Taking Care of YOURSELF is Important Too: A Fall Self-Care Challenge
Hi there, friends! Today I thought we could chat a bit about self-care and I'm going to use a lot of memes in the process. Why? Because we like them and because I don't really have many of my own photos to go with this topic. Ha! So, getting to it...
I honestly don’t remember ever hearing the term “self-care” before having babies. I guess back then there really wasn’t much else to do but practice self-care, right? I mean, yes, I had a meaningful career but outside of work (and sometimes school), my world revolved around what I felt like doing, what I felt like eating, where I felt like going, etc. After kids though, it’s a whole other ball game, as I’m sure so many of you know. It’s easy to get completely in over our heads with their wants, their needs, their health, their education, their…everything! And somewhere in the middle of tending to their…everything…we lose sight of how important it is to tend to ourselves.
So now I'm going to be completely honest and admit that I’ve been running on empty for a looooong time now. I often feel like a shell of my old self with all the good stuff scooped out; especially when I’m overtired/overstressed/overworked and my temper gets scarily short with my kids. I used to really enjoy going to concerts, movies, bowling (even though I was never any good at it), and shopping. I used to LOVE walking into a bookstore, grabbing a coffee or hot cocoa and just wandering around the stacks for HOURS. I used to love cranking my stereo up crazy loud in the car, opening all the windows, and just going for a drive. I used to love getting my nails done and would go every week, usually before or after a trip to the bookstore or a day of shopping. I used to read A LOT. It was my favorite way to spend time at home and I had a list a mile long of what I was going to read next. I used to volunteer in my community. I used to SLEEP…oh my gosh, did I ever used to sleep! I could go on, but I think you get the point; there were a lot of things that I used to do that I now just rarely make time for. So now I spend a lot of my time looking like (and saying) this:
I know this isn’t new or unique to me, that it happens to most of us and that our moms and grandmothers had the exact same experience. I also know that there are plenty of people out there who would just say, “You made the choice to be a mom, so…welcome to motherhood!”. Hahaha (<---That might be sarcasm). But, I think to trivialize it that way puts us in a dangerous situation where we do nothing about it and what happens then? Depression (what happened to me?), mom-guilt (my kids deserve a better mother), alienation (I can never be one of THOSE moms so why bother?), suffering relationships (I barely have time for a shower, how am I supposed to give anything to my husband/best friend/parents/etc?). None of this is good...and it’s all things I’ve experienced and thought over the years since I’ve been a parent. I KNOW it’s a problem and I will usually focus on self-care for a week or so to try to “fix” it, but then I will shift my focus to something else like trying to keep the house June-Cleaver-Clean, or preparing healthier meals for our family, or spending more time playing with and teaching our kids one-on-one. Finding the balance is hard (I've talked about my struggle with that here), but what I’ve come to learn is that self-care is the easiest thing to totally neglect and for the sake of you and everyone around you, it really can’t be neglected.
So, I have decided that between now and Thanksgiving, I am going to chip away little-by-little at my own personal bucket list of self-care activities. Will I get to them all? No, probably not. But having a written list will, I think, give me the motivation to try. My goal is to get to Thanksgiving and (hopefully) be a bit more content with where I’m at, personally. To be a bit less tired and stressed. To have developed at least some resemblance of a daily routine that allows for even just a few minutes of time to myself, doing something I enjoy. So what’s on my self-care activities list? Let’s take a look (and try not to laugh at just how very basic some of these things are):
I hope to be wildly successful with this little fall self-care challenge of mine. I hope that come Thanksgiving I will have an amazing update for you on just how much it has turned things around for me, and ultimately, our family. It'll be hard to make time for a lot of these things and to break old habits, I think, but learning to re-prioritize in a manner that includes taking care of myself too is ultimately the goal here, right? And hopefully throughout this process my husband will be like:
So, how do you feel about your current situation? Could you use some improvement in your self-care skills like me? What kinds of things would you include on your personal self-care bucket list (feel free to join me in my challenge, if you’d like!)? And most importantly, if you’ve got this whole thing figured out, please DO share your secrets!
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