Self-care is the single most life-changing habit I had to learn. Get how crazy this sounds…. I had to learn that I was the most important person in my life. I am the bread-winning, care-taking, at-home nurse who cleans up little human poop as well as dog poop (at least weekly). I am the person who wakes up at 3 A.M. to re-apply children’s Vick’s VapoRub. I am the person who fights to get everyone out of the door every morning (clothed semi-properly).
My kids eat their semi-warm breakfast while I’m hydrating off of someone’s leftover water bottle from the floor of my car while eating breakfast crackers out of my backpack on my way to work. I am covered in butt cream, spilled milk, boogers, blood, sweat AND tears. (That escalated quickly but it’s the truth!) Anyways, I’m covered in all the above. However, I am important.
I can always tell when I’m in need of a self-care day. I feel frustration with everyone else around me. I feel annoyed with myself because I would rather be ANYWHERE but sitting at the dinner table enjoying my kids. I’m feeling stress and anxiety up until my nostrils. (I’m a mouth breather too. Imagine how suffocating that feels!) I have tension headaches and neck pain. Simply put, when I’m not feeling like myself, I know it’s time to devote some time to taking care of myself to get back to myself.
What does self-care look like? Self-care looks different for everyone. Rarely do I ever find time to do a full-service day of self-care; most times I find time during the school day. During the summer, I always attempt to schedule a sitter at least two full days so I can regroup and start to feel sane again! Here are some ideas for self-care:
- Drop your kiddos off at daycare on your day off. Just cause you have the day off doesn’t mean they need the day off! Call a friend to grab mimosas and brunch, do a spa day, sit at a coffee shop to sip on whatever you please while reading your favorite book. (Or scroll through Instagram while sipping!)
- Learn something new. Pick up a podcast, a book or a class that interests you. I’m very low commitment, so I’ve stuck with podcasts. I love sitting with a notebook, a spiritual podcast, and some hot tea. I jot down pieces that bring me joy, encouragement or motivation!
- Friend time is the best time. I can’t stress this enough! Friend time is the best time; it might be the most important time. When you’re with friends you’re reminded of true connection. You’re reminded that you’re not alone on this journey. You’re reminded that someone else has your back. When you belly laugh with friends, it does something so good to your soul.
- Wander through Target! (Especially those end caps…kudos to those of you who know what I’m talkin’ about!)
- Practice gratitude, reflection, meditate and prayer. It really does sound intimidating but I always try to take a minimum of 5 minutes a day to practice gratitude (aka count my blessings) and meditate. This process keeps me grounded, centered and encouraged to keep on keepin’ on!
I know there are so many other ways to self-care. These are just some of my favorite ways. You may find that many of these things are already on your self-care list. I’d say next time you choose to spend a little time on yourself. Be intentional. Define it as you wish!