I’ve had a love-hate relationship with Mondays.
For most of my young life, Monday meant waking up early and getting ready for school.
For most of my working life, Monday meant the reluctant end of a much needed break and the start of another hectic or dragging week.
Now, I’ve come to love Mondays. Every Monday for me is a chance to start fresh and to set the tone for the week ahead.
Of course, every new day is a new beginning, but there’s something about the first day of the week that makes you feel motivated to start right.
And today, I’m starting a new feature on Optimommy called Mindful Moment Monday.
Monthly intentions and the beginning of Mindful Moment Monday
I mentioned in my last post that I want to bring more intention into this blog and how I write for you.
One of the ways I’m doing that is by setting a theme for each month, a goal if you will, that will inspire you to focus on one area of your life.
As moms, we’ve got a gazillion things to
worry think about and sometimes it becomes too easy to get lost in the mundane and unimportant that we miss out on what really matters in our life.
Sometimes we get buried under our self – imposed – yet – too – unrealistic standards of what we should be that we lose sight of the value of what we are.
We often think we need to do and have it all: the nice slim body, the beautiful Pinterest-worthy house, the prestigious enviable career and all the other things we think makes for a perfect mom and wife.
I know I tried, but I can’t. At least, not all at the same time. And I’m slowly making peace with myself that I don’t have to.
I’ll be the first to admit that focus is one of the things I need to improve on, even moreso now that I’ve become a mom. Having one goal for this month helps me to narrow things down and yes, focus on what’s important. One day at a time.
Since February is my birth month, I’ve chosen to focus on Self Care.
Self can be such a loaded word isn’t it?
Oftentimes, we associate the word Self with, say it with me… selfish.
And who wants to be seen as selfish? Being selfish is bad. We’ve always been taught that we should put others first and ourselves last.
And while there is indeed nothing good that will come out of thinking of yourself all the time, bad things can happen when you put yourself last every time.
I love this quote I came across this morning that said:
Remember that there can no be selfless acts without the self.
And I feel you’ll agree with me, raising children has got to be one of the most selfless acts you can do in life. You can’t help but give everything to your children: your love, attention, time, money, sanity… the list is endless.
And when you neglect yourself and you run on empty, you’ll feel so down and you’ll bring everyone in your family down with you.
Remember: We can’t give what we don’t have.
So dear mommy, I encourage you to find time and practice self care this month. For once, put yourself first. It’s okay. You know you deserve it.
Fill yourself up so that you’ll have something to draw upon when you need to give parts of yourself away.
You can create your own Self Care rituals and you can also follow along with the weekly intentions I’ll post here on the blog.
The goal is to fulfill that intention for the whole week, one day at a time.
For this week, our Self Care Intention is Serenity.
I love that word. Just saying it makes me feel peaceful.
And I feel peace is something we could use more of.
Everyday, we’re subjected to so much noise: Princess and the Popstar singing on TV, nursery rhymes playing over and over on the Ipad, the cars honking outside the street, the “ting” of a new reply to your tweet.
And it’s not just the noise outside, but also the ones inside our heads.
“She asked for fried chicken again today. Is she eating enough?”
“Oh no, the credit card bill…”
“Oh my gosh, my arms look flabby.”
With our high tech, high stress lives, moments of serenity are necessary to keep our sanity.
So this week. find five minutes everyday to just be still.
Do whatever works for you, whenever it works for you.
I’d suggest waking up a bit earlier in the morning and have some quiet time before your family wakes. I’ve mentioned before that having some quiet time in the morning helps to set the tone for your day and to stock up on patience too.
If you’re not a morning person, do it during your lunch break at work or at home when all the kids are in school. Do it before you go to bed and ease into a peaceful sleep.
You can play some instrumental or meditation music. Or simply lie down, close your eyes, stay still and breathe deeply. Try to empty your mind and just focus on the air coming in and out of your body.
It sounds like a simple exercise but I never realized how challenging it is to silence myself until I tried it.
Short as it may seem, even just five minutes of stillness brings with it great benefits.
Reduced stress, increased good vibes.
Less outbursts, more patience.
More peace, more love.
I also believe moments of silence, of non-thinking, give our Inner Guidance, God, goddess the time to speak with us and actually be heard.
The answers to some of my most difficult problems came to me after moments of stillness. And they are always right.
Are you willing to care for yourself?
When we neglect ourselves, it’s never because we can’t care for ourselves, it’s always because we are unwilling to.
Most of the time, it’s because of guilt. (Sometimes it’s because of laziness. Yikes!)
Whatever the reason is, know that you deserve time to care for yourself. You owe it to your family too. To take good care of them, you need to take better care of you.
So how do you plan to practice Self Care this week?
What do you do to take care of YOU?
Post them in the comments below, I’d really love to hear what you do.
Love and serenity,