Recently, I wrote about self-care for moms with PMDD. And I totally stand by everything I shared with you in that post… but some of the struggles I’ve faced over the past few weeks have made me consider a different, less discussed side of self-care.
When I think of self-care I think of soaking in detox baths, cancelling plans if I’m exhausted, and resting in the coziest robe I can find for as long as I feel my body needs it. These are all super important, even necessary things.
I’ve realized, though, that sometimes self-care looks a little different.
Sometimes, self-care is persevering. Making the deliberate choice to get out of bed and face the things.
All the hard things.
The work deadline.
The homeschool curriculum.
The sticky floors that need mopping.
The toilets that need scrubbing.
The children that keep whining.
Google defines persevering as “continuing in a course of action even in the face of difficulty.”
For many of us women with PMDD, it’s what we do every single day. And it’s something we need to keep doing. Intentionally.
In our family, we have a saying that I like to repeat when someone is having a hard time staying the course. It’s simple but powerful –
We do hard things.
When we know our body needs the endorphins produced by exercise, but we’d rather just keep sleeping…
We do the hard thing and get out of bed.
When the new math concept looks overwhelming so we’d rather just shut the book and move on to another subject…
We do the hard thing and conquer the assignment.
When we committed to extracurricular activities but we’d rather just stay home and relax…
We do the hard thing and show up.
Not always, but often. We have to persevere.
While becoming more intentional about persevering through the difficult days, I started making a mental list of the benefits of perseverance.
Why is this self-care? How am I helping myself by persevering? What am I gaining through doing the hard things?
Three words keep ringing in my head:
Having courage in pain or adversity, that’s fortitude. And for us women with PMDD, we can easily recognize the need for fortitude and courage. The more often we have this type of courage, the easier it is to use it. Persevering builds fortitude and helps us face the next hard thing that comes our way.
Often, when we choose to persevere, we find ourselves staring into the face of accomplishment! Successfully doing the hard thing we didn’t think we could do is a great feeling… it boosts our self-confidence. With self-confidence, we begin to view ourselves through the lens of self-love, knowing we are able to persevere and succeed.
We aren’t always going to succeed in doing the hard thing, though. In times of failure, having persevered allows us to look in the mirror and offer ourselves a greater amount of mercy. It quiets the negative self-banter and replaces it with words of hope. “You did it; you tried! You persevered and you gave it your all. Don’t worry, you’ll get it next time, beautiful. You are awesome!”
Let’s be friends!
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