It’s been pretty clear for a while now that humankind needs a better work-life balance. We need more time for health, pleasure, leisure, family and personal development. My inbox is filled with emails on the subject of self-care – clean eating challenges, wellness retreats and fitness goals. Fashion retailers are even marketing the movement, with one in particular advertising “The Well-Being Movement” in order to sell a myriad of sportswear looks for a variety of athletics. It’s refreshing to see and much preferred to getting spammed with get-rich-quick schemes and propositions from singles in my area. It can also be a little overwhelming though, when trying to decide what to tackle first and how to make self-care a regular part of our lives.
Self-care is especially important for moms. We are constantly caring for others and letting our own needs suffer. When we practise the basics of self-care, our mood improves, stress levels go down, we are more positive and have a better work-life balance. It also helps us to feel more connected to ourselves and the world around us. Self-care is taking the time to do things that nurture you. It’s about taking proper care of yourself and treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.
How to Make It Happen
Most moms have a pretty good idea of what they want to focus on, but if you need help identifying your own self-care needs, take a few minutes to reflect on the different areas of your life – emotional, physical, mental and spiritual – and ask yourself how you feel about each. What areas can you improve on right away and which ones will require a little more effort? It may be helpful to write your thoughts down in a journal or agenda.
On a daily basis, take five minutes out to do something just for you in one of the areas you’ve targeted, something that gives you a sense of well-being or comfort, like sipping your favourite cup of tea while flipping through a magazine or doing a crossword puzzle. If you have more time to spend then that’s a bonus, but five minutes on a regular basis will go a long way. Set a reminder on your device or in your day planner.
Plan ahead for other larger events that are just for you, such as a monthly spa date on your own or with a friend, an annual yoga retreat or bike trip with the girls, and don’t stop there. Schedule in exercise classes, coffee dates and walks with friends, and make sure to put it in your day timer. If you don’t prioritize it like all of your other responsibilities, it won’t happen!
Examples of Self-Care
It’s different for everyone depending on where you want to focus most of your energy (emotional, physical, etc.) but the following list will give you some good inspiration for self-care.
Listen to music you enjoy or try journaling.
Learn something new – try a workshop in pottery, photography, acting and more.
Take a relaxing bath or daytime nap.
Join a dance class or running group.
Meditate for a few minutes each day.
Spend time in nature.
Talk openly with a trusted friend.
Buy yourself a small gift to enjoy while you take care of yourself, like some tea, a scented candle or flowers.
While it doesn’t appear that our world is slowing down anytime soon, we can do our part to ensure we have more balance in our lives. Make time for self-care and treat yourself as a worthwhile person – you deserve it! Now I’m off to enjoy day four of my 21-Day Yoga Challenge. Namaste.