“Caring for myself is not self-indulgence, it is self-preservation…” -Audre Lorde
Painting our nails. Fresh-Cup Fridays. Bubble Baths. Wine! As great as these acts of self-care are, the impact of them lasts only slightly longer than the actual act of completing them! This month is filled with the weight of the election, the ongoing pandemic, virtual or hybrid schooling for many of us, working + parenting from home, AND the beginning of the holiday rush! Now is the time for us to step up our me-time, Mamas.
As saturated as social media may be with self care tips and tricks, it really is necessary for us to be intentional about the ways we allow ourselves to be refueled and rejuvenated. We truly cannot pour out from empty vessels! That saying “when Mama ain’t happy, nobody’s happy” is unfortunately a reality in way too many homes right now! Your family is depending on you to take care of you so that your whole household has room to thrive. I’ve had to learn this lesson the hard way, and I know I’m not alone here. But because of those difficult moments, I have learned to embrace “radical self-care,” a term coined by activist and feminist Audre Lorde.
Radical self-care is simply the intentional, proactive and prioritized time we allow ourselves to pour back into our proverbial cups. It is the understanding that no matter what anybody else needs, our responsibility is to ourselves first! As moms, we are so prone to martyr ourselves into well-intended stress, depression, overload and overwhelm. We forget to take care of our basic needs way too often (Hello, shower, food, and sleep!). Trust me, as a busy mom myself, I KNOW how hard it is to pause and prioritize me-time. After reaping the benefits of “radical self-care” however, I also realized how gratifying it is to actually not operate on fumes while attempting to make it through each day!
So, let’s dig in, shall we? Here are a few ways to amp up your Moments of Me-Time (starting today!!):
When life gets hectic, one of the first ways to recenter ourselves is to regulate our breathing. An app that I really love to help me slow down (without taking too much time out of my day, let’s be real here) is the Insight Timer App. My favorite meditations to listen to are by Alex Elle and Lalah Delia, but there are SO many options to choose from. The app features talks, meditations, music, affirmations and more – some requiring less than 5 minutes! There’s even a special section for parents and kiddos, if you want to include your family in a daily moment of collective peace in your household. The Insight Timer is free and full of goodness; it’s actually been a while since I’ve used it and now I’m excited to get back into it! With so many incredible app options out there, drop your favorites in the comments below!
With Winter fast approaching, our outdoor time here in Minnesota is very likely to decrease. Don’t get me wrong, it’s totally doable to bundle everyone up in some warm gear to breathe in some fresh air for at least the next month or two, but it’s also very tempting to stay in and enjoy the warmth of our homes. While I’m all for warm snuggles, adding just 15 – 30 minutes of *enjoyable* movement is so critical to making sure our bodies are staying healthy and releasing endorphins! SAD (seasonal affective disorder) is a reality for some of us, and with the pandemic interrupting traditions that many of us look forward to, it’s so important that we do our best to combat the winter blues by moving our bodies! I’m committing to a minimum of 150 minutes of movement every week until the end of the month, but even if you can commit to 5 minutes a day, move that body!
On my blog over at The Monday Bloom, I recently shared about “the art of gratitude” and how slowing down to write a daily list of ten gratitudes has helped me to reframe my mindset during the difficulties of this crazy season we’re all in! While this practice definitely has increased my mental well-being, I also think that the dedicated pause was a part of the boost as well! Sometimes, all we need to do is carve out a little time to just be. To slow down our thoughts, release the tension from our muscles, and just give our body a moment of physical, spiritual and emotional rest.
Alrighty! Those were three of my favorite moments of me-time, but now I want to hear from you! Do you feel like these are things you can add to your bucket of self-care moments? Most importantly, which moments of self-care/me-time will you commit to this week? Comment below so that we can hold each other accountable! Sending positive energy your way!