A run of self-care

I had a good run recently, after a long time. It is one of the things that makes me feel a strong ‘sense of self’ once again. It’s an activity that I’ve done before getting married, before having kids, and a rare outdoors activity now that I get to do without the kids.

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As always, it’s good to be outdoors, to be able to stop and take in the sights. To slow down and stare at (alright, photograph) leaves, flowers, clouds.

mar1These men brought their own deck chairs, and placed them right at the water’s edge. : )
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These trumpet flowers are in full bloom these spring days, making many trees resemble our own Singaporean version of sakura. After a shower, the fragile blooms cascade down and form a delicate carpet on the grass and soil……

This other shrub’s flowers had such a wonderful strong fragrance, and pretty pink and red starry flowers that glistened so prettily in boughs that weighed heavily down.

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As I jogged, I recalled a recent blog post by an American mum on mummy guilt that really resonated. Ironically or otherwise, it’s easy to feel “selfish” once we become mums, since we become so keenly aware that our lives are no longer our own, in a sense, and that we are responsible for so much more (I even cross roads more carefully now).

But I think there is wisdom in her words:

…when you do those things to take care of you, you are actually taking care of your entire family.

A happier, more fulfilled Mom can build happier more fulfilled kids.

It all goes back to the saying, “You can not give what you don’t have”.  So, it’s up to you to get happy, so you can give happy.

Show your kids that you are worthy of self-care.  Show your kids just how important it is to always live a fulfilled life. Show them that it’s important to take care of your own needs, and not just the needs of others.

…Good on you for finding your happy!  Your kids will thank you for it later.

This reminds me of the airplane principle post I wrote a while back, which runs along the same vein.

Ultimately, it’s about being conscious about self-care, about setting aside some time to engage in activities that would “add credit” into your self-care tank, be it a quiet hour of rest in a cafe, an afternoon at a scrapbooking class, a swim all by your very self, or the chance to read a book for 2 hours with no interruption.  (Actually, this also reminds me of the many many things I took for granted pre-kids…)

Depending on our individual circumstances, we might be able to have self-care windows once a week, or maybe only once every six months. Guess the important thing is to aim for it, and realise that these are the times that can refresh us sufficiently to take on our challenges, and the duties we are privileged to have, with renewed strength and joy.