Recent posts here prompted me to write this one. Vonnie’s husband passed away. Alison’s had a major scare that required hospitalization. JL had hip replacement surgery. Each event resounded with the rest of us. We’ve either experienced those situations or something similar. Each event demands a break. A time to rest and recharge our bodies and creative energies.
We all need some downtime. We need to take care of ourselves. But . . . we’re women, the nurturers. We take care of others first. We ignore our own symptoms (physical or emotional) because someone else needs us. When my dad was dying, I worried more about my mother, his caregiver, than I did about him. I helped when I could, though my sister carried the brunt of the work. Mom’s health dramatically improved after he was gone. It might have gone the other way.
When Mom died, I was responsible for settling her estate. I was also working full-time along with trying to write. Without realizing it, I shoved down my grief to get everything done. Six months later, my mother-in-law passed. Although I didn't have the responsibilities of settling her estate, my stress at work was escalating. No time for grief. When a favorite aunt passed shortly after, grief caught up with me. Poor Hubs. He wanted to help, to make me better. Thank goodness for Hospice's grief counselor. First, she told Hubs he couldn't "make me better." That I needed time. Her best advice: give yourself permission to grieve.
Time away helps. The axiom “a change is as good as a rest” holds true. A change of venue or routine. After Dad passed, my sister took Mom on a mini-vacation. She came back refreshed, ready to tackle the details that needed tending.
When we push ourselves too hard, we run out of steam. When we don’t get enough sleep, our creative juices dry up. Stress, family issues, and other factors keep us up at night. We dwell on all we have to do, sleep eludes us. Without sleep, our bodies don’t work efficiently. Neither does our mind.
Take time to take care of yourself. Give yourself a break. Give yourself permission to not do anything. Rest, relax, and come back refreshed.
Diane Burton combines her love of mystery, adventure, science fiction, and romance into writing romantic fiction. She blogs here on the 16th and 30th of each month. She shares snippets from her stories every weekend on her blog.