Self-care idea: The “I don’t have to” day.

3 women meditating


We are in lockdown for a second time, we are eight weeks in and no end in sight.

One thing I quickly discovered and have adapted this time around was how important it was to slow down and to take a breather.

This is something I started doing as a means of self-care.

What was going wrong?

Because being at home all the time with husband and kids, there are no breaks, no time alone, no time to breath.

My world, just as so many of you, consisted only of home schooling your kids, to which they would fight you at every step,

House cleaning, in which I felt like a 1950’s housewife, but to be honest, my house has never looked better.

Dinners where every single time someone complains that they don’t like it, without tasting it, or I’m not hungry, or, why are we eating this again,

are just some of my families favourited responses at the moment.

We have tears on an hourly basis, and I’m not talking about the kids,

although they usually chime in with tear filled stories about how their brother looked at them and won’t stop.

Aaah the joys of parenting 24/7

stress/relax signpost

The “I don’t have to day”.

Now this concept kind of developed naturally over time for me.

I know what my body is capable of and how far I can push it.

It started with me being so tired one Sunday that I just had to stop.

I had to stop forcing myself to keep going and I needed a break.

So, I did. Or at least I tried. It was not possible to stop completely with my family home all the time.

That is when I needed to compromise. I knew that a day off was just not going to happen.

Then what was the next best idea?

Giving myself permission

A day where I told myself and my family that ‘today I will do things for you, but I don’t have to do everything.

I gave myself permission to not make the beds for one day if I didn’t want to.

The washing will still be there tomorrow, so will the vacuuming, dusting and any other household chore.

What I did do instead was go outside for a walk, alone, I sat down in the middle of the afternoon and watched a movie that I wanted to watch,

which was not animated, to the disappointment of my kids.

I would also avoid my phone, computer and iPad.

This gives me the feeling of taking a deep breath, as if I have come up for air.

I still take care of my family, but instead of doing it because I felt I had too, I took some time out to also enjoy life.

It is a way of recharging my batteries, so that I can keep on going,

because at this moment we have no idea how long we will be staying in lockdown.

coffee, book and blanket

I enjoy smooth jazz playing in the background while reading, so I’ve linked one of my favourites from YouTube.

Side note:

I always tell my husband when I am planning to or am doing my ‘I don’t have to day’,

because when I forgot to do so in the past, he became very frustrated with me because he felt like he was the only one doing anything.

So, please learn from this mistake and let your partner know and hopefully they will join in, as does my husband, now.

You can look up more fun stories about Expat life HERE.

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