"I had a boyfriend once who would always come into the house after work and tell me he needed to “Take the day off” and then we could talk, etc. He always needed a moment to himself after work to decompress, shower etc. He would get home, wash up and take a few moments to himself and come out refreshed and ready to enjoy his evening with me. It was a small moment of self-care that he practiced daily."-D. Sanders
Women have to be everything to everyone. Nurturers by nature, our roles can be exhausting and draining. We are the ones who rarely take time to give to ourselves. Last year, I had to learn a hard lesson in making time for “self-care”. I had to give myself permission to take the necessary time and space to replenish and restore everything I give away on a daily basis. As a busy, working mom, I realized that in order to make sure I made self-care a part of my day, I had to schedule it. I spent my days taking care of business and at night, after my kids were sleep, my healing/self-care sessions began. It was in those late nights, that I purged myself of everything that was painful, hurtful and stressful. It was in those late nights, that I acknowledged my own faults and created plans to do and become better. I owned my mistakes in those late nights and I forgave myself for not doing better and for making bad choices. It was in those late nights, that I allowed myself to be angry about the things that caused me pain and heartache. I began to write more and I felt the weight slowly lifting off of my spirit. In time, I started to feel like myself again.
Self-care involves taking a moment to silence the noise. Our days are busy and full of activity. I have a job that is very busy, three active and involved children, and a thriving writing and recording career that often requires me to get out to various events in the city. I’m burning the candle at both ends most of the time. At the end of most evenings, my routine is simple; I take a long detox bath, enjoy a glass of wine, play some music and turn the lights off. Some evenings, I take a break and just allow myself to enjoy some of my favorite television dramas alone with popcorn. Some nights as I get ready for bed, I put my favorite calming oils in my diffuser and allow the scents to relax me. I schedule my own personal spa days at home where I just tend to my appearance. In each of these moments, I am hitting the “Pause button”, enjoying private time that is uninterrupted and allowing myself to be alone with my thoughts. These are just a few of the self-care practices I’ve begun to exercise daily. Everyone has a different idea of self-care but its primary goal is simple; to tend to yourself. Self Care is defined as the decisions people make for themselves to ensure they are physically and mentally fit. My self-care practices ensure my mental wellness and spiritual peace. To manage stress, I tend to enjoy aggressive workouts such as insanity, boxing and MMA. I’m learning how to balance how I take care of myself mentally, spiritually and physically. I’ve been lacking on the physical part lately and have to do better in making the time to take care of physical body in addition to my mental and spiritual self.
Self-Care is now a part of my daily schedule. It allows me to replenish “My cup” so I’m able to give freely to the ones I love. The daily act of replenishing my cup has fueled my creativity and allowed me become more comfortable in my vulnerability. It is the simple act of replenishing my cup daily that allows me to be “super” to the ones I love the most. My kids know “Thursday” nights are “mommy’s night”. I’m a better mom when I learn to take care of myself first. I have more to give when I’m running on a full tank. I’m still in this space of healing, purging and forgiving. My self-care routine is constantly evolving, depending on where I am emotionally and mentally. This process helped me understand that I am not a “superwoman” but I am an authentic one who does super things with my life, striving each day to be better than I was before. I am not perfect and when I make mistakes, I acknowledge them and correct them. I’m trying to learn not to beat up on myself when I don’t live up to my own expectations. I acknowledge when I’m not feeling my best and take the necessary time to deal with those emotions. I no longer wear a mask that denies the reality of what I feel or where I am. Daily self-care is how I manage the stress in my life and I’m unapologetic for scheduling “ME” time and I enjoy those things that bring me joy and peace. The world and our lives are moving so fast…don’t be afraid to “hit the pause button” and refill your cups.
What are your self-care practices and how do you make time for yourself when the world doesn’t seem to stop?
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