We all have those guilty pleasures that we don’t like to admit- sneaking an extra piece of cake, listening to bad pop music or watching a television drama that is meant for a younger audience. Mine is The Vampire Diaries. Between shuttling the kids to school and trying to make a a freelance career into something sustainable, it can be nice to relax and watch a group of vampires live out an overly dramatic life. It seems silly to admit, but there are a lot of things these distractions can teach you about self-care.
Have you ever noticed how many times the characters in TVD get sucked into drama that is not their own? None of them trust each other to deal with their own problems and so they constantly meddle in each other’s business, creating more problems than they solve. This is great for a television series, but not a good approach to real life.
One of the first steps of self care, especially as a mother, is learning to trust that others can take care of themselves while you are spending the time and energy to recharge. This may mean you have to trust your husband to handle dinner on his own or trust that your children can complete their homework. For at least a few minutes each day, you have to be able to let go of other people’s problems and spend time concentrating on yourself.
Find Your Inner Strength
TVD features supernatural characters beyond vampires, and each of these characters must find their own inner strength and special powers. The witches rely on magic and the werewolves use their poisonous bite.
When you are trying to find a self care regime, it is important to figure out what brings out the best in you. Maybe you aren’t into yoga and meditation. That’s okay. Maybe your superpower relies on running and taking time to read instead. Whatever it is that reduces your stress, you need to find it and spend time doing it regularly.
Nutrition Is Important
Have you seen the episodes where one of the vampires starves, eats blood laced with vervain, or consumes the wrong kind of blood? The characters literally waste away, their bodies sizzle, or they spiral quickly out of control.
Even though the effects of our dietary choices may not be as noticeable, the food we consume does impact our health and mental wellbeing. TVD reminds me to take care of myself by eating plenty of fresh, healthy foods to maintain my energy.
If nothing else, TVD provides a solid hour of time each week when my family knows not to interrupt me and I can take time for myself. But more importantly, it reminds me that there are several ways a mother has to take care of herself in order to take care of those around her.
Kim Matone is Co-Owner of Thriveworks Counseling and Coaching in Charlotte. She has been a Certified Prevention Consultant for the past 15 years. She has facilitated programs on Substance Abuse Prevention, Self-Esteem, Bullying, and Safe Dating. She is the proud mother of two teens!
Please visit Thriveworks.com/Charlotte-Counseling for more information regarding individual counseling and group counseling.