something. The laundry needs to be done, a meal needs to be cooked, a room cleaned up, a child needs to be changed. It can be overwhelming. I think any parent can relate to that. I tend to get a little more overwhelmed than some though, and I think a lot of that has to do with MS. I get so tired I feel sick, I hurt and I can be moody and irritable. It can feel like the weight of the world and everyone’s needs are crushing me. I feel easily suffocated by life. It’s when I get this way that I know I need a break. I need to make time for me.
How I make time for me
When I make time for me, I do things that I enjoy. For instance, I work out. Even when I feel like I can’t possibly move, at least three days of the week (or more) I make myself get a workout in. It is such a nice way for me to relieve stress, and it even gives me a much-needed energy boost. I may be dragging when I begin a workout but by the end, I’m feeling good and I’m thankful I did it. Another way I make sure to make some 'me time' is by taking a hot bath at the end of the day. It’s such a peaceful way for me to unwind and it helps soothe my tense and achy body. I also greatly enjoy reading and finding a good show to binge-watch. Both of those things help me escape reality, which some days I desperately need. While all of the things I just listed are a way to make time for myself, with kids it’s not always likely that I’ll get to do those things fully alone. And that alone time is really what I need the most.
Refresher days to reset myself
I am still not great at asking for help. It's a struggle for me, but I know when I reach my limit and have to ask. I have to set aside my pride and let my husband and family know that I’m going to need a little time alone to collect myself. I call these times where I am able to spend a day alone my refreshers. They are days where I can sleep in as long as I want, and I can have a day to mentally and physically unwind. I can recover from how hard every day has been trying to do normal responsibilities AND manage my MS. These are the days that I refill my cup so that I can keep pouring into my family and so that I can re-find the energy needed to keep my health at the top of my to-do list. So if you’re like me and constantly feeling like you do too much, remember every once and a while to take some time for you. Ask for help if you need to so that you can refill your cup and remember to take care of YOU.
What are some of your favorite ways to spend your time alone? How do you keep your cup full when the chaos of everyday life seems to suck you dry?
How well do people around you understand MS?