If you know me, you know by now how passionate I am about my own self care and the self care of others. When I refer to self care I am not referring to the glamorized, media definition of the words. For me Self Care is simple, inexpensive, practical and most importantly consistent. It has to be personalized to each person and their situation and season they are in.
Over the years I have grown and evolved in this self care journey of mine. It seems as the years go on my reason for caring so much for myself becomes clearer and affirms every step I have taken to put my self care practices into place and fires my passion for sharing Self Care with others.
As I sit here, typing this right now, more than ever over this past month, I have understood how important it is for me to be able to be a calm, safe, loving and encouraging place for those around me and for myself.
I have learned that in order to create that space for me and those around me I have to be taking care of myself. Really be taking care of myself. Fighting to take care of myself when there seems to be a million reasons not to. I have had to become a warrior, holding boundaries (which has not always been easy for me), importantly making space for me in the always full calendar. When I fail, I have had to get back up, over and over and keep going. I have had to be and continue to be RELENTLESS.
If you look up Self Care on the google machine you will read many different perspectives. As I have travelled this road, I put my blinders on and walked what I felt made sense. Taking care of myself has, hands down helped me to be a better human, woman, wife, mother, neighbour and business owner.
So, what is this part about being a REGULATOR?
I am a very grateful Mother of four amazing kids. We are a neurologically diverse family and part of that is Self Regulation takes time to develop and can always be a challenge.
What is SELF REGULATION?
It is the ability to know how to respond to big emotions in a way that serves the person and others. Being able to communicate what they are feeling, being able to feel it and then being able to know how to respond or navigate it. If you have small kids you know exactly what I mean.
It feels like the end of the world if toddlers do not have their red cup. The red cup is the only cup they will use and a full out scream-fest can manifest when that cup is not presented to them.
They may appear anxious, irritable, impulsive, destructive or aggressive. Taking their brother or sister’s red cup out of their hands. They may throw the cup to the floor announcing they refuse to use this cup.
As they get older the part of the brain that handles self regulation grows and develops and they will respond differently. They may go and wash the red cup so they can use it. They may be okay with using the red cup tomorrow instead.
At that moment, you are a regulator if you are responding to them. They are looking to you to stay calm, not raise your voice and handle their big emotions compassionately.
If you have neurological diversity in the family, the development of the self control part of the brain takes longer and can even still be a challenge for adults.
What does this all mean? For me it means that for my family and myself, I play a big part in helping regulate emotions and behaviour. Being able to do this from a calmer place allows me to equip them with skills that will help them self regulate but even then, it will depend on when their brain develops.
If lack of regulation is the cause of my kids meltdowns then punishing my kids will not bring the outcome that I want for them. I want them to learn how to stay calm, how to cope and how to adapt.
When I come at them with an angry voice, face or body language I only invoke frustration and feelings of shame and failure and I see how that seems to only increase the challenging behaviour.
Neurological differences are hereditary, in both my husband’s family and my family. With all of the science and new information coming out I am grateful to have an opportunity to create a life that reflects the strengths that come from this difference and have systems in place that support the challenges.
How do I support my self care? Yoga, breath work, meditation, being outside, pauses and transition tricks.
Our animals are great companions!!!