- Do something significant just for you at least twice a month. I started attending my writing group again each month, and I also developed a list of deferred self-care items that needed to be addressed. I've prioritized them and intend to deal with one item on that list each month until I'm back in the habit of taking care of myself.
- Find windows in each day that you can slow down and regroup. Today I ran to the grocery store to pick up a few things and dropped off the dry cleaning. My husband was able to keep an eye on the kids while I was gone. This always makes the errands go a little faster, but at the end of the grocery run I realized I had been going full tilt all day long and I really needed to take an extra minute or two to prepare mentally for the rest of our evening. I popped a new CD into the car stereo and nibbled on a small treat I had succumbed to in the check out lane. It wasn't much, but those few minutes of just letting myself slow down rather than racing home to jump into dinner preparations, laundry, and dishes was key to handling all of those tasks with more grace and humor.
- Set boundaries on activities that are draining. The last few days have been very hectic for our family - school events, church events, swimming lessons, meetings, etc. which has been leading to short nights, and long, busy days. When I mentioned that tonight was a blog post night my husband suggested that I should take a sanity break...how fitting for my theme! This blog, however, is a commitment and I don't want to get off my three day schedule, so I decided instead to take up Steady Mom's 30 minute blog challenge. I usually write rather quickly but then spend time tweaking and fine tuning until everything is just so...who knows how much time I usually devote to a post, but Jamie suggested setting a timer to 30 minutes to put a definite end point on "screen time" and increase "face time" with those we love. In my case I think the increase will be in pillow time!
- Take care of your physical self. When was the last time you had an eye exam, a dental check-up, an annual physical? Are there aches and pains you are ignoring until (fill in the blank) happens? I spent 5 hours in the dental chair last week because of that kind of procrastination. Lesson learned.
- Take care of your spiritual self. When was the last time you had a steady quiet time with God, a fixed appointment with Him to read the Bible, pray, listen to the Holy Spirit? I've pretty much always struggled to keep faithful in this, but am finding it an essential component of my day now that I've re-started the habit.
Must close...my timer is about to beep and I have to at least spell-check...you get the idea. You will only give excellent care to your special needs child if you are taking sufficient care of yourself, too. It's important. Make it happen!