What Makes You Tick?
It was one of those perfect days. The sun was out, the temperature was just right, around 70 degrees. The pressures of life were minimal for a few hours, but a wonderful few hours they were. I walked outside to join my daughters while they played. I planted some flowers, pulled some weeds, and freshened up the look of my front yard landscaping. Once I finished, one of the girls suggested that we go for a bike ride. The males of the family were taking a nice Sunday afternoon nap, so I thought “Sure!” – and off we went with the girls’ “American Girl Dolls” in the baby seat behind me. We rode around and ended up at a nearby park. The girls and their dolls enjoyed a little time at the park and then we journeyed home. When we arrived back, the boys were awake, so we started a riveting game of family kick ball. This to me was a perfect afternoon. I felt refreshed and reenergized as I faced a new week.
So what makes you tick? Are you giving yourself the time to do the things you need to do to stay healthy and be fully available and calm for your child(ren)?
Make a list of things you enjoy doing. What gets you motivated, excited, reenergized? Things on your list might be as simple as taking a bath, sitting quietly for 2 minutes, volunteering, or going on a weekend outing. Write down at least ten things – some will be much more realistic and reachable than others, but write them all down!
Think of ways to make some of these things happen. For some of the more simple things, find ways to make them happen regularly. For the more complex, schedule them in your calendar to give you something to look forward to!
What are the things in your life that stress you out just thinking about them? Maybe it’s coaching the soccer team, or making dinner 5 nights a week. Make a list of these things. Find a way to minimize! Sometimes letting go of just a few stressors can lift a large load, allowing you the ability to give more in the areas that you really care about – such as raising your kids!
Learn to say “no.” If you are anything like me, you find it extremely difficult to turn somebody down when they ask for help. It’s not only okay to say “no,” but you need to learn to do it! Agree to do the things that you enjoy, and don’t feel bad saying “no” to the things that feel like a burden or just another thing.
Remember to eat healthy and drink a lot of water! This is not only a gift to your body, but to your children as well. Eating a lot of fresh fruits and vegetables is critical for a healthy digestive system, brain function, and over all body regulation. Water is also essential to helping us function at our best.
Being the best parent to your child(ren) doesn’t always have to do with what you can do for them, but what you do for yourself. This, of course, also needs to be done in moderation. That doesn’t mean to go play basketball for 2 hours a night; but if basketball is something you enjoy, go shoot baskets for a few minutes a day. Make sure you are doing things you enjoy, that make you tick, and saying “no” to the things that might put you over the edge. Giving your family the gift of a calm parent is one of the best gifts you can give, so find what makes you tick and do it!