We hope you checked out our blog last week and have started thinking about what truly matters to you and what you want to start (or continue) prioritizing in your life. Hopefully, one of those top priorities is YOU. If not, we’re officially adding YOU to your list. Yes, we can do that. Self-care is a big buzz word right now and you probably hear about it all the time. Like many things, however, the idea of self-care has become yet another thing to strive for that we never get quite “right.”
When we hear the phrase “self-care” what often springs to mind are things like getting massages and pedicures, having a day at the spa, or having a girls’ night. Now, those things all sound wonderful and if you can do them, go for it. But what if we told that you can do all those things and still not truly be practicing self-care? Shocking, I know. There are plenty of people who get weekly pedicures and still feel empty, tired, resentful, and spent.
Self-care is not just about doing nice things for yourself. It’s about having and acting on a belief that your needs are important and that you deserve to take care of yourself. True self-care is not about blowing off responsibilities and doing whatever you want to do. It’s also not about selfishness. Let me say that again. Self-care is not the same as being selfish. It’s about filling yourself up so that you are able to do all the things you need and want to do in life. Healthy self-care actually allows you to take better care of other people.
Still not convinced? Ok, let’s think about it from this angle. Part of your job as a parent is to teach your kids how to take care of themselves. Children learn way more from watching us than from listening to us. You cannot just tell them that self-care is important. You need to model healthy self-care for them. If your kids see you taking care of yourself, they will learn that it is important for them to take care of themselves. If your children see you running yourself into the ground, putting everyone else first, and neglecting your own needs, they will learn that to show love to others, they have to do things at the expense of their own health and well-being.
One comment we get from moms all the time is that they don’t have time for self-care. That’s based on the idea that self-care requires a lot of time, money, or effort. Guess what? True self-care does not require all of those things. Really, it requires that you set an intention to be kind to yourself and take time for yourself.
Now, let’s talk about the time required. True self-care does not have to take a lot of time, and it can be combined with things you do already. Things like making healthy food choices, meditating for five minutes while you take a shower, and listening to what you want to listen to in the car for a change are all ways of taking care of yourself. There are many ways to decompress and refill your cup. The key is that self-care has to fit into your life and involve things you actually want to do.
Also, you can use your powers for you – use your special talents to do nice things for yourself, not just for other people. It's great to give gifts, but don't you like receiving them? Give gifts to yourself. If you like baking, bake something for yourself. If you make jewelry, make yourself a nice bracelet or pair of earrings. That gives you some time to yourself andyou get to give yourself a gift. People might call you selfish (including yourself), but self-care in whatever form you can find it, is the opposite of selfish. It’s a vital part of being a healthy human being. And, above all else, you’re a human being. Start treating yourself like one.
At this point, you might be having trouble coming up with ideas for how to include self-care in your routine. Well, we can help. Download our free printable, Taking Care of Me. We’ve included some ideas for self-care. Yes, things like pedicures and massages are on there, but so are other things like reading/listening to a good book and sitting outside for a few minutes. We also included a guide to help you create your own self-care plan. Remember, we want this to be as easy as possible. So, download our guide and start taking care of you!
Feel free to peruse our blog and see what Sarah and Lisa had to say about topics related to your needs as a busy parent. We will talk about everything from parenting values, to life hacks, to realistic self-care.