How do you stay afloat in the chaos of parenthood? Sometimes, it can be very challenging to keep your head above water and stay sane but preventative care and taking care of yourself really can help to keep your patience and allow you to enjoy family life. Here is one of my favorite things to do and really helps me stay focused and keep my identity.
First, let me tell you that one of my biggest struggles is battling depression. Depression is something that creeps up on me when I'm not looking and rears it's ugly head at the worst moments. It is my worst enemy and something I try to avoid at all costs. I have been on and off medication in the past and wouldn't be surprised if at some time I need to go on it again but if I can avoid it by dealing with my emotions honestly and taking care of myself mentally and physically I believe that I can usually avoid it.
One of the ways I take care of myself mentally is go to a neighborhood bookstore by myself and enjoy some alone time. Let me tell you it is sooo nice! Sometimes I treat my self to a coffee or treat but the real treat is the quiet alone time I get with any reading material I want (plus, I have found the perfect spot in the upstairs corner where I can retreat and enjoy!) My usual routine is to read trashy mags for an hour, then I read a self help book that my therapist recommends for an hour (right now it's Beyond Codependency by Melody Beattie which I highly recommend!) You have no idea how much this routine has really helped me get to know myself and enjoy ME. It sounds corny I know but it is so important in order to grow as a person and not just the role of "Sienna's mom and Wayne's husband" (which is the identity I take on my easily).
Another thing that really helps me is blogging!!! Did you know that there are blogs for anything and everything that you could possibly be interested in...tennis, cars, cooking, fashion, fitness....you name it. Here's the best part, you don't have to be tech savvy or rich to do it. Blogger.com offers a free blog hosting site that is so easy to navigate (I think I initially set mine up in the matter of 3 minutes!)
For me, reading and writing about children keeps me motivated and excited so being able to write and exchange ideas is a great outlet for keeping my passion alive. So, I encourage you to take time every week and explore what you enjoy...what do you love??