If you’re thinking, “Self-care sounds like a therapy word,” You Are Right! It’s a fancy, not-so-fancy way to say TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF.
As humans, yes, we need this.
As human mothers, we need this all the more. And the more we have going on in our lives, the more we need to pay special attention to filling our own cups!
It’s not always easy, and it’s quite the process to nail down the specifics, but if you don’t have a satisfying self-care routine, dig deep and get to it! Not sure where to start?
Here’s a look at my self-care journey.
When I’m not diligently practicing self-care, (*in varying degrees depending on how long my stretch is) I:
- Isolate: Not in the physical sense, because who has time for that! Full-time job, husband, 2 year old, family, friends! Oh no no no….I hide away inside and bring my relationships to the surface. It’s a slow, almost-unnoticeable progression, but it happens.
- Make poor decisions: I get lazy. Instead of practicing any sort of discipline, I do the bare minimum. I keep up my house, sort of. I keep the laundry going, just so I can binge on Netflix. I go to work, I cook, I play with Josie…but not in the fully-living way that we all deserve.
- Play a dangerous game of chicken with depression: I’m prone to depression. Sometimes I can see it coming at a distance, which is a scary gift. If you’ve ever lived in the trenches with depression, you get what I mean by scary. But a gift because I know I’ve got time to take steps to get healthy.
When I AM diligently practicing self-care, I:
- Work out consistently: Nothing like a good sweat and some trusty endorphins to make me feel empowered, accomplished, and disciplined. (Edit for pregnancy: let myself not work out because I can’t even get up the stairs or have an exciting conversation without losing breath and sweating profusely…oh the joys!)
- Make healthy food choices: Can’t ruin my morning work out! (Edit for pregnancy: chocolate and dairy, in as many combinations as humanly possible. The end.)
- Am Transparent: I’m back to storytelling and wearing my heart on my sleeve.
- Look for joy: Sometimes, I know just where to find it. Other times, I’ve got my eyes wide open looking for it in the day to day!
- Take my alone time: If I don’t get alone time, I go nuts. So I take it when I need it, usually before I start getting really cranky.
- Focus on others: Because I’m not busy burying myself, I’m free to send a small gift just because, bake cookies to give away, or enjoy conversations I’d otherwise dismiss. I’m available to love others well.
It’s taken me a while to even get to the place in life where I can put words to all of this stuff. I haven’t always been good at recognizing my times of no-care or plenty-of-care. But I am getting better. My self-care stretches get longer and longer, and the breaks get shorter and shorter!
So every day I’m striving to love myself well, so I can love others well too! Isn’t that kind of the point?
I’d encourage you…take the time to get to know yourself so you can chase down what brings you deep joy and excitement, health and wholeness.