What is self-care?
If you have been online, read a magazine recently, or even watched the news, you have probably heard the “trendy” word self-care discussed Especially in today’s world, we have a lot of stressors in our lives, and finding a way to take care of our stress and feel whole and loved is part of self-care.
According to Meriam-Webster, the definition of self-care means “to care for oneself.”
Yet, if we dig deeper into the word self-care, we can truly find out “What is self-care?” and why it is important, especially if you are a mom.
Often we think of self-care as a day at the spa, retail therapy, or pricey vacations. Yet, self-care encompasses much more and can be an empowering way to take care of yourself and learn to maintain your emotions and “fill up your cup.”
Often we are brought up to put others first and put ourselves last. And as a mom, this is often the case whether you were brought up that way or not. Yet, the question you should be asking yourself these question:
- How do I practice caring for myself?
- How do I put myself first?
Obviously, we cannot always put ourselves first. However, it is essential for our well-being physically and mentally to put ourselves first at least some of the time.
How I knew I needed self-care
Growing up, I considered myself to be a people pleaser. I really cared if other people liked me.
So I would bend over backward to never say no and help others, even if I didn’t want to or it caused me stress and overwhelm. I never realized this about myself until I was in my thirties and I wasn’t happy. I started reading self-help books and found out, I was putting others first almost all of the time. There was little time left in the day to care about what I wanted.
When this happens, feelings of resentment and overwhelm start to creep in and pop up in all of your relationships.
Now that I know better, I have learned to say no and start taking care of myself. It is different now that I have kids and they do not deserve to have a crabby mama, due to my stress and always wanting to please people.
Plus I want to set a good example for them and let them know it is okay to put yourself first, even though I teach them to be kind, respectful, nice people.
When you put things in terms of what you want for your kids or even the person that is closest to you, you have to ask, “How do you want them to treat themselves?” The truth is, everyone has worth and everyone deserves to be happy. Taking care of your mental health is the perfect way to feel loved and content.
As I continue in my self-care quest I have learned self-care means taking care of yourself physically, mentally, spiritually, academically, and healthwise.
Related Self-Care Posts:
- 5 Types of Self-Care for Moms
- 10 Ways to Fit Self-Care Into Your Daily Routine
- 10 Winter Self-Care Ideas to Try
- Top 10 Self-Care Ideas for Moms
- 6 Tips to Stop Mom Anxiety
- How to Stop Being a People Pleaser
Self Care Involves the following:
Self-care is something that you plan for yourself. Take time to set up actively a self-care routine that will help you destress and feel whole.
- self-love (Loving yourself and putting yourself first.)
- self-respect (Trusting your inner voice and knowing you matter.)
- self-awareness (Having a strong sense of who you are and what you stand for.)
- self-understanding (Understanding you and showing yourself love and grace.)
Find activities that fee your soul and that you love and make time for them.
How to Plan for Self-Care
Have you ever heard the quote, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail.”? This was often used when I was a teacher and administrators wanted us to keep up with our lesson plans. Yet, it holds true for many aspects of life. If you do not put self-care on your to-do list, it will not become a priority and it will often become a low priority. You will find if you write down a self-care plan, you are more likely to actually perform the self-care task.
It helps to have a set self-care routine. It is often popular to have a self-care Sunday where you set aside time for yourself to make a point to do something you love and that will benefit you. Remember self-care isn’t cookie-cutter and what works for you may not work for every person.
Setting up a self-care routine can be as simple as setting aside an hour to read or take a walk in nature. Perhaps you love candles or scents. You can use essential oils or take a bubble bath while dimming the lights and lighting a candle.
Another idea is to get a mani-pedi at your favorite salon.
Whatever your idea of self-care, make sure you make time to do something you love during the week and at least something small every day.
How do I put myself first?
At times, putting yourself first can be difficult. Yet, it is imperative to improve your self-care routine.
Putting yourself first is part of self-care. Of course, you do not need to do this all the time, but you should feel your needs are met and you matter.
If you have a hard time putting yourself first, you must start by creating a self-care schedule. If you are big on planners, add at least 30 minutes of your favorite self-care to your planner each day.
Ideas for easy 30-minute self-care:
- hot bath
- do your nails
- use your favorite lotions
- light a candle
- eat a treat
- adults coloring book
- call a friend
These are simple things you can and should be doing for yourself each day. If you are not interested in the easy 30-minute self-care ideas listed above, find something you truly love and add it to your list.
Another idea is to have a day dedicated to self-care. For example, self-care Sunday. Take a chunk of time and use it for self-care. Maybe you can get a massage every other week or take some time for yourself to take a walk or read in a park. Find something you enjoy and block out time for it.
Examples of Self-Care
Once you realize self-care is your guide to taking care of yourself physically, emotionally, mentally, academically taking care of yourself will start to make sense. There are so many different self-care ideas, but finding something that works for you is key. Especially since self-care is not the same for everyone. What works for me, may not work for you.
I challenge you to pick at least two of the following examples and try them this week.
- write in your journal
- read a book
- call a friend
- meet a friend for coffee
- do your nails
- get a mani/pedi
- do a face mask
- take a bubble bath
- buy a treat only for you (I love chocolate)
- order your favorite food
- watch a favorite movie
- take a walk
- take a jog
- do yoga
- eat one healthy food per day
Now that you have some self-care ideas, it is time to put things into practice.
Start small and change your habits. Learn to take care of yourself and enjoy your life.
What is Self-Care Final Thoughts…
If you did not know more about self-care is, but you have heard this new buzzword, I hope this article gave you some insight. It is essential to take care of yourself, especially if you are a mom taking care of a family. You need to be put first and you can use some of the ideas above to get started. Really try to plan our time to make this happen in the next few days. It is time to relax and feel refreshed and revitalized.