Sometimes a Manicure Won’t Cut It: What Mothers Need to Feel Good (Part 2)
Today is a continuation of last week’s article “Sometimes a Manicure Won’t Cut It: What Mothers Need to Feel Good.”
It’s extremely challenging for mothers to pay attention to their needs.
Here is what we tell ourself.
- It’s selfish to focus on yourself
- Family comes first but your time never comes
- I don’t have time for one more thing
- I have no idea what I want
Last week I told a story about a client who was completely miserable but told me she paid attention to herself. When I asked her what she did she said, “I get a manicure once a week.”
Mothers are magnificently complex. We need more than a manicure or another new pair of shoes to feel good.
In order to feel your best you need to focus on 5 essential areas.
Last week we addressed…
1. Foundation needs: This is getting back to the basics. You start by listening to your body instead of ignoring it. If you are tired you go to bed. If you need rest you take a night off. If your body is aching you get a massage or go to the chiropractor.
2. Maintenance needs: Mothers usually get a gold star in this category especially if this has to do with the family. We know what our family needs to keep moving. We slack off when it comes to our personal maintenance. I know when I am slacking when I look in the mirror and my hair has a one inch grey stripe at my roots. (Ok I know am not the only one.)
3. Relational needs: “I am with my family all the time – I am always relational,” Yes and no. You can push your daughter to get up or get out the door but this ‘relating’ is not satisfying. You miss the quality relaxed time with your daughter. When you don’t pay attention to our life you lose track of everything including when you last hung out with your friends.
Today we are going to focus on Personal Enrichment and our Spiritual Needs.
4. Personal Enrichment: Personal Enrichment brings beauty to our homes, expands our minds, opens our hearts, taps into our creativity, challenges us physically and gives birth to our dreams. Sometimes it’s just plain fun.
Personal enrichment feels good. You feel challenged, open, engaged, passionate, joyful and content.
(It sure feels better than obsessing and complaining.)
Personal Enrichment is not a chore or an item on your to-do list. The desire and want to comes from inside of you. It’s what gets you out of bed in the morning and gives you energy. You could be planting flowers or listening to a lecture but you lose track of time. You are in the flow.
Personal Enrichment activities make you feel like yourself more than any other area.
Given how helpful this area is, it’s ironic that Personal Enrichment is the #1 area mothers give up or neglect.
It feels like it is not important and therefore optional. You feel like its selfish.
But this area is crucial for your happiness.
There are physiological reasons for this. Personal Enrichment gives you experiences that increase the happy body chemicals seratonin and dopamine. (Stress and drama decrease these chemicals.)
The key point is it’s personal. It’s what you like. It speaks to your heart. Whats enriching to someone else may not be enriching to you.
- Do you enjoy how your home is decorated?
- Do you spend time developing your creative gifts?
- Do you plan activities that are fun for you?
- When was the last time you read an inspirational book?
- What used to challenge you or bring you satisfaction before you became a mom?
- If you didn’t have to be good at something what would you like to try?
5. Spiritual: It’s important to pay attention to your Spiritual needs. You can go to church/temple 7 days a week and feel disconnected from yourself and God. To feel connected to God you need to be connected to yourself. This is the only way to have a personal connection to God.
Time for personal reflection is essential. If the speed of your life is 100mph you will have a lot of activity but you will miss the important things of your life.
Often we have the ‘fish in water’ syndrome. We are so in our life that we don’t have perspective. We are in overwhelm, sadness and resentment. We think that is our new normal.
We just walk around in yuck all day long.
Personal reflection allows you to take a step back and name your feelings, thoughts and experience. It gives you a perspective. You see where you re on the map. It allows you to be honest with yourself and forgive yourself and others.
Only when you are aware of where you are, can you change your situation. This is where healing starts. This is where the Divine can break through.This is the soil for personal renewal.
- Do you have time to be quiet and listen to your heart?
- Do you have a consistant spiritual practice? Prayer, meditation, reading, gratitude journal
- When was the last time you had a big a-ha about your life?
- Is your heart in an open or closed place?
- Do you recognize God moments or sychronicities?
“Holy Moly I am totally overwhelmed. I don’t have any time already. Theres no way I can pay attention to all these areas. That’s impossible.”
Pick one thing in each area that you could implement this week.
Here are some examples:
Maintenance – You bought some new underwear. You throw out the ones with stretched out elastic.
Foundational – You drink 4 glasses of water a day.
Relational – You email your friend about getting together.
Personal Enrichment – You make a trip to the nursery and buy some flowers for your flower bed.
Spiritual – You spend 5 minutes a night writing 3 things that you are grateful for.
As you can see these are totally doable. It really doesn’t take a lot of time it takes just a little bit of your attention.
Give yourself the gift of attention this week. Your family will benefit.