As busy moms, we spend a lot of our time and energy showing love and being attentive to others, especially our family. While this can be a wonderful thing, often times we tend to lose ourselves in the midst of our full schedules and with life simply demanding our attention a thousand different ways. However, instead of putting yourself on the back burner (yet again) I challenge you to take care of yourself and show yourself some love- in a way that works for you!
Self-care is simply the act of caring for yourself- mentally, spiritually, physically, and emotionally. It doesn’t have to cost money or even take a lot of planning. It really is a way you can show yourself some love and how that love looks is totally up to you.
Most times when we think of self care, we think of taking a long vacation, or going on a shopping spree, or a day at the spa and other seemingly lavish indulgences. Although, those activities definitely fall into the self-care category, those are only a few of the many ways to practice self-care.
The key is accepting the fact that Self-care looks different for everybody! There is no one size fits all! Just because all the moms from the neighborhood are doing something or there’s a new trend promoted on social media does not mean you have to… It may not even work for you. Why? Because your experience in motherhood, life, career, relationships, health, spirituality, and an array of other factors - are unique to YOU.
Now, this doesn’t mean that you can’t get some great ideas and even find something you clearly enjoy from other sources. However, the focus should always be on what works for you, your lifestyle, your time and your resources.
When creating a personalized approach to self-care, there are 6 key steps to consider and get started.
1. First, consider the many facets of your life. Seriously take the time the think about what makes you feel happy. What tasks or activities bring you peace? What could you do that would make you feel fulfilled on this #MomLife journey? What have you done in the past that left you feeling energized?
Make a list of those things first to see what you come up with.
2. Think of something you want to try. Finding a new hobby or finally checking something off your bucket list is another way to include self care and personalize it to fit your needs. It’s also a great way to have consistent set aside time where you are focusing completely on you. It could be as simple as taking up a knitting class, joining a local book club or as big as zip lining in Columbia.
3. Then consider your time. Planning is a great way to make sure you include time to show yourself some TLC without feeling guilty. I’ve often heard the sentiment “I don’t have enough time for self-care.” or “I can’t add another thing on my to-do list.” Trust me, I’ve been there and have actually said those things myself. However, once I looked over my planner, I found pockets of time where I could have some self-care. Sometimes, it may only be 10 minutes in the morning or before you go to bed. It may be your lunch break during the work week or a rest day on the weekend. Keeping the lists in mind that you made earlier, categorize the things you can do daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly and put them in your calendar.
4. Have a look at your budget. Organizing your finances is a self-care task in itself. Knowing your budget and what funds you have available to do things for yourself, can give you peace of mind. This will also help you plan in advance for these expenses, so you don’t feel guilty while you’re getting takeout or relaxing with a manicure. Keeping in mind, your self-care does not have to cost anything at all!
5. Know what resources you already have available. This will make starting and maintaining your journey less intimidating once you realize you already have much of what you need to make it happen. Whether this is cash, a friend or family member that can babysit for you, a space in your home you can make your own, local mom groups, free events, etc. It’s great when you can look at what you already have around you.
6. Do what you can. While many suggestions and ideas look and sound great, don’t feel pressured to do everything that you read or see another mom doing. Really take the time to find what fuels you and makes you feel good. Plan your self-care activities based on your schedule, your goals, and ultimately how you want to feel each day.
Self-care is a great practice to include in your everyday life and one of the easiest ways to practice expressing love To You, For you and By You. It’s great because you don’t need permission from anyone else nor do you have to wait for someone else to fill up your “love mug.” The key is to personalize it and make it simple and easy, so that it fits your lifestyle and #MomLife goals.
How will your personalized self-care plan look? What tasks will you include? Join a group of busy moms just like you who are also personalizing their self-care. It would be great to share and support each other as we are all on this journey to taking care of ourselves, while talking care of our families.