“Self-care? What’s that?”, a fellow homeschooling mom joked when I told her what I was writing about this week.
I know that many moms can relate. We do so much for our families. For whatever reason, we tend to put our needs last. But that should stop – for our sake and for those close to us!
Now is the perfect time to shift your priorities, placing greater importance on your well-being. Why now? I’ll explain that and also give you ideas about how to implement these changes, below.
Why You Need to Prioritize Self-care Right Now
1. You’ll stay healthy well into Winter
If you look around in nature and allow yourself to feel it’s slowing rhythm, it becomes apparent that this is the time of year for more warmth, rest, and reflection in preparation for more challenging times in Winter.
If you ignore these cues, your body will not adjust well and you’re more likely to get sick. The more depleted your energy stores & immune system strength, the more likely you’ll end up with repeated illnesses and secondary infections.
How do you take care of yourself now and make it last?
It’s a good idea to:
Eat warm, well-cooked meals made with seasonal foods.
Allow for plenty of downtime, especially approaching the holidays.
Consider supplementing – Take Vitamin C if you’re not able to get 7 daily servings of fruits & vegetables and Vitamin D if you did not get a lot of sun exposure over the summer.
See a natural health practitioner for wellness visits.
Get daily exercise, but be careful not to over do it.
Spend time outside connecting with nature.
These are the basics for holistic self-care that every family member can use.
You may want to make sure that you’re focusing on YOUR NEEDS first though, and then offer these to your family members in turn. Don’t worry, your not going to forget taking care of your children! It’s simply not in your nature. But you’re likely to forget about yourself if you don’t make this mental shift soon.
2. You’ll discover what nourishes you deeply
By allowing yourself more downtime this Fall, you’ll give yourself more space to reflect on what you truly need. It’s different for all of us.
- Some of us need more alone time.
- Some of us need to be with friends & family.
- Some may need to create art, music, and share their talents with others.
- Some just need time to exercise and connect with their bodies.
- Some may have a desperate need to get out of the house and work a little.
Does the activity you’re choosing fill you up and make you excited about life? This is just one of many questions you can ask yourself when considering what to do in your precious self-care time.
Eg. Eating a pint of ice cream, dropping back a few glasses of wine and watching TV may relieve stress, but they are not choices that would nourish you to the core. This is the time to make healthy choices that last, without any negative side effects!
Also, it’s important to note that if you think you’ve been giving yourself what you need but it’s not working, you’d probably benefit from changing your approach. Sometimes the mind and ego get in the way, thinking that they know best, but they really don’t. And sometimes, what you need may feel a little strange at first, because we’re so used to engaging with ourselves in different and often unhelpful ways.
Eg. If you’re stressed out, exhausted, and try to solve this with hard exercise but are not seeing any benefit, you shouldn’t lose hope. Actually, what you were doing was not what you needed. In this case, a gentle yoga class and meditation would be more appropriate, even though it may seem strange and uncomfortable initially.
3. You’ll Model Self-care For Your Family and Support Them Better
Fellow yoga & mindfulness teacher Hunter Clarke-Fields boldly says in her article Making Yourself A Priority Isn’t Selfish, It’s Your Responsibility that “If you are not taking care of you, you are gypping your children and your family. You are offering them a second-rate version of you. And you are role-modeling a life of ‘not worthy.'”
- Do you wear your busyness like a badge?
- Do you think you’re not worthy of rest & relaxation?
- Are you afraid to spend money on yourself?
- Are your kids’ activities more important than your own?
- And are these the messages you want to teach your children?
Some people may think this is easy for me to say since I only have one child. But believe me, I have a very demanding child AND I homeschool him AND have I have a business with clients who rely on me to be “whole” AND I do not have any child care help other than my husband in the evening hours.
I’ve had to create time for myself because I know that everyone close to me will suffer if I don’t take care of my physical, mental, & emotional health. And I want to be on this planet, engaging with everyone as fully as possible for as long as possible.
So there are some non-negotiable self-care activities that I engage in every day: (1) a spiritually deep morning yoga practice and (2) self-massage/stretching/meditation before bed. I try to squeeze in more (like an evening walk, a hot bath, knitting, and journaling) as need be.
My son understands very well now at 7 years old that I need to do these things to be the happy, loving mom we both want me to be. And I love that he’s getting a fabulous education in self-care.
So, Are You Ready To Focus on YOU?
There’s no better time to focus on what really matters – your health and happiness. Shifting the focus to you is not selfish. It’s the most loving thing you can do for yourself, your family, your friends, and your community. You will come to understand that you are a gift to the world.
Do you know what will nourish you to the core?
Can you make space to focus on it now?
If not, what are you waiting for?
Please reach out if you need help figuring out your self-care routine. We can also discuss as a community if you’d like to share in the comments. Well wishes…