Updated: May 16, 2019
Self-Care…what in the hell is that? Sounds like one of those elusive teachings back on The Oprah Show that made you feel all warm and cheery only to realize an hour later you have no idea what it is or how to do it.
It's close to the Holy Grail for moms, you know, that Promise Land of Happiness that always seems impossible to find but that would be amazing if we did...and do you know WHY?
Because most of us DESPERATELY need it!
We’ve gotten so caught up in the cultural bullshit that we need to get more done, work harder, and busy ourselves every moment of the day. Somehow, if we aren’t busy, then we aren’t worthy or we've fallen short of the "perfect" mom vision that we so often chase for some stupid reason.
I know this all too well because I am first in line toward this unreachable pursuit of "orchestrating the perfect symphony"… when in reality my life with three kids is often a mad dash in every direction to do it all and be it all to everyone. My efforts end up looking more like a first grade music teacher trying to pull off the perfect Christmas musical... very cute, but disorganized, off key, and painstakingly smiling through the chaos of it all.
But guess what…the pursuit of perfection never ends and it never seems to be enough (or not even close to enough)!
The to-do list just gets longer, the commitments just get more frequent, and at the end of the day, we have to ask ourselves if we are honestly happier and more fulfilled with this insane pace of life we've bought hook, line and sinker?
I know the answer for me is a loud and very clear NO! (Actually more like an OH, HELL NO!)
I get it, there are some things that do need to get done (turns out kids need to be fed and occasionally bathed), there are responsibilities we all have that we just can’t ignore (I could do laundry two times every day and there would be another pile...it's like black magic). So how do we combat this obsession we have with busyness and productivity (just pray for a miracle, ok just kidding, kind of)…for me it’s been incorporating some self-care practices into my daily life.
So what exactly is self-care?
The word self-care in itself seems pretty self-explanatory….it’s basically taking care of yourself, but honestly, it’s way more than that, and if you have NOT been practicing self-care at all (which is the one thing I've done perfectly over the last 16 years 🙋🏻), then you probably don’t even know what it looks like or where to even begin...hence it's the Holy Grail for moms.
On my journey of trying to take better care of myself, I realized there were about 5 areas of my well-being that I had been neglecting (like those sexy, leopard print heels in the back corner of my closet). In many instances I wasn’t even aware how much I was overlooking some of my most basic needs…I was too busy checking off tasks on my damn never-get-done-to-do-list!
Welp, this all may feel daunting just like it did for me, and you might have no idea where to even begin. As you read, I recommend starting to think about how often you give yourself the love, time, and attention in each of these 5 areas.
The first area is pretty easy to recognize…Physical.
Our physical well-being is a basic need….exercise, nutrition, sleep, physical contact, and over all body well-being. When you are taking care of yourself physically, you have increased self-esteem, less stress and higher energy and vibrancy. Our bodies are how we experience life, so it's obviously a big deal and most commonly enemy #1 for women when it comes to beating ourselves up and feeling bad.
The second area of self-care that is equally important, but might even be more neglected… is Mental wellness. Mental wellness is allowing your brain to be creative and engaged in learning new activities, but also balancing it with the need for mental downtime and brain breaks where you are at peace and feel connected to your passions and true self (ok, sorry to get all Oprah on you, but you get the picture I'm painting).
Social self-care is the third arena, and it incorporates social interaction and connections with others (especially other women...and no, Instagram DM's do not suffice). We all have a basic desire to feel accepted and have a need to belong. Social self-care helps us create meaningful relationships and bonds with others.
Women love being around other women because (most of the time) we build each other up, show compassion, and lend an ear of understanding that we all could use. Plus, we hear about what other women are facing and we don't feel so bat shit crazy...the struggle is real for all of us.
The fourth dimension of self-care can take various forms for different people and it’s the Spiritual area. Many people find meaning and harmony with the Universe or God by attending a place of worship, and others find connection by meditating, doing yoga or connecting with nature. Ultimately spiritual self-care is all about nourishing your soul and your connection with the Divine. May sound a little "woo woo", yet it's a big piece of the puzzle.
The fifth and final area of self-care is often the most challenging one because we often overlook the need for it. Emotional self-care is all about taking care of your feelings, and navigating the challenges of life with lots of wine...oops, I mean...optimism, patience, and inspiration. When you feel emotionally good, then everything else seems to work a lot better in your life which proves how important emotional self-care really is.
All right, so those are the five areas of Self-Care that we should be integrating into our lives on a regular basis.
My next blog post (click here) dive's even deeper in exploring whether you need more self-care (which duh, YOU DO!) along with providing proven ways regarding how you can incorporate it easily in your day to day life (in this post here)! Also, every Sunday I post about my self-care journey on Instagram, so find me here!
Cheers to more self-care and cheers to you 🥂♥!