Are You Making Time for Self-Care Today? - Robyn Cruze
A couple of months ago, I visited Eating Recovery Center’s Partial Hospitalization Program for Adults where the patients always inspire me. They seemed ready and eager to leave treatment and utilize their ever-growing recovery tool kit. They were also appropriately timid regarding the transition ahead.
On this particular day, a woman asked, “How do I manage my recovery with my children, my husband and my job? It’s so easy in here; I just have to focus on myself. What happens when I leave? I’m not sure I can do it.”
Boy could I relate!
Lately, I notice myself becoming overwhelmed. In the last few years I have changed communities, taken on a full-time job and I have two daughters and a husband. “How will I manage it all?” I frequently ask myself!
What I know about me is that most of the time I’m beating myself up because my life doesn’t look like I think it should; I’m not measuring up to a standard I didn’t actually sign up for. Why do I keep creating impossible timelines and setting unrealistic expectations that set me up to feel overwhelmed and exhausted, ultimately causing my self-esteem to plummet? What am I trying to prove? Why do I keep comparing my insides to other people’s highlight reel?
Because this has happened over and over and OVER, I have started to ask myself questions to get me back to reality. After a little cry (or a big one), I say to myself
- Do I really have to manage it all?
- Do I really need to be perfect? Can I even BE perfect?
- Am I actually the hot mess that I feel like I am right now?
Most of the time, the answer is “no.”
What I absolutely know to be true for me is that when I practice self-care, I begin to surrender to things not being “perfect.” I stop believing all the judgements and I see what’s happening right here, right now in the present moment.
It’s true, I may not get to everything on my to-do list, and the house may not be as spotless as I want. I may have fed my kids frozen pizzas for dinner twice in one week (to be fair, at least I cooked them) but I’m doing the best I can.
There are many obstacles in recovery, in life. The best I can do is to commit and recommit to showing up and doing the next best thing. Life is a practice, whether we are in recovery or not. So I suit up and show up for myself and my recovery and the world just doesn’t feel so overwhelming.
In conclusion, completing a slightly less elaborate school project, giving a gift card instead of spending two hours looking for the perfect gift, allowing some dust to build up in the corner of your living room while you do something for your own self-care — are all small prices to pay for the pursuit of a full and balanced recovery, and indeed life.
So, go ahead and let some dust collect in the corner and make a commitment today to your recovery. Put the alumni retreat down on the calendar, write in your journal, call someone and ask how they are doing, attend a weekly support meeting and the list goes on. As a mentor once told me, “Stick with the basics, Robyn, that way you won’t have to go back to basics.”
Much love to you recovery warriors!
Looking forward to seeing you all!