One guideline I continuously follow, as I travel on this journey, is my self-care regimen. Not only do I follow the self-care regimen, I preach it. Every codependent I know and have met has found themself in a rut at one time or another. Most have an extremely hard time getting out of this rut and fall even deeper into despair and depression. I cannot emphasize the importance of taking care of oneself.
Self care is a project, a movie, a good book, gardening, shopping, painting, knitting, building, ANYthing that takes you away from your present life or situation and provides you with a brief time of peace. Almost as if you have pushed the pause button on your life. When I hit the depths of my despair and fell into a rut, my children were always there pushing me back up. Just putting a hand on their head would give me a chance to breathe. I learned that I love life. All life.
Coming home from work, I had a brief moment to hug my dog before I had to shield myself to face what was coming. Would it be an evening filled with anger? Would I be chastised for not having the evening meal planned, let alone prepared? The evenings when I could spend a moment in my son’s room while he told me about his day at school was a blessing. The evenings my ex-husband would pass out on the couch early, was like a slice of heaven. I was then able to care for my birds, scratch my dog’s belly, and have time for me. As it turns out, I have quite the green thumb. My home had been converted into a green house. Gardening is apparently my self-care. I love watching my plants grow and thrive. I planted them. I cared for them. I loved them. I saved them.
We all need our moments to breathe and find peace. Search for what makes you happy and use it to care for yourself. Your self-care is your escape. Use it and grow from it. It will save you.