How often do you take care of yourself? No, I mean really make time for you? My guess is that it never happens. Whether you’re single, partnered with or without a child it’s always important to take care of yourself.
If you can nurture your body, mind, and soul during good times, not only is it important through the difficult times but it will be so much easier because well, you are already doing it; although I venture to say that during difficult times you will need to do more!
When my son was first hospitalized in 2007 and even the years to follow, my health (emotionally and physically) was not number one. My priority was my son and his life as it took everything I had to keep him alive and so I continued to smoke and eat an unhealthy diet. I always told myself one day would it would all change, but for the moment my priorities were not with me.
Two years ago, however, I underwent what we could call a transformation or simply just I needed some change. I quit smoking without ever looking back, started moving my body (running, Zumba, yoga) and began to meal plan. I have not completely cut out all “bad” food but I am on the path of clean eating also known as no processed food. All of this, however, is a tremendous challenge when you or your child is admitted to the hospital for a few days, weeks or months.
You succumb to eating the processed cafeteria foods or take-outs. It becomes expensive and well is not exactly taking care of you. Yes, you are feeding your body but by far perhaps not the best choice. Clearly, there are moments where you may not have a choice to eat that hamburger.
It isn’t always about the physical but the mental health as well. Your brain is filled with worry and concern and you have no idea what tomorrow will look like.
Please, go for a walk or take a hot shower and maybe even both. Either way, give yourself a little bit of a break because the only way you are doing yourself and your child a favor is that when you maintain healthy through the process.
However, it doesn’t stop there, because you will ask yourself how much you need to push your child to get back to normal. You will recognize that the outside world still functions without you in it, your friends still go to work their children still go to school and you feel alone and disconnected.
This too plays a role in your welfare and you must reach out! Tell your friends to visit even if it’s to visit with you and not your child.
Having a little distraction will help you get through the days and nights of constant interruptions. It is ok to admit you are having a hard time, even if they don’t understand. It is ok to ask for what you need. If your friends tell you to call anytime or let us know what you need, please share it with them.
There is no reason you need to go through any of it alone.