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“No, I can’t read with you for five more minutes!”

I remember a few years ago, I completely lost it at my son when he asked me to read with him at bedtime. It is still one of my biggest regrets.

I was putting my kids to bed, and they just wanted 5 more minutes of my time. It takes so much energy to juggle three kids. And work. And my parents. And my marriage. And doctor appointments, grocery shopping, PTA meetings, and sports.

And at the end of that very long day, while trying to get the littlest one to sleep, the middle one asked me to read to him for 5 more minutes and I just had no energy left to give.

It was like there was no gas left in the tank. So I said no to my son.

And I felt so bad that it kept me up most of the night.

I was just so busy, stressed, doing things for other people, and I ended up depleted, exhausted, and snapping at everyone around me.

I wasn't my best self, though I wanted to be - for my husband, my kids, and especially myself.

I just wished I could get my energy back, to appreciate my life and feel happier.

And even though I was teaching mind-body skills to my patients, I somehow completely forgot to practice them for myself.

So I went back and reviewed everything I’d been teaching. I reminded myself that I needed to practice, so I could start my day feeling energetic, and tap back into that energy throughout the day.

I might still feel tired when I put my kids to bed now, but now I’m not emotionally drained, and I can say “Yes” to that extra 5 minutes of story time with my kids.

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