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What is self-care? Self-care is anything that benefits you. We can not allow our busy lives to distract or abandon the part of us that matters the most, our bodies and our minds. Over the years I have learned to narrow my self-care habits down to three main categories. I have figured out the things I can do for myself that fit into my lifestyle and make me feel at ease and whole.
Don’t get me wrong I love my family and though they make me feel whole, there’s always that little bit of need to make time for something that is just for me! The main three categories that I have done my best to implement into my life boils down to; mind stimulation, movement, and pampering. I know for busy moms, or people with fulltime jobs or people with disabilities that these things are easier said then done. But nothing is impossible! I have learned that self-care is not something that just happens, It needs to be initiated and sometimes planned.
After becoming a mon, life became hectic with so many responsibilities, I could not figure out a way to separate myself from caring for my son and my hubby and my house duties to caring for myself. I found that mind stimulation was my first outlet to making my soul happy.
I had so many questions and google would only get me but so far. I yearned for deep answers, I couldn’t turn t o anyone close to me. Some people just didn’t get it, or would just laugh. But there were answers that were far more complex then a google search. I wanted to learn and read how others dealt with life and the pressure of doing it “right”. The truth is there is no right way to live life. What is right for me may not be right for you. That is when the search began. What is the right way for me? What motivates me? Reading self-help books and feeding my mind daily with positive affirmations and quotes became a norm. I couldn’t go to bed with out reading, or learning something new. It felt refreshing and different. I was reading and learning a new way to think, I wrote a post about how to re-wire your brain. But what intrigued me the most was that not one person in my circle practiced or shared these new motivated ideas with me. Learning from scratch (story of my life). I am usually self taught, give me a few guidelines to follow, and I just run with it. There is power behind these books, you must be willing and open to learn something new.
Prayer is something that has always been a part of my life. Everyone is different, but I feel that you should have a connection with some sort of spiritual source. Prayer allows me to release every night and morning my gratitude toward what I have in my life. Every night I thank God for allowing me to have an amazing day, even if it was a challenging one, at least I lived it. Every morning I thank God for allowing me another chance to make things better then yesterday. Before you sit down and ask God or your spiritual energy for anything new, remember to be thankful for all that you have today.
I mentioned in another post how I feel about prayer and meditation, and how to me it goes hand in hand. Prayer is a way for me to talk to God and when I meditate and sit in silence is the way I listen to his response, to the energy that I allow around me. In order to meditate in peace I have to be in total silence, or headphones with some soothing sounds. There’s something special that happens when you hit that point of mindfulness. I can literally feel my body lighter, it feels like I’m floating. And just for those few minutes I am here but not here at the same time. If that makes any sense, it’s truly a magical moment.
We all know exercise is very important for your health and body. Find what feels good to you. Movement can be many different things. It can be a walk, a run, dancing, gym, yoga or anything that gets your heart rate going.
I have always enjoyed music and dancing. It’s a form of expressing yourself with no words. It’s fun and I know when I turn the radio on in my house my little one comes running out. It is something we both enjoy and more when we do it together. Maybe you can’t make it to the gym or don’t want to go outside because you have the kids. There is always a way. Turn the radio on give yourself and your kids some cardio time, let the blood flow and heart rate speed up, but most importantly laugh and enjoy these moments.
I have made time and intentionally wake up before my son to do yoga and meditate. I give myself 15-20 minutes, and it is a great boost to start my day. Movement and exercise doesn’t always have to be such a burden.
Making time for yourself is not selfish act. I use to do my hair and nails every two weeks! Without fail. Once I had my son, that changed. I remember I would be so stressed looking at my hair and nails being a mess. I had to learn how to make time for that stuff. Just because I am mom with a full time job and with so many other responsibilities, did not mean I had to let myself go. I was a priority too, and so are you.
Mani & Pedi
My first goal was to figure out a way to incorporate my favorite way to slef-care, mani and pedi. Doing this during lunch time at work, was a good fit for me. I would usually do it on Fridays and made sure to bring lunch those days. I take the hour to pamper myself. That day I will have quick lunch and eat at my desk. It was a small sacrifice but to me it was worth it.
Another of my favortie pampering self-care, is deep conditioning and setting my hair. I learned to do my own hair. I deep condition, wash and set my own hair and it is such a relieving feeling! It smells great, feels lighter and shinier and overall is like a fresh start. The truth is when you go to the salon is much easier, you let someone do all these things for you! And if you have the money and time, by all means do it! You deserve it!
A little Shopping never hurts
Clothes! There is power in clothing. When you look nice you feel good! Your day is better and brighter. Now I am not saying go out shopping all the time. But make time for it, even if you go a buy a nice shirt. Take some time to do this alone too, or maybe with a friend. Shopping with kids is NOT easy. If you can’t get a sitter, put the kids to bed early, get you a glass a wine and browse on-line or take a quite bath. The purpose of pampering is to do something for you, at your time, under your conditions. Recharge and relax!
Make the time for you. Your sanity is just as important, you want to be able to provide your family the best version of yourself. Most of the above can be done with just 20 minutes of your time. So keep in mind that the kids will be fine, the hubby will adjust, the chores will get done, and your body and soul will be forever grateful.
“You have to nourish to flourish”