I was chatting with a friend recently about the importance of us moms taking breaks (it was the Easter holidays – 2 weeks of no school!) and making self care a priority. After our conversation I thought about the signs that show up for me when I am needing to have some time on my own and it reminded me of a funny saying that I often declare loudly for both Issey and Rok to hear ‘Mommy is going to do a Shirley Valentine soon’ to which I used to get puzzled stares until one day (actually recently enough) my husband asked ‘okay what is that…. and should I be worried?!’ Having had no clue what or who ‘Shirley Valentine’ is… (he’s from Slovenia and has never seen the movie).
For those who don’t know of Shirley Valentine it’s is a late 1980’s movie about a women who decides to leave England and head off to an Greek island (just leaving her husband a sticky note) and there she finds her joy again.
Realisation that I need some alone time
Although this saying to my husband is done in jest it’s also a realisation for me that when I am thinking about doing a ‘Shirley Valentine’ then it’s my cue that I need to spend some time alone.
For example, last October I overdid it a bit and really needed a break so I planned a 2 night trip on my own and took myself off to Galway (not as fancy as Greece!) where I had the most relaxing time and felt very proud of myself for going through with this (I’ve always wanted to go off for a weekend on my own but never had the courage to go through with it).
To be fair my husband literally pushed me out the door so I had his support 100%.
Was this an easy thing to do even with my husband’s support, heck no! I was racked with guilt especially the days leading up to it and kept trying to think of reasons why it wasn’t a good idea and that Issey and Rok wouldn’t survive without me to presenting the ‘bad mother’ card frequently ‘how could I leave my child for two nights and have some time on my own…’
However, when I got there I felt so good and the feelings dissipated. You see, I used to be at the other end of the continuum where I would never really do anything for myself, always putting everyone else’s needs before my own and I learnt ‘self care’ the hard way, so I’m always aware of the signs now. I don’t always get a night on my own, but I’m getting better at making sure I take frequent time out and less ‘Shirley Valentine’ declarations ha!
My Self Care routine:
Daily it’s my meditation and/or my 10 minute yoga practice (love yoga with Adriene on YouTube) and on the weekends I will go for an early walk/run in the park by myself whilst listening to music or a podcast. In the evening after Issey is in bed I read my book for an hour as I love reading and this is my time to enjoy with a cup of tea. Once a week I have an Epsom salt bath and relax for an hour and once a month I will try and either do a massage, a Reiki session, a facial or whatever I feel like doing that month.
I also take regular time out to catch up with others and will often go out for dinner with my girlfriends. Recently both Rok and I started having an afternoon lunch on our own whilst Issey is happily hanging out with her older cousins (thanks cousins!).
All of the above help me feel myself, and also help me think more clearly. Ultimately I’m a better human, mom, wife etc. I don’t always get it right however I try and follow through as much as possible.
So Moms, do you find yourselves like me ever wanting to do a ‘Shirley Valentine’… 😉 Do you know your signs that a break is warranted and do you ever feel guilty about doing this and stopping yourself from booking in that well needed time out? Or, have you got a great self care routine that works for you?
What’s your story… Please feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you.
Best wishes and love Lisa X
PS: I think I need to watch ‘Shirley Valentine’ again for old times sake ha!