Last night I didn’t sleep much. My son woke us up after having a bad dream and it took me a while to get back to sleep after I got him back to bed. Then I woke up at about 4 am to what sounded like gale force winds outside.

I was awake from then on and wracked with anxiety. It was the “old” anxiety that used to deprive me of sleep and rob me of my ability to think rationally. I was anxiety stricken that the rakes and shovels, that my son had removed from the shed last weekend and had never been put away and were lying in the backyard, would be picked up by the wind and slammed into the house. They weren’t.

It was also raining so I was anxiety ridden over the sound of the rain and a fear that my basement would be flooded in the morning. It wasn’t.

The wind was strong enough that it woke my daughter up around 6 am and she came and crawled into bed with us. She wasn’t scared per se, she just arrived and calmly observed that the wind had awakened her and that it was “too loud”.

I’m trying really hard to stay on top of this because this is the slippery slope that I have fallen down too many times in the past.

So, I did something somewhat unheard of for me today.

Today is the kids’ last day of school before the holiday break. After I dropped them off at school I went to the YMCA and walked/ran on the treadmill. After I got home and ate breakfast and took a long hot bubble bath. Then, I took a nap. I woke up two hours later groggy, but feeling a bit better.

Now, I have a quick stop at the grocery store to pick up a couple essentials and then it’s off to get the kids. With 11 days of school vacation ahead of me I want to try to remember that these days don’t have to be about struggling with anxiety. I need to let the worry about nothing go and embrace the time we have together as a family.

I admit, I’m not good at that. I tend to see through the fun to the mess that’s being made; through the laughter to the over-tired children I’ll have on my hands afterwards; through the cuddling to the dinner that I have to go make.

But, right now, what I need is time off. Time with the kids home from school never feels like time off. But I’m going to try to take this moment by moment and enjoy what I can.

Tonight, I’ll take something to help me sleep. I need to kick this off on the right foot and that’s where it’s going to start.

For today self care first will mean being better equipped to care for my loved ones.