If it seems a lot of people rely on you, your longevity is going to depend on finding balance. You may look out and realize that currently you are attempting to use all of your energy to regulate your environment. You may be attempting to keep order and comfort others as a extension of your own inability to tolerate distress in yourself and therefore in the others around you. You can teach co-regulation that eventually should lead to self-regulation, but be mindful not to be creating co-dependent situations that interfere with the autonomy of all involved. To begin, become more aware of your own inner signals of overwhelm or exhaustion. You may have set the stage for others to only be considering what they need in order to be comfortable, with minimal awareness of the idea that you require preservation and restoration as well. If at first you are unable to ask for help, at least ask for time. You will have to take back slowly your time and energy and reduce your constant involvement with every drop of the environmental concerns and demands within your home. If you don’t have access to help and are caring for others on your own, it is all the more important to model and teach your children effective strategies of self regulation to deal with challenging emotions. You are their living example, demonstrating life skills of respite including art, music, nature walking, gardening, mindful activities, reading or activities that are satiating and calming will be very crucial. Technology is addictive, insatiable and dysregulating, quiet appreciation of beauty is a sanctuary that can be carried throughout their lifetimes. If you have any sense that you would like something to be different, you will be required to make space for it to unfold or become. If you currently have no room available or are continuously distracted it can never manifest. Don’t feel guilty for spending time to care for yourself, everyone involved benefits from you preserving or restoring your system. You must demand your time as having equal value, if you don’t you are teaching others that either they will become someone who gives every drop to satiate others or even worse a person who believes they are entitled to take every drop from someone else. Respite is not a window of time that should be filled with more strain or striving to your system. It is creating an empty space to fill in with restoration and sanctuary. Open empty time is not valued by this culture and has created a situation where their is no room at all for the sensation of enough or wholeness. The fleeting feeling of reaching forward, with limited resources to do so is what we are left with. I believe strongly that in the beginning even taking a 15 minute window can become exponential. Overtime, the realization of how powerful these brief moments can be in preventing or maintaining stress illness will become evident. Practicing well being and ease is not something to begin after all your ducks are in a row. Well being is done first, so that your ducks actually have any chance of getting into a row. Make open space for your vision of what your satisfying future looks like and then rest in the now to make it come to fruition. Your energy is a powerhouse of endurance, that with small windows of reorganizing awareness can become efficient and so potent.
Published by One True Breath
I am a wife, mother and a pediatric occupational therapist for almost 20 years. My great hope is that this blog will be a guide for anyone seeking refuge from life's difficulties. It is a distillation of my life experience, profession and whole hearted search for peace. I wish you a wonderful and joyful journey! View all posts by One True Breath