Self-care, self-love, me-time. These phrases are ones we hear often. But do you have any idea what that even means? Do you hear yourself saying, “must be nice” when someone talks about taking some time for themselves? We’ve all been there. Some days it feels like there just isn’t any time for you. Some days it feels too expensive, wasteful, or even selfish. But every day, it is necessary.
As a society, we always find the money, the time, the space, and the energy, to make things happen that we really want and need. The most heartbreaking example of this is when a loved one is ill. In your day-to-day life, you don’t have the time or money to visit. But when that person becomes ill, you make the time. You find the money. You find the way and get there. Immediately, this becomes a priority, and we always figure out the way for our priorities. I challenge you to prioritize your health and well-being this month. Sure, life is crazy and busy and overwhelming. But that is even more reason to practice self-care.
Have you ever listened to the speech on the airplane before you take off when the flight attendant tells you that if there is a need for oxygen you should put your mask on and then help those around you? Most parents will say, "No way! I’m helping my kids first." As noble as that is, the truth is that you’re no help to anyone if you are not well. That is why we practice self-care. That is why self-love is so important. I know you want to be the best mom you can be. Not just once in a while, but every day. As good as your intentions may be, there are days when you feel less than your best. Days when you “just don’t have it in you.” By the time you start having those days, your tank is already empty. You don’t just need a small, simple act of self-care at this moment, you need your own oxygen mask. You need to replenish and fill your cup so full that the best of you spills over. The goal of this life is not to give away everything you have to give. Instead, it is to be so full of love, light, happiness, and joy that it radiates from you. This is why self-care isn’t selfish. By practicing self-care you can maintain the best version of yourself. That allows for more patience with your kids and your spouse, for more energy to put into the day, and to be kinder to yourself when things don’t go quite as planned.
Self-care looks different for everyone. It may even look different for you from day to day. I will forever believe that it takes a multitude of modalities to be well, your self-care is included in that. When you’re trying to decide what self-care looks like in your life, I want to caution you about a few things. First, self-care should never hurt you. Consuming alcohol that causes a hangover or sluggishness the next day is not self-care. Working out to the point of physical exhaustion, dehydration, and electrolyte imbalance is not self-care. Having sex with a stranger because you deserve pleasure is not self-care. Self-care should also never keep you from your responsibilities. Consciously being late for work because you wanted to sleep in is not self-care. Not paying your bills because you needed a “me-day” is not self-care. Yes, you can have an adult beverage, yes you can work out, yes you can enjoy physical pleasure, yes you can sleep in, yes you can be unproductive for a day, but you cannot allow those things to impede your health and wellbeing under the guise of “self-care.”
Self-care also does not have to be expensive. It doesn’t have to be a $200+day at the spa. It doesn’t have to be a 3-day kid-free vacation. It doesn’t even have to be a fancy meal. Self-care can be 5 extra minutes in the shower. It can be getting up ten minutes earlier so you can pray or meditate before everyone else wakes up. It can be a little foot massage while you put lotion on your feet after the shower. Maybe it is an extra drive around the block with the windows down listening to the birds and feeling the sunshine. None of these things require a lot of extra time and none of them come with a hefty price tag. You are likely already showering. You are likely pushing the snooze button at least once in the morning (there are 9 minutes of your time). You are likely already putting lotion on. You are likely driving somewhere once a day. I promise you that extra 10 minutes a day will not alter the course of your daily timeline. You can find that 10 minutes somehow-maybe that means 10 minutes less time mindlessly scrolling through your social media? Mmmmhmmm, you know how much time is wasted doing that every day. The goal is to find one small act every day that makes your heart happy. To be present enough in the moment that the mundane parts of your day begin to fill your heart and soul.
Some other self-care activities that you can throw into the rotation when you have a little bit more time include, creating something with your hands, getting a massage, spending time journaling, praying and meditating, maintaining a gratitude journal, getting a pedicure (or doing one at home!), a home face mask, going for a walk, playing with your pets, taking a nap, reading or listening to a book or a podcast, watching your favorite TV show and a million other things. Your options are endless, what you do is totally up to you. As long as your daily activity fills your heart and helps you to find happiness, that is called self-care. It is not selfish, it is a necessity.
If you need help changing your mindset around this or are looking for another way to take care of yourself, get on my schedule!