“Who is she?” you ask yourself when you look into the mirror. The tiredness is vividly apparent on your face now. Your muscles feel sore from the lack of sleep. Your brain hurts from thinking about your to-do-list. The last time you looked after your own needs seems like ages ago. You can’t hide it anymore. You’re beat. But there’s a bigger problem: you’re too beat to be a good wife.
More than any other person in the house, the wife has the power to set the tone in the home. Through her cheerfulness and upbeat nature, she fosters an atmosphere where encouragement, laughter, discipline, hard work, fun, love and grace all flow together in harmony. But HOW can you do that when you’re so exhausted?
You need to feel refreshed to be a good wife. You need to be in control of your emotions to be a good wife. Yet, when you keep going and going, you start getting into this state of perpetual anxiety, and it reaches a point where you feel so burnt out that it’s a war within yourself to give more. Once you’re energy storage is depleted, your good wife battery is undoubtedly going to die.
NEWSFLASH: This is when a lot of finger pointing and arguing sneak into the marriage.
You tell yourself that you’re upset at your husband for what he did, but honestly, you’re on your last fuse, so everything and everyone ends up annoying you. Admit it. You’re just rundown. You’re like a car trying to run on fumes.
Want the TayyibaatWives’ solution?
Aim to get in fifteen minutes of daily self-care.
Whenever I say this to women, some of them shoot back at me, “I already take my vitamins.” That’s NOT the self-care that I am talking about. That’s more like self-maintenance.
Self-care is about doing something that you love to do and it makes you happy when you do it, every single day. Because when you do what makes you happy, you feel relaxed, and then you have more energy to devote to others. The Prophet (Allah bless him and give him peace) said, “Verily your body has a right over you.” (Bukhari) You’re not a robot. In order to feel young and alive, you need to give yourself a break by doing something that brings you joy.
Since time is a big obstacle today for women, some feel like fitting in self-care is just another thing to put on their to-do list, but it’s not – it’s actually what you need so that you keep moving. When a woman participates in activities that she enjoys, she releases oxytocin (the ‘love’ hormone) and it raises her energy levels. Read about the evidence for it HERE by a MALE relationship expert who explains a woman’s dire need for daily self-care.
How do I start?
Make a list of ten things that you love to do and it makes you feel happy when you do it. Hang up the list where you can see it, and do one of those activities for fifteen minutes a day. It does not have to be something big either! The sweetness is in the small and simple things.
Examples of Self-Care
Catching up with you girlfriends
Reading a few pages in a book
Watching the clouds in the sky
Having a cup of your favorite tea
Getting a massage
Taking a stroll
Isn’t it selfish?
Our deen actively encourages us to have moments of relaxation (tarweeh) in order to revitalize ourselves so that we can carry out more worship for the sake of Allah. Being a wife and a mother is worship. If what you’re doing causes you to neglect your religious duties, then it is wrong, but by merely practicing fifteen minutes a day, inshaAllah this will not happen.
I don’t have the time!
Self-care doesn’t have to take hours. You only need to do fifteen minutes a day inshaAllah. If you do not have fifteen minutes to spare, then break it up into three chunks of five minutes. If you still cannot spare even that, then infuse it into your day, like when you’re driving to work or cooking, listen to something you enjoy. Try our audios.
How do I fit it in with so many children?
It may be helpful to designate a self-care time. Several mothers have told me that the best time is when their kids are asleep at night. Otherwise, find activities that you can do as you move throughout your day, like when you’re watching your small children play, try to find something that you can also do during that time; maybe sewing, reading a book, or having a cup of tea. Please realize that if you have several children, you probably will not be able to do the activities that you used to do when you were single or when you did not have kids. However, that doesn’t mean that you cannot practice self-care; it just means that what you do for self-care will change into what’s possible for your current circumstances.
I don’t have the money.
Self-care does not have to involve spending money. For example, spending time at the community park, reading a book, or calling your friends is free.
I did it and it didn’t work.
That’s probably because you weren’t present with yourself when doing it. Many times we’re cruising through life and our minds are not focused on what we’re actually doing. When we try to practice self-care, we resort to the same mechanism. The solution for this is to pause, clear your mind as best as possible, and make an intention to do self-care before you engage in your activity. By merely stopping your flow and reminding yourself of what you’re doing, you stimulate positive emotions and this makes you prepared to enjoy it inshaAllah, which is the whole point of practicing self-care!
Men are attracted to a woman with a smile and a woman who has the capacity to enjoy life. By practicing daily self-care, you naturally feel lighter, younger, and more beautiful. Don’t underestimate what it can do to motivate you to be a good wife or relieve the tension in your marriage inshaAllah.
© TayyibaatWives, 2016