On Finding Self-Care

Do you remember the “me time” movement a few years back? My boys were probably toddler age at the time. All over the internet or in the local support groups you would hear about how important it was to have me time…time for yourself. I’m going to be totally honest and say I never jumped on that movement. I did need time to myself, and my days felt crazy and hectic, but that particular concept never fully resonated with me. I realize now it’s because what I really needed was self-care. Now, I’m guessing you may have heard those buzz words.

Self-care, and the idea that we need to take care of ourselves to then be able to be our best for others {family, work, whatever….}, is just a practical and healthy concept. I’ve noticed that many women push themselves until exhaustion….both mental and physical. We don’t stop until we are forced to. We wake up some days wondering, “why am I so exhausted?” never fully realizing that our over scheduled days and long to do list could very well be our worst enemy.

This morning I woke up feeling depleted and realized it was 40 minutes past my normal wake up time. I had to tell myself that it was ok and that I needed rest. I was even trying to tell myself to sleep a little longer. I can do that because I have 13 year olds who can make their own breakfast, get dressed, etc. But what do you do when you have little ones and need rest? I’m not going to pretend that I have some magic solution. Every one of us has a unique situation so there is no one size fits all self-care recipe. I think that is the most important principle of self-care….you have to figure out, through trial and error, what is your best remedy.

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When my twins were little, I was able to limit outside activities, so that’s what I did. We spent many days at home in our pajamas. In fact, most of our home movies will star me in my pjs, no make-up, and hair wild & free. At one point, I enlisted a family member to watch our boys for a couple hours each week just so I could slowly walk around Target. That little child-less Target trip did wonders for my week. So, I guess I was administering self-care without even realizing it.

Jump to today and I think I’ve perfected my unique self-care routine….may I suggest some ideas? But remember the best self-care routine is the one that speaks to YOU, the one that causes you to feel refreshed. Maybe make a list of a few things that quickly come to mind and which bring you joy. That’s what I did to come up with my own routine.

1. “Be still and know that I am God….” Psalm 46:10. I like the New American Standard version… “Cease striving and know that I am God.” For sure this is my number one cure for blah and lifeless days. I will make a cup of tea, sit, pray, read….I will just be still. You may be thinking, “yeah, but she has 13 year olds who aren’t tugging at her…” You’d be surprised. I find the moment I’m still, suddenly husband and boys need me, or want to talk. In those moments I do stop and answer or listen, but then go right back to that quiet moment.
2. Rest. Oh, how I love me some sleep. I’ve read that even a 15 minute nap in the middle of the day can help meet your sleep quota. I’m going to start testing that theory out. Get it when you can is my mantra.
3. Chocolate and tea…or coffee….or whatever floats my boat on that day. I usually add this part of self-care to the “Be still” moment.
4. I listen to encouraging podcasts or read a good book. For me, encouragement or reading and feeling a “me too” moment does wonders for my attitude. It can give me energy and make me feel hopeful. I seek out these things often.
5. A walk. Preferably outside in fresh air. Love the adrenaline boost it gives me.
6. Etc, etc…..

My list goes on. It’s actually pretty long, but as you can see, it’s totally unique to me. And really the things on my list are things you may already do. Sometimes we just need to be reminded that it’s good that we take care of ourselves. You may be thinking, nahh I’m not into books or podcasts. Ohh that reminds me, I forgot music…give me a good song, one I want to sing along with and I get an instant mood boost. The point is, there are so many things we can do, but we often forget to do any of them. If you’re feeling depleted, take a couple moments to scratch out your own list. Hopefully, you’ll see that taking some time to take care of yourself will do wonders…for yourself and also your family.

 

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One thought on “On Finding Self-Care

  1. Pingback: It’s a bright sunshiny day….or not – 5 mamas and a blog

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