As a parent, as a mom, I give and give of myself. There is always something to get done, a question to be answered, and some love to give.
If I take 5 minutes for myself, I often feel guilty. Feel guilty because these little people need me and there is always so much to do. Did I mention that already?
From the moment I wake up in the morning until I go to bed, my mind is constantly running. When I’m by myself and given the opportunity for self-care, a thought about the kids or something I need to do at home will pop in my mind.
When I have time for self-care, I feel guilty.
But it is so important.
Self-care is like the drop down mask on an air plane that provides oxygen. If you have ever been on an airplane, yo
u know that before the plane takes off the flight attendants give safety instructions. One part of the safety instructions includes what to do if the air masks drop down from above your seat. The first time I heard them say “put your mask on first then help those around you,” I was confused.
Why wouldn’t you help those around you first?
This is often what moms do. We want to help out everyone around us first without regard to making sure we are mentally and physically healthy to take care of those around us.
Why is self-care important? You have to help yourself before you can help others.
The reality is, we need to put our air mask on first so we are able to better help and care for those around us. We need the oxygen to be able to get the oxygen to those around us. If we don’t take the time to recharge, we aren’t our best selves for our spouse and for our kids.
What does self-care look like? It really comes down to what recharges you. For me, it’s reading a good book. It is sitting in those amazing massage chairs getting a pedicure while drinking an iced coffee. Sometimes walking around Target by myself is just what I need. Other times it is meeting a friend for coffee or a drink. If we lived closer to the ocean it would include walking along the beach at my own pace, in awe of how vast the ocean is, deep in my own thoughts.
How do you implement a self-care routine? Here are 3 steps to take to help you develop a self-care routine.
1. Think about What You Enjoy
Think about what relaxes you. What activities recharge you? I shared some of those activities with you above. I used to love to use my husband’s power tools to build planters. Now most of the time I want to pamper myself.
Knowing what relaxes and recharges you requires an awareness of what you enjoy. If you don’t know what you enjoy, think about the activities you used to do before you were so busy that brought you the most joy. It might be some of those activities or it might be different depending on the season of life you are in.
Make a list of the things you would do if you had all of the time in the world.
2.Talk to your spouse about your need for self-care
Often our spouse does not know when we are drowning. Sit down with your spouse at a time where there are no other distractions and discuss your need for self-care. Discuss their need for self-care.
When you are able to communicate freely your needs and wants it will allow for a healthier you, a healthier marriage, and you being a healthier parent (if you have kids that is).
This step may not pertain to you, and that is ok. The next step is extremely important.
3. Schedule time for Self-Care into your life
Self-care will not happen unless you schedule it into your already busy life. Putting this time into your calendar will give you margin to develop a self-care routine. You could plan time once a month for you and once a month to get together with a friend. You could plan a day for you get away by yourself. The possibilities are endless. For this to happen, you have to make time and schedule it into your calendar. Set an appointment with yourself.
I know for me, if I don’t schedule it, it will not happen.
Pull out your calendar and make it happen.
When I am at the end of my rope and have not taken time for myself, I tend to become annoyed with my spouse more easily and snap at my 3 year old for asking simple 3 year old questions. It is unfair to them, and unfair to me. Understanding the level of self-care you need and how to recharge will lead to a mentally and physically healthier and happier life.
Do you take time for self-care? Let me know below!
Here’s to the Journey!