Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Yes Days

I've always kind of wondered why humans celebrate holidays. I mean, holidays are just days that at some point in history we as humans decided held a special significance. These days become defined by culture, and time. Some holidays are dates we mark with special remembrance of an event or person. Others are about certain times of the year, as we have collaborated with many cultures throughout history to culminate days set aside for celebration.

Humans are a symbolic bunch. We also raise our spirits with celebrating, remembering and observing certain days to be of meaning within our own social context. In other words, I think we create and participate in holiday traditions as a means of social bonding, as well as an positive emotional experience. It gives us something to look forward to, and adds meaning to our lives.

In the same spirit I have created special days for myself. I call them my "Yes Days". There's a lot of different names that could fit, but that one seems straightforward and simple to me. I only need these days to make sense to myself, anyway.

So, what are Yes Days?


Maybe, let me back up a second. Maybe you're not familiar with my blog, or who I am, so I'll explain my life a bit. I have been a stay at home mom for almost 17 years. Within those 17 years I have often had other jobs like babysitting, or answering business calls from my home, and bookkeeping, However, through most of my three children's childhoods I have stayed home to care for them, with the idea that once my youngest was in elementary school or so I'd go back to work, or school. Life has a funny way of throwing curve balls. Since both of my youngest children are autistic,  and one requires a great deal of care I have reworked ideas, and plans to suit the lifestyle we have. This means I am on full time mom duty of 2 teenaged boys with different needs.

Also, it needs to be said that I am also autistic, and have extra needs to tend to for myself. I have a sensitive sensory system. My anxiety is off the charts if not cared for, and I have depression that waxes and wanes.

I have decided that in order to maintain my mental and emotional health I needed to practice a regimen of self-care. That's not an easy task when resources are low and the atmosphere is demanding. It is however, critical. I can't let the zest of life get sucked out of me by being a caregiver to everyone else 24/7 and never myself. No one else is going to do it for me, either. That's why it's called self care. I'm going to have to show the initiative and the effort to do it myself.

So, a few weeks ago Yes Days were born.

Yes days are the day of the week (usually Friday) that I find little ways to treat myself. During the rest of the week I religiously count calories and stick within (or try to lol) a certain amount, but on Yes Days I have whatever I want. I usually go out to eat, even if it's just fast food. I have a drink, or a fancy coffee, maybe both! I relax more, wear a nice outfit (if I'm in the mood) or fix my hair...whatever it is that I feel like would be fun I do that thing that day.

This is totally on me, No one even knows about my Yes Days in my family. Yes Days are days that I make my needs and wishes a priority. I make the necessary plans and work what I'd like to happen in that day.

I have noticed a positive shift in my mood since I started doing this. I not only have something to look forward to every week, but this practice helps me to see the possibilities that are in everyday for me for to be a happier person. There's a lot of small ways to find joy in everyday activities that are hidden when we're not used to seeing them. Being burnt out and overwhelmed is a mindset that doesn't allow me to see possibility. I only see mounting pressure and the immediate situation at hand, because that's all I have the energy to see. This extra element of care has offered me a new lease on life that I wished I known earlier.

I guess that's why I'm sharing this all with you. How do you think Yes Days would work for you? Are you going to try it?

2 comments:

  1. I am autistic and the mother of two special needs children - one of whom is autistic (getting ready to graduate from high school). Nine years ago after some very horrible happenings in my life, I became a single mother again and decided to have a "yes" hour every day to exercise and get my health back in shape. It's not always a continuous hour - but adds up to that. I took it after the kids were fed. I put on my headphones, got on the exercise bike and let them watch TV or play computer games. I haven't always gotten my yes hour, and sometimes I had to try really hard and sneak it in at different times. But I have never felt younger or better in my life, and I'm getting ready to turn 50! My kids respect it and are proud of me for making sure I stick around for them. It also does wonders for my mood and helps me release tensions from the day - has even saved me from a few melt/shutdowns when I can beat the heck out of my punching bag! And if I'm under the weather, the yes hour is filled with doing a puzzle or something low key instead. So you go, girl! Like they say "if Mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy"!

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    Replies
    1. Yes, you get it! It's a great example to set for our kids, too. They see us exercising, and taking care of ourselves and will learn to do the same, hopefully.

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