I recently watched Ann Lamott’s Ted Talk: 12 truths I learned from life and writing. She had many good lessons to share but one that stuck out was the importance of self care. Yes, we know we should care for ourselves for lots of reasons- physical, emotional and mental reasons- but her point was that it helps others. In fact, she calls self care “a huge gift to the world”.
Many times we may feel selfish about our self care. That sentence makes me laugh a bit… that’s kind of the point, right? But, when we stop and think about how our lack of self care can be a drain on those around us, it makes me realize that it’s more than just caring for ourselves but also caring for others. I am reminded of what I hear everytime I am on a plane… secure your oxygen mask first before helping others. I have wanted to scream, but what about my baby boy? He needs oxygen just as badly and fast as I do!? But then I remember, I can’t do any good for him if I’m suffocating.
Like most things, I had some preconceived notions about what self car looks like. So, I did some research among my friends to find out what they find successful in feeling rejuvenated throughout life. It’s important to remember that self care doesn’t have to be financially expensive.
1. Exercise. This was a very popular response for many of my friends. One said that “its a huge stress reliever to physically exhaust myself while building strength.” Others preferred a more low key workout like yoga which also involves meditation too. Ideas:
- Fitness Classes
2. Solitude. This is a big one for many moms. We often share most of our life with others- even if we don’t want to (ie: a toddler busting in the bathroom while showering). So, taking a break from those we love to be able to focus on ourselves and doing things that we love is a great thing to recharge. Some examples from others:
- Solo walk
- A nap
- Taking a bath
- Driving in silence
- Being still
3. Personal appearance. This was one I had never really considered before as I am super low maintenance in my appearance. But, I can definitely understand how it can help with your confidence and mood. If you feel blah about your appearance, than spending some time and energy on it can improve your outlook and interactions with others.
- Plastic Surgery
- Make Up
4. Protecting your commitments. One of my friends said she has to say no to opportunities as a form of self care. At first hearing, it didn’t make sense to me, but as she went on I realized that protecting her calendar/schedule was a major form of self care as it prevents over-scheduling and extra stress. For every yes we say, it’s a no to something else. Feeling guilty? I’ll be your No Cheerleader 🙂
5. Do something fun. This may look different for many t people because we all find fun in a variety of ways. A girl’s night out, going on a guy’s camping trip, or exploring a new part of your city could all be fun. The key is to do something fun with other people is make sure they are fun and that you enjoy being with them. Doing something out of the norm gives us something to look forward and gets us out of the normal daily rut.
- Reconnect with an old friend
- Visit a brewery with neighbors
- Picnic at a new park
I’d love to hear how you practice self care!