Welcome to day 18 of this year’s A to Z Challenge! I wrote about why I chose ‘Self Care’ as my theme for the challenge and I’m really enjoying writing about it during April. Today’s letter is ‘R’ so my self care word is ‘Rest’.

I’m two days overdue so I need a mixture of activity and rest; keeping active could help with going into (and staying in) labour, whilst rest will help me preserve energy and make the most of any quiet moments I get before life gets a whole load more hectic!

Irrespective of pregnancy, rest is really important in self care because no matter how busy life is your body and mind will never be able to fully keep up with the pace if you never give them a break. Back in my early twenties I would work 70+ hours of shifts a week in a very high pressure job and, living alone and being single, I would often go out with friends in order to have company outside of work. I wasn’t a party animal or a big drinker, but working so much and not spending my little amount of spare time relaxing, meant that I reached the point of burn out.

Today I Shouted at My Child; Tempter Tantrums of a One Year Old - www.buddingsmiles.co.uk

Some negative relationships with colleagues, friends and crappy blokes had an impact on my confidence and feeling like I didn’t have any prospects, I pushed myself too far for a couple of years. When I finally had a couple of panic attacks and was on the receiving end of some really nasty behaviour, I realised enough was enough.

A couple of friends needed rooms to rent so they lodged with me and the extra money meant I could take small steps back from working so much. I started saving money where I could and managed a couple of holidays to Portugal and Devon. I rested on those holidays as well as sightseeing, I rested more at home, I started to get better.

It’s no real coincidence that a few months of giving myself some time and regaining some control over my life, I met Phil and felt ready to be in a relationship. I was far from ‘fixed’, but Phil helped me, he supported me and for the first time in my life I was with someone who took me out on real dates as well as wanting to chill out together. As my body rested, so did my mind.

A To Z of Self Care - Rest // Chilling with my gorgeous boy

I’m now happier than I’ve ever been and whilst I still sometimes struggle to remember to rest, I’m better at it and can find ways to relax amongst having a happily busy life.

How do you rest? Let me know in the comments below or get in touch on Facebook or Twitter.