Self – care? What? Time for yourself? Who has the time? Right?
As social media is overflowing with posts about self-care and how important it is for your well being, especially if you are a parent, I decided to dig a little deeper into this topic.
Taking good care of yourself is important and necessary, but why?
- Maintain healthy relationship with yourself
- being more productive
- being more optimistic
- being healthier
- being less anxious
What Is Self Care?
It’s easier to say what it’s not. It’s not a one fits all routine. It’s not binge eating a whole carton of ice-cream in front of TV, or having wine every night.
“To put it simply – Self -care is an amount of actions you take during a day (or a week, or a month) just for you. To make yourself feel better, more energized, inspired and optimistic.”
To be really honest with you – the all glamorous SPA-day for one, sounds like a torture to me. I’m just too active to sit in one place whole day, even when getting pampered. I barely can sit 3 hours at hairdressers to get my hair done! So SPA day just would make me more anxious than relaxed. That means spa day is not a self-care for me, maybe a 3 hour massage and nice body wrap, but not the whole day.
There is no one-fits-all routine, as we are all individual, our routines should be different too.
There Are 5 Types Of Self-Care:
- Physical – That’s your exercising, drinking water, healthy eating, sleeping habits
- Mental – That’s keeping your mind active, learning, hobbies, following your passion
- Spiritual – That’s beliefs, meditation, prayers, life purpose
- Social – That’s your relationships with friends, family, spouse
- Emotional – that’s how you deal with your negative emotions, friend, life coach, healthy boundaries with family and friends.
Why Do You Need Self – Care?
Most of us, moms, out there, are used to give, give, give, turn around and give a bit more. We give our time, our love, our advice, our knowledge, our energy. But energy is not something constant – you need to recharge your batteries to be able to give more and not burn out. If you don’t want to do it for yourself, do it for your kids! They deserve to have a happy loving, energetic mommy, not a cranky, exhausted one!
How To Find Time?
At the beginning, when I just was getting familiar to this self-care thing, I was complaining a lot. I’m a working homeschooling mom of 3. That takes a lot of your time. Ok, I’m not working every single day, but there is still cooking, cleaning etc. But I realized that after two years of homeschooling, I have run out of energy and inspiration, I was often unhappy and even anxious.
My first step was having a cup of coffee in the morning just by myself. I take good 20 minutes, drinking my coffee outside, listening to some meditation, planning out my day, setting the main goal for the day. This makes me more grounded, and gives a sense of accomplishment, when I have done my goal. (That’s my spiritual one)
Then I added a at home workout. I don’t have time to book a babysitter, drive to gym, workout, come back – this all just takes up too much of my time (maybe when my kids are older I’ll do that, but not now) Thanks to this way of thinking I started to pile on kg on top of my baby-weight, and that made me miserable. Now I use 15-45 you tube fitness videos – walking or yoga, or bodyweight training – depending on how I feel that day. Even if this is not a time I spend alone – sometimes I do this with my oldest boys, sometimes, my little one jumps on my yoga mat at first opportunity, but it still is something I do for myself. To make me feel more energized and to gain my healthy weight back. (That’s physical one)
My third step was afternoon coffee outside soaking up the sun in our garden, or going for a walk if it’s not that sunny. This is usually my transition from being a teacher to being mother. I gather my thoughts and figure out my action plan for the day.
Then there is a hot bath after kids have gone to bed (physical one), and/or reading in bed before sleep (mental one).
Guided meditation or a prayer at night (again emotional one)
This doesn’t take much time but it keeps me sane and feeling good! You can see that I’m doing something to take care of myself all day long so I can be a kind and happy person again!
The social self-care is not happening on daily basis, I guess, but I make sure to find time for a family walk every Sunday, for a date with my husband at least once a month, reaching out to a friend, going to movie with my kid etc.
Just remember that self-care is something that’s good for you in long run, not just for a moment. That’s why glass of wine every night is not a self – care, because it harms more than helps your body in a long run. Don’t use name “self-care” to encourage negative or harmful behavior in your life.
What Self-Care Is Not?
- binge drinking
- binge eating
- binge watching tv
- high adrenalin activities
These all seam to work when we need to blow off steam or numb our feelings, but that’s not something you should be doing on a daily basis.
So if you ask me, if I see any benefits of self-care? My, answer is – Yes! I am happier, healthier, calmer, and more pleasant to be around (for myself too) than I was a year ago.
Try it! Start out small. Wake up 30 min earlier to find some time for yourself ! You’ll like it, I promise!
Just remember that changing your behavior is a bit tricky, so don’t give up after 2 weeks, reach out if you need help!