by Danielle Delorenzo, OTR/L
I had a work trip planned for months to Seattle. This would be the first time that I traveled without my family and the first time ever being away from my son. While booking my tickets at work, I had tears running down my face because I had no idea how I was actually going to get myself there in one emotional piece.
Also, I legit pack for a trip weeks in advance. I have several checklists created to ensure that when traveling, I do not forget to pack the gazillion essential items my anxiety thinks it needs. Not this time.
I flashed back to the Ted Talk I had been listening to about being mindful and breaking bad habits. Only this time, I wanted to switch out bad habits for anxiety responses.
I decided to pack the night before and finished up the next morning. Every time anxiety tried to creep in my brain, I honored its concerns, and moved on with the day.
We were late getting to the airport. One woman made us feel horrible for being late and when anxiety/anger tried to creep in, I honored it, and kept on moving.
We got to the gate with minutes to spare. We were greeted by a lovely lady and man who saw I was a tad overwhelmed. I expressed that we were late because I was giving extra snuggles to my son and that it was the first time I had ever been away from him.
He saw I was traveling with my friend and asked if we would like to sit next to each other. I knew the plane was full and somehow, this amazing man got My (Mimi) and I two seats next to each other. We were the last ones to board the plane and off to Seattle we went.
The flight was perfect. I read a book for a bit, engaged in meaningful conversations, and listened to my favorite tunes.
Once we were flying over Seattle, all I could see was different colored leaves for days. It reminded me of the Pennsylvania rolling hills of oranges, reds, and yellows. Even though I was feeling extremely nervous on the plane about leaving my boys, I stayed with the trees.
I stayed mindful in the moment and reminded myself that I had three days to explore Seattle. I did not want to waste any of that time letting my anxiety dictate my trip. And that is exactly what I did.
When we went to the rental place to pick up our car. I was secretly hoping to get an upgrade and sure enough, we were able to get a luxury-ish SUV. We had not even set foot in Seattle for more than an hour and the stars were already aligning in our favor.
My and I got to visit with friends, explore the city, eat amazing food, and make the most out of our work trip within the short time we had in this beautiful city.
I stepped out of my comfort zone and had three days of Seattle self-care. I was able to facetime with my family and still put my son to bed while showing myself, “Wow, I really can do this!”.
I could feel the new neural connections being formed. I could feel my brain resetting its foundation with each affirmation of honoring my anxiety and then moving on, all without skipping a beat.
This experience changed me, for the better. I began to break the anxious cycle of fear and Motherhood guilt for having much needed “me” time. Self- care is a necessity. It is not something one should feel guilty about, rather, it should be incorporated into everyday routines to ensure you are giving your brain and soul the nourishment it needs to maintain optimal mental health.
Here are some of my favorite Instagram accounts, in no particular order because they are all amazing, that help me stick to my daily affirmations, nourish my soul, and support my rollercoaster of emotions on my journey as a mother:
Sending everyone good vibes for a fun-filled Sunday and Mindful Monday #nourishyoursoul #selfcare #stepoutofyourcomfortzone #sundayfunday #makeitamindfulmonday
Disclaimer: It took a village to make this trip happen. To my hubby, thank you for watching Lukey alone for three days. I love the new hot pink nail polish designs Luke added to the carpet😂 You are amazing. I love you.
My buoy, you are the reason I actually made it on the plane. Your friendship will be cherished by me for life. Cheers to the most organically flowing, much-needed trip, that was filled with a little bit of learning and a whole lot of fun. I love you!
Jen, thank you for always being amazing. Thank you for helping Chris with Luke’s first dentist appointment while I was away. We love you!