Balancing Self With Family Life
Many of us have a hard time balancing taking care of ourselves with taking care of our family responsibilities. For people with young children, this can be especially challenging, but even people without children have obligations to care for extended family, partners, pets, and the home in which they live. It's easy to lose track of our own needs as we give ourselves to the people, pets, and places we love. However, it is essential to their well-being that we take care of ourselves, filling our own wells with water so that we have something to offer when we return home each day.
It is easy to get caught up in the demands of home life because they never stop. There is always one more thing you can do, another dish in the sink, a counter that needs wiping, or a person who needs a ride somewhere. If you don't set some boundaries, you will find yourself on an endless journey of housework and doing for others. Eventually, you will probably feel drained and out of touch with your inner life force. Instead of waiting for this to happen, integrate self-care into your daily schedule. Even Buddha insisted that he have one hour completely to himself every day. There are times when even that will not be possible-for example, with a new baby or a sick relative. At times like this, retreating inward energetically can be a lifesaver. You can always find five minutes to close your eyes and breathe consciously. You may even be able to meditate.
Most of the time, though, it is possible to set aside a full hour for yourself each day. In addition, scheduling a longer interval of time, perhaps on a weekly basis, can really help to restore your energy. Get a massage or go to a movie or out with a friend. Taking time to experience the world outside of your home makes returning home all the more wonderful. In the same way, taking care of yourself is a natural complement to taking care of your home and family.