Change Forced Me to Have a Week of Self-Care
In a world where Mums are meant to juggle a career, a family, a household, and a perfect body, it’s no wonder that we don’t take time for ourselves.
We often neglect our own needs. Not because we know it’s not important, but because we put everyone and everything else first.
When I look back over the past couple of years of my life, it’s no wonder self-care hasn’t been at the top of the priority ladder. In the past two and a half years, hubby and I have gone through more changes than most couples do within 5-10 years.
At the end of 2014, hubby and I married and went on our honeymoon in Hawaii. During our honeymoon, we decided we’d try for our first baby early next year.
That year rolled around quickly and in 2015 I fell pregnant, just one month after we started trying. We knew our lives were about to change and we completed the final renovations on our house, sold up, and moved to a small coastal town in the countryside.
My pregnancy took a rather large toll on me and I ended up in chronic pain for the latter half. Looking back, I now that I had developed prenatal depression. At the end of the year, I commenced maternity leave and looked forward to the birth of my baby girl.
In 2016, hubby and I welcomed our gorgeous baby, Casey. Approximately one month after Casey’s birth, I realised I had postnatal depression. I went to my GP and sought help. Within that same month, my husband resigned from his job of four years. He was at a new job within the same week, but had also decided to commence full-time study – in a completely different industry. Most nights, hubby wasn’t home until 8pm at night, and weekends were reserved for studying.
I needed a project for myself and learned how to design and build websites. I resigned from my job in October and decided shortly after that I’d launch my own web design business.
2017 came around and our little girl turned one. Hubby was still studying, I was designing websites, and life was incredibly hectic. Then both of my parents hit a stint with their health. Mum had to go have heart surgery, and I thought I was going to lose my Dad to a heart attack – it turned out he had arrhythmia and has had to slow down. Thankfully it turns out both of them are okay.
Easter rolled around and I went for a cervical smear test, to be told a few weeks later that I had cervical cancer. After my next test, I was downgraded to high-grade cells. I’ve just had surgery on the 3rd of July and will hopefully be finding out my test results next week. I’ll then know the prognosis and if further treatment is required.
Having the surgery meant that I was forced to take a break. I was groggy after the general anesthetic and was told to rest and not do any lifting for ten days. No washing, no vacuuming, and certainly no childcare. This meant that Casey had to go to her Nana and Poppa’s while I rested at home.
At first, I couldn’t relax. Then I decided I had to… my body needed to rest. I thought about everything that had happened of late and took a deep breath. I decided I needed to take this self-care thing to the next level, I would give myself a week off to rest, to look after me. Something I haven’t done for as long as I can remember.
I did everything I used to love doing, and more.
I read books.
I watched a movie.
I wrote poetry.
I read tarot cards.
I felt amazing. But I realised something was missing. I needed more. I needed to do something for my body, something I hadn’t done before.
I needed to detox.
I talked to one of my close friends and borrowed a book from her that included a bunch of recipes – enough that would give me everything I needed to detox for one week.
No read meat.
No carbs (except for oats and brown rice).
No processed foods.
I discussed this with hubby. I wanted to feel better. I felt like my body was telling me I needed to make a change.
The best part? He supported me 100% and said he would do it with me. I was incredibly grateful.
Have I felt better? Yes.
Do I think this detox is sustainable? No.
Honestly, I didn’t expect it to be easy, but it is tough. It takes more time to eat healthily, purely from a preparation point of view. But I do feel better. I’m not bloated, I have more energy, and I feel as though my mind is clear.
I don’t just put these physiological changes down to my diet, I also put them down to my state of mind. And I have my week of self-care to thank for that.
It’s reminded me how important it is to take time out for myself. And not just time out to do my nails, get my hair done, or go for a drink with a friend. I mean time out for a quiet hobby that I love. Time to be creative, to design, to write, and to feel inspired.
That’s why I want you to take this article as a gentle reminder that sometimes we need to put ourselves first. Self-care is important, and rightly so. It helps put our lives into perspective, to realise what matters, and to look after the one person that can really encourage positive change in our lives – our self.
When was the last time you had a week of self-care? What did you do?
If you’re in need of some ideas for self-care, then download the free checklist below; twenty ways to practice self-care.