Monday, September 13, 2010

Indulge a Bit: In Yourself

"Reprinted from "OUR Journey THRU Autism," a blog featuring professional experts and warrior parents to help you on your journey thru autism. Subscribe today at"

I have been offering posts that focus more on taking care of you. This is the nurse in me with the mental health nursing background shining through. I cannot understate is extremely important to take care of yourself. Think of yourself as a bank. The demands and challenges of life and raising our children are withdrawals. If we do not have any deposits, then our account will be empty and nothing can happen with an empty account.

We are of no good to our family if we do not take care of ourselves. Most of us do not have a plethora of support, so there is no point sitting around hoping that someone will make a deposit into our emotional bank. We need to create our own deposits.

Personally, I am already planning ahead for the fall as my own emotional bank account is running low on funds. My oldest will be off to his new college, my second teen will be back to school, my 5 year old will start kindergarten and my younger one will be in Preschool. In addition, Autumn is my all time favorite season. I love the Indian Summer, warm weather with minimal humidity. So, in addition to getting to all the incomplete projects around the house, I plan on indulging a bit in me...something I have not done since the little ones were born.

Join me as I explore some low cost self indulgent options...

Mini makeover... I plan on freshening my look and boosting my confidence. I am shooting for a new hairstyle and color that washes away the gray while adding some highlights. I am going to schedule a manicure and a pedicure. I am going to buy a new outfit and maybe even start wearing lipstick again! I will not be visiting a high-end salon...but will be seeking out budget friendly options.

Cook gourmet, well, sort of...I remember a time when my husband and I would work side by side in the kitchen cooking together. I really miss that. I love to create great meals. Sure, we still cook. Hubby is usually out at the grill and I am making the side dishes inside. But I plan to find a good recipe that is very healthy to boot low in carbs and cholesterol. I am going to see if my mom can take the boys so my husband and I can open a bottle of wine, turn on some relaxing music and see if he and I can recapture the art of preparing a meal together. Silly, I know, but it is something that I really do miss. Hey mom, hint, hint!

Love Learning. Did you know that continuing to learn throughout your life can keep you young and vital...the key to longevity? I have been thinking about a hobby or two that I enjoyed in the distant past as well as a few that I might be interested in. I am going to keep this one simple, but I may get back into my crafty side and take a few craft classes. I have been looking into photography classes too. Maybe you would like to learn how to play an instrument or dabble in a fine art?

Vacations? A thing of the past? For us it really has been. So, with my oldest boy transferring to a college nearly 10 hours away, we have a road trip coming up. We are going to take full advantage of it and add a couple of days to the adventure. After we move him in...we have the road home to ourselves and will be stopping off at some places we have never seen together. Much needed, not overly killing our tight budget and we will see if my husband's parents can keep the little ones. Just the anticipation of planning this adventure lifts my spirits!

Really Indulge...if our budget allows, I think I am going to check out some local spas and create a spa day for myself. For goodness sake, my dog recently had one after she was skunked. I am going to look for express services which offer a shorter version of massage or facial to be friendly to our tight purse strings. When I was working full time before the little ones came along, I treated myself to a one hour massage every other week to rejuvenate and work on all those tight muscles. We cannot afford to get back into that routine, but a budget friendlier version is certainly much needed.

Read a great fiction! I used to escape into a good book. I would excitedly wake up and read in the morning before the day began. Reading a great fiction is a wonderful way to ignite the imagination and mentally escape from the everyday demands. Any good recommendations?
Exercise! Fitness offers so many rewards. This oppressive heat has kept me indoors and I certainly have cabin fever. We have a wonderful park nearby with a bike path. I used to walk it or ride my bike and zone out leaving all the worries behind me. I would return home feeling energized and ready to begin the day. Once the heat of the summer subsides and the suffocating humidity wanes, I will be hitting the bike path once again. Depending on our finances, I may even join the local community center that offers a weight room, cardio room and a pool. I was a competitive swimmer back in the day and would love to do some serious laps once again.

What are you going to do to recharge your batteries and make deposits into your emotional bank account? Start planning to take care of you today!

Tiffani Lawton, OJTA


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