Self care is a buzz word that is used a lot. Let’s get clear on what it actually means.
Taken from the Oxford English Dictionary, self-care is defined as:
1. The practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.
1.1.The practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
I would argue that self-care isn’t a luxury; rather it’s essential to maintain your health and well-being. I learned the hard way that if we don’t take care of our own needs, it will catch up with us.
Therefore what activities count as self-care will be different to different people. Anything that nourishes your mind, body and soul would be classed as self-care.
Once you start making self-care a part of your daily routine, it soon becomes a non-negotiable as you can feel the benefits. And you can feel the difference on those days it falls away or is neglected.
I believe that everyone needs to practice some daily form of self-care but no-one more so than Mothers.
Modern Mothers are carrying a lot, the physical and mental load of raising children, often holding down a job and keeping the household running smoothly. There are many studies that are finding that even though we have come a long way, women still carry the lion’s share of parenting and domestic duties.
When I first became a Mum, I believed that I had to sacrifice my own needs for the needs of my child. My children are my top priority, especially whilst they are dependent but I now know that I can’t regulate their emotions if I haven’t regulated my own. And daily self-care is how I am better able to manage this.
Here are some of the things that are currently in my self-care toolkit, I call on different tools for different days and moods:
- Practicing Yoga
- Short home workouts
- Walking – especially in nature
- Candlelit baths – with essential oils and candles
- Listening to my favourite Podcasts
- Taking time for a mindful cup of tea
- Eating nourishing foods
- Getting an early night
- Colouring/ bullet journaling
- Using indulgent hand creams and room sprays
I add at least a few of these practices in daily, more when I’m really struggling.
I also now limit my social media usage, keep an eye on caffeine and sugar intake, avoid alcohol and eat and move to nourish my body.
It’s important to tailor your own self-care toolkit to include activities and rituals that are right for your body and personality type.
I hope these ideas can get you started on your own. I’d love to hear about what’s in your toolkit and if you manage to practice self-care daily.
It’s not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It’s necessary.Mandy Hale