Tuesday, February 21, 2012

I'm giving up stress for Lent

I'm a confession regular. As a Catholic, I never really thought of confession as a burdensome requirement. For me, it's free therapy.

Yesterday, a dear priest and friend heard me recite my standard list of sins which always seems to include being "short" with my family. I figured for Lent I would give up yelling and losing my temper. Sounded easy enough, until my trusted confidant reminded me that if it was that easy I would've done it long ago. I had to get to the root of WHY I am losing my cool so easily.

Stress. Taking on too much. Not making time for myself.

What?! "Making time for myself"? Where does the Bible say I get to do that? I thought my job as a mother and wife and a good Catholic revolved around self sacrafice and unconditional giving.

Then he reminded me of the many times that Christ went away to pray....and be alone. He allowed me to accept that I have nothing to offer if my own well is empty. What good am I to my family if I am physically present but mentally spent? I need to give myself permission to make my well being a priority for the benefit of them.

The other problem is that I've never been very good at stress relief. I have one gear: overdrive. There is only one activity I have ever found that I enjoy, is relaxing and that I have not turned into an obsession. Yoga.

Yes, yoga is going to cost money (need to adjust that budget already). Yes, it will eat into the free time I otherwise would've spent with my kids (yelling at them to clean up their room). However, despite all the reasons not to do it, my husband's "yes" seemed a little too enthusiastic when I suggested it.

While it may hardly sound like a sacrafice, this Lent I will be the lotus, warrior and downward facing dog that my family deserves.

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