Once a month I find myself on the road to Chicago. I've been making the trek to and from Chicago for over 5 years now. My Therapist and Naturopath are both in the city and although the trip can be exhausting, it is 100% worth it every time. Last week was particularly daunting, as my total drive time was 5+ hours. Not fun, but again 100% worth it.
Why would I spend all that time driving, for on this day, a 30 minute appointment? #1 reason is my mental health. My mental health is my #1 priority day in and day out. Yes, my family is of utmost importance as well, but if I don't prioritize my mental health, I won't be able to be there for my family. Simple as that.
When you have lived through severe mental illness, you get to see the world through different colored glasses. You quickly realize that your view of the world is different from those around you. Eventually, you even come to prefer your new view as it has given you a different perspective on life. Last week, this was my view.
This is the view I had as I made my monthly trek to Chicago and back. Sometimes the view changes, if I get rerouted to Lake Shore Drive, but mostly this cityscape is my view. It is interesting to think how it never really changes, even though I have changed, time and time again, as month after month turned into year after year of driving on this same road.
We often talk about self care being luxurious and self-indulgent. Sometimes this is true, but mostly for me, self care is making myself breakfast and actually sitting down to eat it. Self care is taking my supplements and drinking enough water. Self care is making time to exercise and meditate. Self care for me is driving to Chicago (sometimes for 5 hours!) and taking the time to see the people who have helped me rebuild my mental health.
What kind of self care do YOU need? Do you need to eat breakfast? Do you need to go for a walk? Do you need to find a therapist? Start small, but start today. You need to take care of YOU. As moms, we are pulled in every direction imaginable. Stop for a moment and really ask your body what it needs. You deserve it! Whatever IT is! You are taking care of everyone around you, so don't forget to take care of you, too.
Sometimes, our view seems like it will never change. We feel stuck in our lives, in our work, in our families and in our daily routine. The reality is though, our view can change because WE can change. When we practice self care our bodies and our minds change, and we start to see things in a different light. We start to see ourselves in a different light.
I'll be on the road again next month. It will be the same city, seemingly same view. I'll be different though, and that's what really matters.
Might as well start singing along... :)
On the road again
I just can't wait to get on the road again
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again
(Thank you Willy Nelson!)