Often it comes down to the basics of self-care which are so critical to our well-being, yet are so easy to let slip when we’re busy caring for our families and deep in the daily grind.
It can feel next to impossible to actually take time to nurture ourselves, time we could use to check more items off our to do list, complete chores or errands, and nurture our little ones or partners.
But the truth is, we have got to prioritize our own well-being, too, if we expect to do more than subsist.
To really thrive and live our best lives, and to be able to nurture the other people in our lives,
we need to nurture ourselves as well.
I know that I have so much more to give the other people in my life when I’m taking good care of myself. I’m not perfect at self-care, but I try.
And if I get distracted and lose my way for a while, I try to come back to where I need to be. It’s like coming back to the breath in meditation. If our mind wanders (as it will!), it doesn’t mean we’re a failure, or that we’re “doing it wrong.” It simply means that we’re human. And that’s a good thing!
The key is in the coming back.
Coming back to the breath, or to the path that you want to be on.
Life is a journey, and the path is not always straight. Spiraling around and around, sometimes away, and then back again… yet moving ever upward, as we live and learn and grow.
So even as we move away from self-care at times, we come back. And hopefully, as time goes on, we come back to our desired path a little more quickly each time.
As mothers, we have another reason to nurture ourselves, beyond our own well-being.
Taking good care of ourselves sets a vital example for our children.
We want them to be people who love themselves and take good care of themselves. How powerful to observe their mother living that out, loving herself while loving others.
It’s impossible in fact to love others if you’re not loving yourself.
You matter. Your happiness matters.
It can be easy to forget that, when we have such big needs around us. We are in high demand, and there’s so much to do. And we love our children so much. And we want to be the best mother we can be.
We know need to take care of ourselves… It’s just that it’s not always easy to put it into practice. I get it.
So What Can We Do?
A good first step is to reflect on how you’re doing. Are your basic self-care needs being met?
Self-Care Check In: How Are You Doing?
- Are you drinking enough water every day?
- Are you moving your body?
- Are you eating good food?
- Are you finding time for stillness?
- Are you getting enough sleep?
- Are you making time for creative play and fun?
- Are you connecting with your friends and loved ones?
- Are you connecting with your true self, your values, and your desires?
For me, sleep is the foundation of my self-care. If I don’t get enough sleep, I’m a mess. I can’t focus, I can’t seem to get anything done, and I’m just not happy.
Movement is also so important… I really need to get outside and take a walk every day. (I know part of the benefit is also from just being outside.)
Stillness is another big one for me. Daily meditation, even for five minutes, helps me be more calm and less reactive when things get stressful.
And as an introvert, I also need quiet time to myself. I love to give to others, I love to meet other people’s needs, but I really need that totally alone time, too.
And even though I am an introvert, I also need connection. As an at-home mom, it’s not always easy to connect. I love the magic of the internet for connecting with far away kindred spirits. Yet it’s also a balance, and it takes a conscious effort to not get sucked in.
Strengthen Your Self-Care
- Reflect on your life right now. How well are you taking care of yourself in each area?
- Identify your self-care basics. Which of these are THE MOST important to your well-being?
- What has worked in the past? What small steps can you take to add a little bit more of that self-care to your life?
- Set your intentions, try, and celebrate when you do them. And don’t beat yourself up if you don’t.
It’s time to make you a priority. For yourself. For your children. For the people you love.
You have so much happiness to live. So much that only you can give.
And you can’t do it if you’re sleep-deprived, overworked, disconnected, and in a slump. Life is short, and you deserve more than that.
So take good care of you.
What About You?
What are your self-care basics? What are you struggling with? Let me know in the comments below.
Take good care, beautiful mamas!