Pregnancy to Childbirth to Motherhood and so on - The Importance of Self-Care During Times of Transition December 30, 2012 22:00

Any major life change is bound to stir up some feelings of insecurity and fear for us. Ironically, this often occurs even when we’re transitioning into a much better situation than the one that we’re leaving behind. Familiarity has a way of bringing us a degree of comfort even when it’s unsatisfying. New situations, on the other hand, require many personal adjustments – even when they may promise us greater happiness. They may involve us with life changes that we can’t even foresee as the onset.

For this reason, it’s crucial that we provide ourselves with adequate self-care during times of personal upheaval. Sometimes our inner equilibrium can be disrupted in such a subtle way that we don’t even recognize it. If all of our time is filled with frantic activity, this disturbing influence, gone unrecognized, can strongly affect our mood and energy level. We may find ourselves feeling irritable, angry or depressed for no reason that we can discern.

We feel emotionally sapped because some parts of us aren’t being fed – even though we’re excited about the changes that we’re making in our lives. This can be prevented if we allow ourselves some down time during this busy transition. This means time during which we let go of the concerns of the outer world and pay attention to our inner life. Many of us will do this instinctively when we’re feeling stressed. There’s a wide array of things that people use to help create sacred space, forms of sensory input that help us to shift our focus away from the world and back to our innermost thoughts and emotions.

These can include music, painting, yoga, nature walks, time spent with pets and/or plants, pleasure drives with no destination, etc. Each of us will have to find methods that resonate with us personally. What’s crucial, however, is that we preserve time for our sacred space once we’ve discovered our preferred ways of creating it. In the results-driven culture that we live in, it can be easy to slip into the habit of thinking that such forms of rejuvenation are “indulgences”.

On the contrary, self-care is as necessary to our well-being as exercise or nutrition. Without it, we’re bound to start feeling unable to function, or to be nearly as productive as usual, anyway. What’s more – and this is particularly true when we’re in the midst of major life changes – we’ll lose much of our capacity to enjoy the fruits of our labors.

Any sort of transition in our lives can leave us feeling displaced for a period of time. It’s important that we find certain touchstones that can be emotionally nurturing for us as we strive to get settled into our new situations. Self-awareness becomes even more crucial when the demands of the outside world press upon us insistently. Knowing what will bring us mental refreshment and emotional rejuvenation – and giving such activities high priority – is the essence of good self-care during such times. It can steer us clear of potential burnout, and help us to focus upon the excitement that we feel about the adventure we’re embarked upon rather than the short-term discomfort that it may bring.