Are you feeling like you don’t have time for “self-care”? Challenge yourself to believe that self-care isn’t so much a practice that involves large amounts of time “doing”, as it is a way of “being”, a way to show yourself love. Once you resolve to love yourself, you will fall in love with taking care of yourself.
A couple of Sundays ago, I woke up feeling moody and emotional.
The previous day had been a whirlwind of activity, filled with the kids’ sports, a block party we attended as a family, a birthday party drop-off squeezed into the middle of it all, and then it culminated in a family movie night.
Well, as an introvert, I truly covet my alone time and after the day I’d just had, I realized that I was surely on social overload! I had hit my wall and I knew I needed time to myself doing something restorative for my soul.
After considering my usual go-to tools for feeling good, I decided what I needed was to engage in physical movement in a way that I enjoyed and to spend some time outdoors.
So I chose to ride my bike around the neighborhood and within 15 minutes of cruising, I felt like a completely new person. This simple act of joyful physical movement in the fresh air rejuvenated me within minutes!
But that’s not surprising to me because I’ve learned that taking care of yourself does not have to be elaborate or time-consuming.
What is true self care?
However, in case you were wondering, I haven’t always been so good at pursuing the restorative practices that have become so impactful in my life.
In fact, a few years ago if I had woken up feeling emotional, I likely would not have understood why, nor would I have tried to.
Instead, I would’ve pushed down the feelings and simply “grinned and beared it”, going about my day on autopilot. Perhaps crying in the bathroom for a few minutes and most definitely feeling resentful and anxious all day long.
With my laundry list of things that needed to get done on a daily basis, how could I possibly find the time to go for an hour-long massage, not to mention the energy to get myself there? Even on a weekend when my husband was around, I didn’t feel right taking time away from my family to do something for myself. #momguilt
Like most moms, I always put everyone else’s needs first and had become so accustomed to pushing down my own that I wasn’t able to even recognize them anymore, let alone have the tools to provide a solution.
What I understand now is that true self-care is simply adopting a mindset in which you prioritize and make space for yourself in your life. So that you can enjoy this life that you’re working so hard to build and give the best of yourself to the ones you love most in it.
Self-care is not something cumbersome that we need to step away from our lives to do, but something that we learn to naturally weave into our day-to-day by establishing restorative habits and practices.
Fall in Love with Taking Care of Yourself
These days, although I do have a mental list of self-care ideas that work to replenish me, I don’t believe that self-care is a list of things to do.
Rather, it is a state of mind that allows for the self-awareness to recognize what you need and the self-love to find ways to weave this into the days and weeks that make up your life.
You provide this for yourself through small consistent acts of self-compassion, where the frequency matters much more than the duration.
If we can give ourselves over to the mindset that self-care is a way of being, not a way of doing, then it becomes much easier to practice it in our lives. It becomes a way to love yourself and to simply give yourself what you need as an act of love.
Then it follows that the better you become at loving yourself, the easier it is to fall in love with taking care of yourself.
Are you ready to fall in love with taking care of yourself?
How will you care for yourself today? This week? Let me know in the comments.
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Carly is a wife, mom, and former fashion industry executive turned blogger, who is on a journey to live life as the best version of herself. Through her website, littlevoicebigmatter.com, she shares practical advice and heartfelt insights to inspire and support women in motherhood, relationships, wellness, and life.