Have you ever wondered what signs you’ll get when you need to stop and take a moment for your own self-care?
When is the Universe, your body, or your intuition saying it is high time for a moment for yourself?
When do you need self-care the most?
Hopefully, you listen to the signs before you are either sick, exhausted, or burned out.
And yes, I need to listen to myself too. I need reminders to take a self-care day all the time. It is so easy to get out of the habit of self-care, and into helping others or overdoing things again. It’s so important to take little breaks throughout each day.
I was so happy for my daughter to be home from university at Christmastime, and yes, I loved pampering her, cooking her favorite foods, and hugging her. It wasn’t easy for her to live abroad and do everything on her own. I felt sorry for her, so I wanted to spoil her a little while she was home.
It was okay to pamper her for a while; however, I never stopped babying her for the five weeks she was here. I was back in full mom mode, and I realized how tired I got and that I needed to have some space for myself. Also, there were moments when I was ready for her to go back to university, and I felt guilty for thinking that. I wanted to make the most of my daughter’s visit while she was there.
There were also unspoken expectations that played a part in my internal conflict. I felt when she was home she would join me for dog walks and go and do shopping with me, etc. However, she just wanted to have a vacation from her everyday life. She felt she was already doing everything on her own—shopping, cleaning, cooking—so she needed a break.
I learnt a couple of things from her visit. We keep learning as we go. It was a new experience for both of us.
First of all, I need to express my expectations. I need to voice what I am thinking and share what I wanted her to do, or what I hoped we would do together.
Secondly, I am happy to pamper her and cook her favorite dishes; however, she is part of the family when she is home, and she can help clean up when she is home. Next time, I will let her know that I expect more from her with helping around the house.
And yes, this means lovingly expressing myself and allowing myself to take some time out, even when she is here. As an Empath, I need solitude and walks in nature to recharge my energy.
I love being a mom, and I love nurturing my children; however, if I sense that I might slightly feel resentful when caring for my children, I know I am going too far.
The holidays are always intense, and adjusting to having all three of my kids home and my mom visiting—a full house—and celebrating my daughter’s visit home left me tired and exhausted.
That is till I remembered it was high time for self-care.
So what are the signs that tell us it is high time for self-care?
In my perspective there are quite a few:
(I will go into each one in more details below)
- Feeling annoyed
- Feeling like every little bit is too much
- Waiting for the weekend, vacation, the end of the year, or till that one thing is complete before you care for yourself
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Feeling resentful
You might have other signs, too. Feel free to share them in the comments. I’m always happy to gather more insight.
So now let’s look at each point I mentioned above in more detail.
When you are annoyed at things, people, or your pets, it is high time for some self-care.
I learnt that the other day when my dog’s whining to go outside annoyed me.
The thoughts ran through my mind: Not again. Leave me alone. Don’t bother me. Please be quiet. Do I really have to go out with you again?
I felt annoyed that someone wanted something from me.
Because I was not giving myself what I needed, I was annoyed at everyone and everything that asked something of me.
So being annoyed is a sure sign you are in need of self-care and some pampering time.
Every little bit is too much
When you feel like every little bit is just too much, you know it’s time for a self-care break.
Or when things change a bit at the last minute, and it makes you overreact in frustration.
It’s when everything is going well, till something slips or when you feel like you are juggling too many things, and then yes, you end up dropping a ball.
Oh yes, I have been there many times—recently too—when all everything seemed to be going well, and then my son had an extra school trip, and I had to get him a sandwich, and it changed his schedule. It was just too much for me at the time. I thought, “Not this, too!”
I realized I was in a hamster wheel and could keep going as long as nothing came to trip me up.
It was like being on a treadmill, running full speed, and when any little thing happened, I lost my stride and few off the back. It was a definite sign that I needed to take time out for self-care.
When it feels like too much for you because you are already running at full speed, and have no wiggle room, you need to hop off and make time for self-care. It’s time to fill up your tank, get your stride back, and make sure you don’t fill your days and weeks to capacity again.
Waiting for the weekend, vacation, or the end of the day
If you get up every morning and start by counting the days till the weekend, or when you catch yourself saying things like, ‘I can’t wait for vacation time’, or ‘when this is over’… Yes, then it is time for self-care.
We can sense we are running low, hence our focus on the upcoming weekend, the vacation, or the one day we can finally breathe, relax, and just be. However, focusing on a break in the future is unhealthy, as we keep running without recharging, and we might end up exhausted or even burned out, or catch a cold, something that forces us to lie down and rest.
Also, if we can’t get up in the morning and find some joy in the day ahead, it is a really sad state of life. Plus, we consistently produce adrenalin when we are overtaxed, and that wears us out, too. We rest even less, and we are in constant stress.
So take five minutes or more every day to just be, to breathe, and implement a short but loving self-care routine.
You are worth it not only in the distant future but also right now.
Have you ever felt overwhelmed? I often do. My dear friend Susan Ellis-Saller (www.sueellissaller.com) once told me, “When you are overwhelmed, you need self-care.”
It was an eye-opening moment, years ago, back when self-care was still a weird concept for me.
Every time I am overwhelmed now, I remember her telling me:
Being overwhelmed is a sure sign that you need self-care.
Yes, it is so true and I am grateful for this reminder.
Are you feeling overwhelmed? Take a minute to breathe deeply and come back to your heart. Then allow yourself five minutes to drink your tea and explore your feelings. What are they telling you?
Feeling resentful is not very pleasant, and I instantly feel guilty when I am resentful, too. But resentment is a fabulous reminder that you really need self-care. If you are resenting the fact that someone said no to you, or did their own thing instead of what you had in mind, or put him or herself first while you gave and tried to please others while being selfless, it is a sign you have over given. So, besides needing self-care, you also need some healthier boundaries when you feel resentful.
Remember it is often mirror work; what we feel for others, we are actually feeling for ourselves. So sit with the feeling of resentment and go within. What are we resenting? What is the other person doing or not doing? Why aren’t we asking for help? Did we set up an unfair situation because we gave with an unspoken expectation of getting something in return? What is the other person mirroring, that we should look at deep within? What is it we resent in ourselves that the other person is making us aware of?
Remember feelings are just energy. Embrace them, feel them, and let them tell you what you need to know. There are no bad or good feelings; emotions just express what we are experiencing deep within.
The more you look after yourself and your needs, the less resentful you will feel.
Fill yourself with self-care and feel the love and comfort that comes with it.
Wisdom From Within
So you say, I know now the signs for needing self-care, but what do I to do now? What does self-care look like?
First of all, congratulations! It is always great to be aware of the signs that you need some self-care.
As for self-care, there are different ways of caring for yourself that depend on you and your specific circumstances. Feel into yourself and find out what you need in the moment.
I love to ask myself what I need the following way:
- Sit somewhere quietly.
- Take a deep breathe into your belly.
- Close your eyes.
- Feel into your heart.
- Calm your breathing.
- Ask yourself, ‘What is it that I need right now?’
- Feel into the question and sense the answer. Maybe you hear it, see it, know it, or feel it.
- Thank yourself for your inner guidance and wisdom.
- Open your eyes.
And then go and follow up, giving yourself what you need in the moment.
Enjoy self-care as a daily part of your life. You are allowed to look after yourself all of the time, not only when you are desperately in need of some self-care.