This is a repost early last year, but it still applies today!
Last week, my friend Jessi wrote and Instagrammed some about self-care. She heard from lots of women that they wanted to be better at taking care of themselves, but felt guilty taking the time to do so. I hear that, I really do.
Whether you have a full time job, are a student, have a billion kids or none at all, stopping to think about yourself goes against everything we’ve been taught since childhood.
But, it’s still important. It seems counterintuitive, but you are actually more effective at caring for others when your basic (and some not so basic) needs are met. Think of the analogy of securing your oxygen mask first when you’re having mechanical issues on an airplane. You won’t be around very long to help if you can’t breath, so you’d better make sure you’re taken care of first. Then, make yourself useful in caring for those around you.
It’s the same in life. Your body and your spirit are your two tools given to you to care for the world around you. If you aren’t taking care of your tools, they may not work when you need them. So, are you hearing me? It’s really important.
But, I know you’re probably still shaking your head. You don’t have time, or I don’t understand your situation, or you’ve tried to take care of yourself well before and failed. And, I get that. I really really understand.
So, instead of calling it “self-care” I’m going to challenge you to think of it in new terms. I started to really be able to look after myself when I thought about “mothering myself”. I think of how I would care for my own children or how my mother would care for me.
If my boys were overtired and being jerks, I’d encourage them to go take a nap. If they were starting to show signs of being too busy, I’d plan several low-impact, really routine days at home. If they were sick, I’d make sure they were well fed and had rest.
So, when you think of it that way, it’s really simple. Take care of yourself the way a mother would. Be tender, be caring, think ahead, and see the whole picture.
Here are some really easy things I do to “mother myself”:
- Make chores more enjoyable (I buy cleaning products I’m excited to use…things that smell AMAZING!).
- Keep an eye on my energy (eat protein if I’m feeling low, grab a power nap if I can).
- Plan my day with a good rhythm (no reason to feel rushed or confused).
- Make routine tasks enjoyable (I use bath products I love and sprinkle some lavender oil in my shower everyday).
- Make sure I’m presentable when we leave the house (put your best foot forward and feel confident).
- Put myself to bed (make sure I’m getting adequate nightly sleep).
- Make myself a “nest” (when I’m feeling frayed, I’ll make myself a little nest on the couch and rest for the evening).
I’m going to talk about a few more of the ways I care for myself and my family this week. These are the ways I keep sane, rested, and keep the wheels on.
What are some ways you take care of yourself? Do you struggle with the idea of self-care?
I’m teaching an Influence Network class next Monday, January 12 at 9pm about this very subject! I’d LOVE for you to join me! The class is $10, but if you’re an Influence Network member, you can use your monthly class code for a free class!!