A close friend recently asked me or more like exclaimed to me, “Why do I care about you more than you care about yourself?!” It was in regards to getting my life in order so I can buy a car and other adult issues. She then continued, “caring about yourself is like caring for Mancub. You need to really care and take care of yourself so you can give 100% to your son.”
About a month or two ago, I had an anxiety attack. It was due to many changes happening at once and being stressed about being able to “do it all.” Earlier in the year I was sick at least once a month. Because of my anxiety attack I was prescribed Xanax but refused to pick it up. I don’t believe in the use of pills for myself. I also had to go to a cardiologist. I’m fine, everything came back normal. It was advised that I learn how to relax, look into bio-feeding (fancy medical speak for meditating) and lose some weight. Coming from a doctor, it doesn’t seem so harsh, it’s just matter of fact. Do this, so that doesn’t happen.
After reading the first two paragraphs, the question asked by my friend was a very valid and eye opening statement/question. In fact, I shall make it a part of my mantra. My mantra before was, “Life is what you make it.” I still believe that but I’m constantly asking myself, “will this choice make that future a good one?…and it doesn’t make feel stressed. It makes me feel more adult and ready to tackle on those adult issues.
Coppa offers some sound words of wisdom when it comes to handling panic attacks:
1. Break out the PLAY-DOH I find creating something calms me down.
2. Go for a walk. Fresh air and exercise always helps.
3. Put on a DVD for your child, sit down and breathe. Just chill.
4. Try chamomile tea. It has a calming component and even if you think this is BS, I find the Placebo aspect to really work for me.
5. Call a friend or family member if you really need help. NO SHAME!
Calling a friend or family member is what usually helps me but the steps needed to even pick up a phone to talk someone is done at a glacial pace. For some reason, I feel as though I should be able to take care of the issue on my own and needn’t bother anyone. But it’s that attitude that makes my stress and worries build up and leaving me immobile for a day or more (which many single parents cannot afford). So by the time I’m on the phone with my friend or parents, I’m already a mess.
The adult thing to do is to face the problem, take it by the horns, and take action to solve it - no matter how difficult it can feel or be. I did this recently and I felt so much better after I FINALLY took action.
As a single parent, my mind works as such:
In the morning before work: Mancun - must make his morning snack because he won’t eat breakfast before we leave. Find clothes for Mancub to wear, are they too small or big? Socks, where are the socks? How do I keep losing his socks? It’s 6:45 am and he’s still sleeping. Goodness he’s been sleeping in lately. Am I putting him to bed too late? Maybe I’ll get him to bed by 8pm tonight so he wakes up at 6:00 am but I really love being able to get ready in the morning without interruption. Ok, it’s 7:20 am, we have to go. Did I remember his milk? Did I pack enough blueberries? What kind of fruit will he be obsessing over next week?
On the way to daycare: I’m pretty sure I forgot something. Is Mancub happy? Why isn’t he talking as much as yesterday (other days: please stop asking “Why”!)? We’re here. Did I bring the weekly payment? Crap, now I know what I forgot, his extra clothes.
On the way to work: Need loud music!
At work: Work, work, work, spreadsheets, media pitching, client calls, social media, read news, did I eat lunch? Do I have a workout with the trainer today?
In the evening at home: Dinner. What’s for dinner? Why didn’t I plan ahead on Sunday like I wanted to? What takes the least amount of time but is still healthy? Will Mancub try the broccoli this time? That’s his second episode of Diego while I cook. Don’t turn the TV into a babysitter. Does he want to watch me cook? Is he going to eat this? I hope he eats this. I’ll scream if he doesn’t eat this. He didn’t eat it. $$$$$$ gone because he didn’t eat it. It will be bed time soon. I’ll catch up on some talking with friends after his bed time.
After Mancub is in bed: Me tired….zzzzzzzzz………….wait, must check e-mail before sleep….zzzzzzzz………crap I fell asleep on the couch again….oh well….zzzzzzz
In the morning when I wake up: Why does my back hurt?
Which is why I need to make some time for myself. If I take care of myself, like truly take care of myself by exercising, eating healthy, taking care of finances, stretching, reading, blogging, listening to music, whatever - then I can be 100% present and mindful for the Mancub.
So why did my friend care about me more than I cared about myself? Because I used to forget and I didn’t want to face the issue. I still do at times but I’m getting better at it. I’m doing the 21-day plan, where after 21 days of doing something, it becomes habit. It’s a bit sad that I have to make “caring for myself” a habit before it becomes natural but at least I’m taking on the issue head on.
Do you have any tips on how to make some time for yourself? What steps did you take to make time for you and take care of business?