Explore your Self-Care and create renewed energy for your parenting! When was the last time you did something for yourself? What was it? And how did you feel afterwards? Self-care is a must for emotional wellbeing! It is the access to renewed energy for parenting. It is our gas station…what we do to fill up so that we can parent with more pep, with more zest, and not run out of steam!
- The Shocking Twist
Introduction: What IS Self-Care
Self-Care refers to actions we take or choose not to take that support our wellbeing. Be it physically, emotionally, or spiritually, self-care nourishes and refuels us. Big or small, an action or chosen in-action, we honor ourselves with self-care! When you practice self-care you are doing something for yourself that honors you as a person, that is good for you, that makes you feel good and alive, and you are doing so intentionally. Most parents are often focused on taking care of their kids: food, clothes, bathing, shelter, safety, doctors’ appointments, enrichment activities, play dates, fun in the park, etc…you get the picture. We take care of the kids, of our spouses, of the house…yet we rarely stop to take notice of and take good care of ourselves in the process. What about us?
- Self-care is about your wellbeing. It nourishes and energizes you. It soothes and enriches you. It is you saying – I matter!
Self-care can be a quiet shower or a weekend getaway with your besties. It can be a massage, or a pedicure or lunch with your girlfriends or it can be that quiet cup of coffee in the morning before the kids wake up. It can be a doctor’s appointment or a quiet date-night with your spouse or a night out dancing on the tables! It can be an hour of yoga or a yoga retreat or a family vacation or an escape into a good book. It can also be saying ‘no’ to that lunch or dinner or to volunteering again at your child’s school. Self-care can be big or small, short or long, alone or with others, a yes or a no…the possibilities are endless and they are yours to choose and create!
- Whatever it may look like for you, action or in-action, big or small…self-care is conscious time set-aside for you by you.
- Self-care is intentional – it does not just happen! It is conscious – we are very aware of it! And it is built in – we create structures around it – to support its existence!
- Moms need care too! Who takes care of us? We do, by practicing self-care!
The Shocking Twist!
Many parents, especially working parents, report feeling guilty about taking time out for themselves that could be spent with their children. This is normal and natural for as parents we often put our kids first, but here comes the SHOCKING TWIST:
- Though self-care may sound self-ish, making it a part of your life is vital for your emotional wellbeing and thus positively impacts the entire family!
We must take care of ourselves (physically, emotionally, spiritually) in order to have the energy to take care of others, in order to be more effective at our parenting, in order to be more present and more emotionally available for those we care about.
- Bottom line: The better care you take of yourself, the better parent you will be!
Think of your car when it is due for an oil change or is low on gas: Mine starts to run funny and then as soon as I fill up it starts to run smoother, it gets its pep back, and all the systems are better able to do their job! Same with us! We need to refuel just the same! I am willing to bet you’ve even experienced it before! Think about how you feel after a great workout or a long massage or a fun dinner with friends? I feel energized, happier, and more alive! I might even say, “I needed that,” and when I get home feel better able to deal with whatever situation is transpiring with my kids!
- When we implement self-care into our lives, when we feel energized from the inside, we become better versions of ourselves for our kids; we have more energy for them, we are better able to deal with setbacks, we are happier and we become more effective in our parenting. Self-care is thus a win-win for the entire family!
- Challenge Yourself!
How do you already take care of yourself? On a sheet of paper, make two columns: the first should say “already do” and the second should say “would like to”. Begin by making a list of the things you already do for self-care from staying on top of your health appointments to that standing date night with your spouse to that annual trip with your besties and anything in between. Go!
Next, think about other ways you would like to take care of yourself this year. Don’t stress about this. Just brainstorm a few things that quickly come to mind. As we move forward I will guide you further into working through and then implementing self-care practices into your life.