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The Beginners Guide to self care
On any given day, I’m awake between five and six in the morning. After I get in a workout, I proceed about my chores: washing the dishes from dinner, cleaning the bottles for Bug, starting the dishwasher. Picking up the living room, starting some laundry, getting the house in a general disorganized order so that it’s somewhat navigate-able for the sitter when she arrives. After a full day of working, it’s back home to make sure that dinner is made, kids are bathed, house is semi clean, and things are ready for the next morning. I might double as a human jungle gym, or maybe today I’m a horse for one of the girls. Pillow fights, faux gymnastics, and even more leaves me fairly tired day to day.
What is self care?
self-ˈker : Something that is often overlooked; lacking in priority; but often in reality of the upmost importance for the well being of the all powerful Momma or overall woman.
This is the time we take for us- after the babies have been cared for, after our husbands, partners, spouses, cats, whatever have been fulfilled– what are we left with? Usually a day full of activity, a heart heavy with love, a mind heavy with to-do lists that seem never ending, and a body weighed down with year’s worth of exhaustion (even though we slept a little last night.)
How to get started with caring for yourself
Caring for ourselves doesn’t need to be a day long thing (though it could be, occasionally.) This is something that should and could only take a small portion of your day. I say start with 20 minutes a day- they can be first thing in the morning, or maybe during nap time. Right before your head hits the pillow, or maybe for your hectic schedule, the timing will be dependent on the day. WHEN it happens isn’t the focus point- it’s making sure that it DOES happen that’s important.
Tips for Success in caring for yourself.
Set a reminder, every day. Put it on your calendar, write in your bullet journal, I DON’T CARE. Block off a minimum of 20 minutes to focus on YOU.
Think of it this way: if you aren’t performing your best, feeling your best, doing your best- how are you supposed to be your absolute best for your children and family? How will you set the best example for your sons and daughters? We, as mothers, must ensure that all cups are filled- including our own.
So what can we do for ourselves in only 20 minutes?
Simple starts to self care
You’re probably sitting there thinking “I don’t even know where to start with ‘self care.’ I thought that meant just washing my hair at least once a week and making sure I had clean underwear for the day.” WRONG. Here’s some simple ideas- some free, some cheap- to make sure that YOU are cared for, too!
Taking a bubble bath
Now, this sounds simple- but when was the last time you actually had time to take a bubble bath? Now, there are rules for this bubble bath. Rule 1: NO KIDS. No kids toys in the tub, either (unless the rubber ducky makes you happy!) I know it’s hard to get time without the kiddos, so shoot for a slightly earlier bedtime, or go straight to the bath right afterwards. Treat yourself with a bath bomb, Epsom salts, or just some simple baby wash to add some smell good and bubbles to your relaxing soak. Light some candles. No candles? Spray some febreeze, whatever. BONUS POINTS for a glass of wine, or your drink of choice.
Get your hair styled
Sometimes, if you do just a little research, you can find hair salons in your area that will do a simple curl style for around $20. I know we have a few places here in our town, and one specifically in the mall. This sounds silly, but think about how special you usually feel after leaving the hair salon- and also how long it normally takes you to curl your hair on your own. It’s a double win- a little time out of the house, and a little pick me up for you!
Obviously, this one costs a little more- and might require a little more planning, depending on your situation and circumstance. But just imagine- massage chair. Foot massage. Freshly painted nails and toes, an hour or so with no kiddos- pop in some headphones and listen to your favorite playlist, a podcast, or even a good book. Hell, take a nap!
taking a long shower
This one sort of piggy backs on the bath one- but take it a step further. Wash your hair, shave your legs. Put on a face mask, sing your favorite album- the WHOLE ALBUM. Put a do not disturb sign on the bathroom door, light some candles, do what you gotta do! Don’t worry about using all the hot water, or how long you’ve been in there- NOTHING.
Every day, I start my day off with my “5 Minute Journal”- I swear by this thing. To be honest, I got the idea from my dear friend, and since then, it’s helped my mood and mindset tremendously. If you truly believe you have no time in your day, this is perfect. It genuinely takes 5 minutes to do your writing for the day (if that,) and it helps you to reflect on your day- the good, the bad, and what to work on for tomorrow. It also allows for a daily affirmation, which I love.
Okay, okay- get your collective groans out now. Trust me, I’d rather eat an entire bag of M&Ms and potato chips than even walk to the kitchen for a healthier alternative. But- since I’ve started working out, not only do I have the motivation to continue, but it’s completely altered not only the way I look and feel, but also the way I structure my days. I even think more consciously about what I’m putting into my body (like the grilled sandwich at Chick Fil A instead of the regular sandwiches.)
Personal development has been huge for my overall mindset. Now, you’re probably looking at those two words and thinking I’m some sort of weirdo who thinks that willing things into being solves all the worlds problems, or follows the whole “speak it into existence” mindset- but you couldn’t be further from the truth. In fact, I much prefer the following quote-
“Hope is not a strategy.”Rachel Hollis (But she claims to have stolen this from someone else.)
But- what I will say is that filling my mind and psyche with positive thoughts and words has helped exponentially. From amazing podcasts to even better books, there’s lots of ways to change your mindset to match your dreams. Coming from someone who’s carried the burden of generalized depression and anxiety, as well as postpartum depression, this is something that has helped. I listen to these podcasts every morning, and my copies of some of these books have more highlights in them than empty spaces.
Podcast: Rise Together by Rachel & Dave Hollis
This one is GREAT if you’re in any sort of serious relationship/marriage. I personally listen to this one every morning- it’s replaced the Bobby Bones show as my go to media during the time when I do my morning chores. They have an amazing dynamic as a couple, and they cover all the hard-hitting topics. There’s humor, love, and a nice dose of reality all wrapped into one.
(Free on the Podcast app on iPhone)
Podcast: Glow & Grow by Mechaela Vardoulakis
This podcast is AH-MAZE-ING. Warning- there is some serious language in this one. But she keeps it SO REAL! It’s so easy to listen to. She’s a recent starter of this, so there aren’t a ton of episodes- but they’re extremely easy to listen to. I burned through the episodes in about 2 or 3 days.
(Free on the Podcast app on iPhone)
Book: Girl, Stop Apologizing- Rachel Hollis
This book was pivotal for me. I’m notorious for apologizing for anything and everything- I’m very much a service minded and empathetic person, and it tends to come out this way more than anything. This book was awesome for me- there are so many sticky note flags marking things that spoke deeply to my heart that it’s hard to find one specific stand out piece.
Devotional Journal: 100 Days of Less Hustle, More Jesus
If you’re looking for a way to multitask- develop yourself and your relationship with God, this one is for you. This is similar to the five minute journal, but has a more devotional purpose to it- help yourself to more Jesus, ya’ll.
The Last Thing You Need to Know about self care
Remember- the biggest thing about self care is that you can think of a million reasons why you have no time. But at the end of the day- if you find yourself just staring into space, or trying to find something to listen to while getting ready? Scrolling aimlessly through social media, or spending hours watching the Bachelorette- why not spend that time pouring into yourself, instead? Because trust me, momma- you deserve it.
If you decide to try out any of these, or if you come up with your own- let me know! Tag me on Instagram- @thejword_us, or on Facebook- The J Word. I love to see mommas taking care of themselves to take care of business!