The last year has seen a lot of growth for me personally. After having my twins I was kind of stuck in this “Debbie Downer” way of life. I was and still am, a stay at home mom of 4 kids ages 6 and under. I found myself feeling like the walls of my house were caving in and I was sad. A lot. I tried exercising but I hated it so I wasn’t consistent. Then a friend of mine convinced me to go to a dance studio. It took some time for me to go but once I did, I knew I found my “thing.” Not only was I getting exercise regularly but I was getting out of the house, something that wasn’t happening as often as it should have been. I took workshops through the studio that helped me understand the importance of self care, I met people that continue to inspire me daily, and I finally found something that was just for me. It was then that I realized just how important self care is for not only me, but for my family and everyone around me. I’m happier, my patience level is higher, and I’m just plain more fun to be around. WHOO HOO!
Self care is not a one size fits all kind of thing. And it may take some trial and error to find what works best for you. Everyone’s self care looks different. Do you prefer exercising for an hour each day? Great! Perhaps you like reading a chapter of a book everyday. Awesome! Yoga? Baths? Going for walks? All wonderful! Maybe all you can squeeze in is 10 minutes alone in the laundry room meditating and then eating a piece of dark chocolate. For that I say, I’ll see you there! Maybe you change it up and do a combination of all of those and then some! The important thing is that you are doing SOMETHING.
If you are struggling to find something that works for you, read on for some tips that will help you find your “thing” and fill that empty cup up!
Tips for finding time for self care when you have no time for self care:
- Make time
- Yes, it really is that simple. When you realize just how important self care is to your well being, you’ll make sure you make the time for it. IT’S JUST THAT IMPORTANT! You have the time, so make the time.
- Quality over quantity
- I’m not here to tell you that you need to have 2 hours set aside every single day to dedicate to self care. Who has time for that? I’m super jealous if you do. But the important thing to remember is it’s not about the amount of time you put into it but what you do during that time that counts. Even 10 minutes every single day can change your whole life. Seriously.
- Put it in your schedule
- Put that shit on your calendar. The time of day you do it may need to move from day to day and that’s okay. As long as it gets in there, you’re golden. Whether you use your phone calendar to keep track of your life or make a list of things to get done each day or just have your list in your head. Make sure that self care is in there somewhere.
- Find your space
- Perhaps leaving the house for self care time is not something that is possible for you. No problem! Try and find a place in your house that you enjoy being in and is just for you. Your bedroom, laundry room, hell even the bathroom. Find a place and time where you can be alone and not bothered. If you have kids you may need to be in a place that has a door that locks and you might need some earplugs. Whatever works best for YOU is what works best.
- Guilty feelings are normal.
- Parents, moms especially, are prone to feeling guilty if they go to do something that is just for them and not anyone else. We are programmed to put our children first. And while that is wonderful, you have to have something to give in order to put them first. If you don’t take care of yourself first you won’t have anything left to give. Feeling guilty for leaving is something I still struggle with. But once I return I feel so much better and am honestly a better mom because I took that time to restore myself.
- Find a way to move that fits you
- Yes, I mean exercise. But that looks different for everyone. Just moving your body some every single day can make a HUGE difference in your mood and your productivity. But find something you enjoy doing. Perhaps you are like me and you hate going to the gym. It may take some time, but find something you like doing and then you’re much more likely to stick with it. I found a recent love for Hula Hooping. I turn on a show on Netflix, grab my hoop, and go crazy for 30 minutes. It’s great exercise and I LOVE doing it! There are times where I have to drag myself to exercise and I bitch and moan the whole time but every single time when I finish, I’m so happy and proud of myself for doing it. Mood boost!
So what’s the takeaway here? Mental health is just as important as physical health and self care has a TON of mental health benefits. Self care is just as important as taking care of everyone else. You can’t pour from an empty cup. Fill that shit up first and then make it rain for everyone else after! See you in the laundry room, I’ll bring the chocolate!
Don’t forget to have a little fun today!