So, the children are back to school! The first few days of the new half term are over and our houses are getting back to normal post holiday hurricane. Now you have a bit of time, what are you going to do for YOU?
Taking time for yourself is so important. As a Mum, I recently found myself talking to someone who asked me what I enjoyed doing. My response – ‘Oh I’m a Mum’. I immediately felt lame. Not that being a Mum isn’t my favourite thing to be. But I realised I had lost sight of me as a person. I couldn’t think of a single thing or hobby that I had done in the past six to twelve months (or possibly longer) to tell this person. I realised I needed to start identifying as a person again, a woman who is a Mum but has other parts to her as well.
The first thing I did was set up my blog which I had been wanting to do for a long time. I love writing and I have always wanted to be involved with helping people with the same chronic illnesses as me. I then signed up to restart my second year of university in October. I am completing my degree through The Open University part time. I have passed my first year but have attempted my second year twice and had to defer due to my health problems. This year I’m determined to get back on track with it. I then got the amazing opportunity to appear on The IBD & Ostomy Support Show ( https://www.facebook.com/theibdandostomyshow/?ref=bookmarks ). Louise ( http://www.crohnsfighting.com ) came up with the idea of an hour long, weekly, interactive live show during which four women would discuss all things IBD and Ostomy related. She called us the ‘Loose Women of IBD and Ostomies’! Through this I have made three beautiful and inspiring friends for life. I am getting to help people by sharing my story and experiences which help them in their situations. I have signed up to the gym although unfortunately have been unable to start yet as I have been in an arthritis flare. And I have begun reading more again which has always been one of my favourite hobbies.
A few weeks ago Stephie ( http://www.colitistoostomy.com ) came to us with an idea of doing a June challenge she was going to call #OstoMYlove. She was inspired by Rachel ( http://www.rocking2stomas.co.uk ) who just does far too much for others, which can sometimes be at the detriment to her own health and wellbeing. She had done the challenge before but basically, there is a micro action for each day of the month. They are called micro actions as they are small, simple tasks which shouldn’t take long but they give you a little time each day for yourself. Today is the end of the first week and so far it is going really well. It is definitely nice to know you have a little bit of time dedicated to you during your day which encompasses a move, love, mind or food element. If you fancy joining in, pop me a message at http://www.facebook.com/thespooniemummy or in the comments below and I can point you in the right direction of all the information. You also don’t need to have an ostomy to take part!
There are also other things that you can do to get a bit of ‘me time’. Take a walk, go and get a massage or your nails done. You could meet a friend for lunch or a coffee. I try and meet my Mum once a week for lunch now I am back living in Derby again. She loves to see me with the kids but I really enjoy this time of just me and her. Some grown up girl bonding and chat time over some lovely food.
You could take a bath and pop in a bath bomb or some Epsom Salts to relax and unwind. Read a book or watch a movie that isn’t child friendly. Me and Ste dropped the boys off at school the week before last and realising we had nothing to do, the house was clean and the washing was done. So we took a trip to the cinema for an impromptu ‘date morning’. Taking time out for you and your partner is also very important. When you have children it may not be as easy, and it may not be able to be a weekly thing but having that time to reconnect as adults and partners is vital to a relationship.
Whatever you choose to do, try and make it a regular thing. Not necessarily every day, or even every week depending on your schedule. But we all deserve a little time to ourselves and we are all people – women and men who may also be mums and dads, we may have chronic illnesses, but that is only part of us. Give yourself time for what YOU enjoy.