Happy Evolution! Self-care is a great practice to include in your everyday life, however, most times when we think of self care, we think of taking a vacation, or going on a shopping spree, or a day at the spa and other other seemingly lavish indulgences. Although, those activities definitely fall into the self-care category - they are only a few of the many ways to take care of yourself.
When starting on your daily self-care journey, you must remember that self-care looks different for everybody and there is no one size fits all! Just because all the moms from the local FB group are doing something, does not mean you have to… It may not even work for you. Why? Because your experience in motherhood, life, career, relationships, health, spiritual, etc. 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 various sources, including this one. However, the focus should always be on what works for you, your lifestyle, your time and your resources.
Here are the steps to creating a self-care plan tailored to YOU, your lifestyle and the life you want to have.
1. Make a personalized list.
Consider the many facets of your life. What things make you feel happy? Peaceful? Fulfilled? Energized? Make a list of those things first to see what you come up with. This is the beginning our your personal self-care blueprint.
Next, think of some activities, foods, places to go and other things you want to try. This can be as simple as a scheduled nap time or as big as zip lining in the rain forest! Add those to your list as well.
Now, looking at your list categorize the things you can do daily, weekly, monthly, or yearly. Your self-care list is great place to start when creating a plan for taking care of YOU daily.
2. Consider your time.
Only you know how the days and your time flows in your daily life... the appointments, work hours, children's activities, etc. Take a good look at your calendar, if you don't have one, this would be a great time to start one, so you can schedule your time and have a handle on your days. It will also give you a better idea of your availability to focus on your self-care tasks.
Once you have an idea of the available time frames, use your list to put your self-care in your schedule! Yes, I know that may sound a little outlandish, but as a busy mom juggling so many things for our homes, jobs, and families, its very easy to overlook time for ourselves if it's not intentionally put in our schedule.
Personally, I use this exact process and I keep it simple with an overview of my hourly schedule in my planner. Then I use the Self-Care Calendar, to plan out my week in detail, with one thing to do each day.
3. Know what resources you already have available.
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. This will make starting and maintaining our journey less intimidating once you realize you already have much of what you need to make it happen.
4. Have a look at your budget.
Organizing your finances is a self-care task in itself (read more about that here). Being able to know what you have available financially to do things for yourself, can give you peace of mind and help eliminate the guilt and worry.
For instance, I set aside money for myself every month. It is a part of my budget. I take aside $20 -$30 each pay period, and I put it in my "me fund" envelope. This money is specifically for ME to spend and indulge on myself. So if I want to grab a Chai Latte, Get a manicure, Go to the movies or pick up a cute dress that I want, not need- I don't feel guilty because I planned for it!
5. 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. Self-care is all about taking care of YOU in a way that benefits your overall well being and lifestyle. So if self-care for you means taking a 1-hour retreat to your room just to relax, practice deep breathing and read an inspirational book, then that's what you do. As busy moms, it is more important to take the time to care for ourselves and fill up our tanks. Then we can freely give our time, love and attention to those who need us the most- our family!