The Importance of Self Care
This week I’m a white hot mess.
The busier I’ve gotten with being back at work full time, keeping up with the home, being a wife and attempting to spend any extra minute with my 6-month-old daughter, the more frazzled I’ve become.
It’s also making it quite the challenge to start up this blog as well. If you’ve read any of my posts up until now, you probably know how much hope I have wrapped up in this endeavor.
But I feel pulled in a thousand directions and am just overwhelmed. And it’s leaving my feeling helpless, hopeless and depressed. And it sucks!!
“So what am I missing?” I ask myself.
This week was particularly bad for self-care. I missed one and almost missed further pumping breaks at work because I got caught up with training. I miss showers (yes plural and ongoing) because I’m too tired or want to get other stuff done. Yesterday I only had two meals. I don’t work out, and hobbies are ancient history it seems.
It’s all setting me up for failure and boy do I feel it!
I read an article that prompted this post stating that balanced parents create balanced families. It emphasized the importance of self-care. This is exactly what I’ve been lacking!
When working as a therapist, self-care was a central part of treatment. A client couldn’t do the healing work without learning healthy coping mechanisms.
As a mom, it’s so easy to put everyone else’s needs above your own. And as a working mom, your time gets even shorter to do everything that you need to do.
But self-care needs to be a carved out, planned part of your life. It needs to take priority.
I always think of the regulatory before-flight safety spiel, particularly to place your oxygen mask on before your child’s. You must meet your needs first before you can meet anyone else’s.
The beautiful thing about self-care is that it can be just about anything. It can be a simple act or an elaborate routine. It can be a few minutes or many hours. It just needs to be something that brings a sense of rest and peace.
But beware of poor coping mechanisms that look like self-care. These feel good at the moment but often carry guilt and do not have lasting effects. For me, that’s eating sugary foods repeatedly for comfort.
And I’ll be honest, yesterday I decided to sit down with one of my favorite pints of ice cream (ok almond milk frozen dessert… I’m dairy free, what do you want??) and ate the entire thing as I caught up on one of my shows. It was a fabulous 20 minutes. But I know I can make that a habit if I don’t make better self-care choices. It’s simply not a good coping mechanism for me.
There’s another blog I recently read that gave moms permission to be “selfish.” I think a lot of moms struggle with being “selfish.” But it was actually saying that self-care is important, and you deserve to take the time for it.
I think self-care is more than that. It’s the foundation upon which everything else in life is based. Once your basic needs are met (sleep, food, health (hygiene included, in my opinion), you can then tend to everything else.
So I’m gonna go figure out a game plan on my end to carve out the time I need for self-care. I’m gonna encourage you to do the same.
May your sleep be restful, your food choices healthy and may God bless your journey.