Self Care isn't always excessive pampering; it's not just facials, bath bombs and a nice glass of wine (That being said, I will not oppose to any of that if anybody wants to offer up a spa day, because let's face it: a soak in the tub with a glass of pinot grigio would be pretty well received by most women). What I am meaning to say is that self care is much more simple than that - everybody needs to practice self care at the most basic level...
It's so easy as busy mothers and wives, to put others needs ahead of our own. Don't get me wrong, we need to give our children the attention they need, and we need to nurture our relationships, and care for those who can't care for themselves; what we don't need to do, is forget about our own needs. It's important to take care of ourselves in order to care for others too.
I'm not saying you need to cancel your day with the kids to pamper yourself, I'm saying that you need to give yourself the basic love and attention you need to stay healthy, mentally, physically, and emotionally; and you need to make the time to do so.
Wake up twenty minutes early to enjoy a few minutes of peace; meditate, pray, read, do yoga, or just enjoy a few moments of silence with a hot cup of coffee. Find a minute in the afternoon to take a deep breath and check-in with yourself before you start making dinner. There are over fourteen hundred minutes in a day, and yes, you need to sleep for some of those, but for the other thousand minutes, be wise to how you spend them. When you give other people your attention, give them your full attention, and likewise, when you take time for yourself, give yourself all of your attention. You deserve your own love and focus more than anybody else.
Here are a few simple ways I practice self care everyday:
- I enjoy a cup of coffee in silence every morning.
- I practice yoga every evening.
- I exercise daily.
- I write in my journal before bed.
- I shower everyday.
- I start and end everyday by washing my face.
That sounds like a lot, and two years ago, I'm sure I would have said something like "how could I ever make time for all of that and raise two kids at the same time?" or "that's just unrealistic." But here is the thing: I make time for myself everyday, and I don't feel bad about it, because once I have given myself the attention that I need, I can focus 100% of my attention to anybody who needs it for the rest of the day.
Sometimes (most of the time) my kids wake up before I do in the morning, so I enjoy my coffee quietly while they watch a show or eat their breakfast. I either workout while my kids are at preschool, or take advantage of the childcare program at my gym. I shower at the gym during the week so I don't have an excuse to skip a shower any day, and washing my face is a habit I had to teach myself to incorporate into my toothbrushing routine. It didn't all happen at once, but little by little, I made a point of making self care a part of my daily routine, and I firmly believe that you should too.