What exactly is “self care” any way and who really needs it?
I’ve been hearing over and over from moms that they don’t take time for themselves. Even as I’m hearing that I see articles and hear experts talking about the importance of self care, especially if you feel stress.
I’m getting really confused because everyone “out there” seems to agree that self care is really important and yet many moms are casually stating, even joking about how they don’t take time for themselves. So there’s this huge disconnect from the common knowledge that “self care is good” and the actual experience of self care mothers have.
When I ask moms about taking time for themselves the responses I get are:
- I don’t have time.
- I can’t afford it.
- I don’t trust anyone to take care of my kids but me.
- I go to the grocery store alone sometimes
- Does driving to work count?
- I feel guilty, ha, ha, ha. . .
Here’s what I’ve gleaned from these responses:
- Moms don’t understand that self care is deep, nourishing and soul quenching.
- Moms do not feel they deserve to have time to themselves.
- Moms have been sold the lie that self care costs money.
- Mom’s feel so much responsibility for their child’s wellbeing that they obsess over everything and thus are unable to allow others to help.
- Moms do not prioritize self care over things like cleaning, laundry, art projects with their child etc because it feels “less important.”
- Moms have no idea that they can become better, more patient, emotionally available mothers (and partners!) if they are nourishing themselves.
The other thing that confuses me is what exactly self care means to everyone and why has self care some how become equal to going to the grocery store alone, getting a mani-pedi or a night out drinking with the girls?
While there is nothing wrong with these types of things, the truth is these activities do not nurture your mind, body and soul and as such are less likely to leave you feeling renewed and rejuvenated, connected and peaceful.
Sure going to the grocery store alone feels Amaaaaaazing. It’s an awesome break from the constant needs and demands of a little human. But it’s still a chore. It’s still work. It does nothing to deeply nourish you. When mom’s return from this type of “self care” (like drinking or grocery shopping) they do not feel recharged. They may feel bummed, let down, hung over (lol). Yuck. No wonder moms aren’t prioritizing self care!!
It doesn’t feel that good!
Here’s the truth about self-care:
True self care is deep, meaningful and frequent. It is a commitment, a habit, a practice, a ritual. Self care should leave you feel rejuvenated. Peaceful, happy and calm. It should make you feel “filled up.” Once you experience it, you will know it because you feel it in your body, mind and emotion. And, you WILL WANT MORE.
When you return from true self care, you re-enter your family with joy and playfulness because you are filled from a deep place.
My invitation for you
My invitation for you is this:
1. discover what makes you feel:
Some of you might know what types of things do this for you right away but it will take others of you a while to figure it out because you have become so disconnected from yourself. That’s okay. Start anywhere. Remember a time that you did something that made you feel really good. What were you doing?
2. Make it a practice to do both large & small self care practices on a regular basis. Put it on the calendar. Start by taking 15 minutes out of your day.
Here are a few ideas that you can try with limited time.
- Put your play list on shuffle, see what song comes up and dance to it. Listen for the message for you.
- Take a walk outside and see how many animals you see or how many different plants have a scent.
- Lie down on your back with your hand on your stomach and listen to your breath.
- Write poetry.
- hula hoop or skip rocks like a kid.
- Write a note to someone telling them how grateful you are to have them in your life
I don’t know! What makes YOU feel amazing?? Do more of THAT!