Good morning Mamas! Today I want to talk to you about self-care. This is a topic that I’m super passionate about, but rather than diving into the multitude of self-care options, today I want to discuss your approach to self-care.
I used to fall into the camp of thinking it was enough to treat myself to monthly pedicures, an occasional girls night out, or a bubble bath after a night from Hell (You know the nights – husband out of town, kids at each other’s throats, dog puking, throw in the towel and decide to pick up Burger King only to discover the car won’t start kind of nights). I felt like I was doing good to take time to recharge when I was feeling burnt out, but why did that charge never last?
Out of necessity, I stumbled across a shift in mindset surrounding self-care during an extremely difficult time in my life. Through trial and error I began to discover that the key to feeling together more often than not, was to approach self-care from a preventative standpoint rather than relying on it to pick myself up after I had already fallen apart. My self-care journey is still very much a work in progress, but the lessons I’ve learned along the way have helped me me feel more confident, more in control of my own happiness, and more prepared to navigate the challenging moments of life. I want that for you too, friend. Whether you choose to read through and reflect on your own, write out your plan on the free journaling page included at the bottom of this post, or share in a discussion group amongst your friends, self-care is something I think we can all benefit from continuing to work on.
5 Steps to Building a Daily Self-Care Routine
- Check in Regularly – The goal is to develop the habit of being continually aware of how you’re feeling, but in the beginning you’ll want to start small. Take some time to reflect and identify 3 high-stress times that you are regularly faced with throughout the course of an average day ( for me, getting my kids ready for school, welcoming them home from school, and of course, bedtime was where I started).
- Identify Triggers – What about those certain times of day is stressful to you? Maybe it is the frustration that you have to spend 45 minutes stuck in traffic at the end of long day when there are a million other things you need/ want to do. Perhaps making dinner is stressful because the kids are constantly begging for your attention and what should be a 30 min meal takes an hour and a half. I’ve learned that the reason I find myself ready to snap as soon as my kids get home from school is because I have a hard time transitioning from having the quiet house all to myself, to all the noise, all the questions, all the requests at once.
- Make a Plan – Now that you know the times and ways you need extra support throughout your day, you can start to build a self-care routine that really serves so you are walking in fully fueled rather than teetering on empty. Deciding what you need most in those moments is entirely up to you, but I encourage you to get creative and explore different options. Remember, it doesn’t have be a time consuming ritual to be effective self-care. It could be as elaborate as getting up before the kids and journaling with a hot cup of coffee or it could be as simple as waking up to your favorite music or lighting a special candle to put you in the right mood to start your day.
- Commit to Yourself – One of the hardest parts of self-care is keeping the commitment to tend to yourself. We have no problem keeping our commitments to care for others, but when it comes to ourselves it is easy to let it fall off the list of priorities. You are too important to let that happen! Figure out a system to hold yourself accountable and put it into place. Enter it into your calendar. Share it on social media. Ask your husband to send you a sweet reminder or collaborate with a group of friends and share your progress at the end of each week. I personally find it super helpful to set up reminders on my phone 20 or 30 minutes before a stressful time prompting me to mentally prepare and take whatever steps I’ve decided I need to take. Do whatever it takes to set yourself up for success!
- Reevaluate – Chances are, your first attempt at a preventative self care routine will not be 100% successful. Perhaps putting your plan into action made you aware of a whole host of triggers that you’d never noticed before. Maybe holding yourself accountable is even harder than you thought it would be and you need more support. Even if the plan you’ve put into action works beautifully in this moment, our lives our continually evolving and so our self-care practice must evolve as well. Being flexible and willing to constantly reevaluate will help to build a fluid self-care practice that will serve you throughout the many seasons of motherhood.
Thanks so much for taking this time to ponder your own self-care routine. If you’d like to take this conversation one step further, you can download your own Daily Self-Care Routine journaling page by clicking on the link below.
Take care friends. Until next time,