Beyond Bubble Baths: True Self-Care
Everyone knows about 'self-care', but lately I've been challenging that notion myself with what it means to truly love and take care of yourself. Sure, a bubble bath is nice, and so is a day at the spa, so I will never turn that down, but it's more than that. Self-care is doing the things that will help you thrive and be well, so you can be a good parent, a good spouse, an employee, a friend etc.
It's caring about your health, your wellness, and your ability to keep up with your life and not feel exhausted or depleted all the time. What if you saw these things as an investment, in your health but also your future, and your ability to be around, chase your kids, dance with your partner, go for a hike, and experience life the way it's intended?
Here are my new rules for self-care:
It cannot be a nice-to-have, it is a non-negotiable.
It must be PROACTIVE, not reactive.
Real self-care is about rolling up your sleeves and doing the real work that nourishes your body, mind, and soul.
It makes you healthy, strong, and happy to show up in your life.
Ok, great, what does that mean?
Showing Up for Yourself:
Start with just acknowledging what it is that you actually need to thrive, when was the last time you did that? This can then look like setting boundaries, saying no when needed, and proactively carving out time for activities that bring you genuine joy.
Movement for Empowerment:
We are all busy, and I won't give you that "we all have the same 24-hour BS" because we do not but I cannot stress the benefits of exercise enough. Getting movement into your routine is a powerful form of self-care. Exercise not only contributes to physical health but also releases endorphins, reducing stress and boosting your mood. Pick something you enjoy, can make work, and are likely to stick with- I don't care what it is.
Nutrition for Nourishment:
As a mom, it's easy to prioritize your child's nutrition over your own. True self-care involves recognizing the importance of nourishing your body with wholesome, balanced meals in whatever way works for you and your family. Aim for nutrient-dense foods that provide sustained energy, helping you navigate the demands of motherhood with vitality.
Mindful Moments amid the Chaos:
Obviously, a bubble bath and 30-minute zen-like meditation ain't happening for most of us on the daily, but incorporating small, mindful moments into your routine can be equally rejuvenating. Take a few minutes for deep breathing, savoring a cup of tea, or simply enjoying the stillness before the day.
Knock if off with the all or nothing mentality, that is getting you nowhere. A 10-minute walk is better than no activity. A 5-minute meditation while making your coffee is better than nothing. Throwing some extra veggies into a smoothie or choosing nuts on occasion is better than giving up.
If you're reading this and you're thinking, 'yah, but I'm too busy to make any of that happen', I challenge you to consider how your life would improve if you just implemented ONE of these things. Would you regret it? Would your life be worse? Would everything fall apart if you went for a 10-minute walk or took 15 extra minutes to make yourself a fulfilling meal? NO. What could happen though?
Self-care isn't about conforming to external expectations of relaxation and pampering. It's a dynamic, holistic approach that involves showing up for yourself, prioritizing your physical and mental well-being, and embracing the imperfections that come with the beautiful chaos of motherhood. So, let's redefine self-care for moms everywhere – it's not just about the baths and face masks; it's about the daily commitment to nurturing the incredible woman you are.