Taking Care of You
I don’t have time. I am too tired. It’s selfish. I cannot focus on myself. I don’t know what to do/what I enjoy anymore. Excuses - plain and simple. These are just a few excuses that you probably tell yourself on a regular basis as to why you cannot take care of yourself. Why you cannot engage in self-care. It does not matter what the reasons are because at the end of the day what it comes down to is that you do not prioritize yourself.
Self-care is not all bubble baths, massages or weekends away. It is having that first sip of HOT coffee or tea in the morning before you look at your phone or your house wakes up. It is getting together with friends, or going for a walk, or watching your favourite TV show, or paying that bill so you stop thinking about it. It is setting aside time in your day to make sure you are doing something that refills your cup so you can do it all again tomorrow.
I realize that it is easier said than done. You may be reading this and thinking about how busy you are and how you have no extra time in the day to add another thing or that you don’t want to add another thing to the ever growing too do list. I get it. As a working Mom with two little kids it is hard to just get done the day to day tasks and prepare for the next day. It is hard to put in the time and effort to do something for yourself when you spend all day taking care of others and then just wanting to crash when they go to bed; or you mindlessly scroll social media or watch your TV show. If you’re telling yourself that you do not have time – look at your screen time usage. Look at how much time you spend on your phone or on different apps then tell me that you cannot find even just 10 minutes a day to do something that is just for you.
Yes you may be tired, yes your schedule may be busy but when did you stop being important? When did you forget about yourself?
It’s selfish – I cannot focus on me when there is so many other things that need to get done. False. How are you supposed to care for others when you cannot even care for yourself? Did you ever think that taking the time each day to do something for you would actually make you a better partner, parent, employee, friend etc.?
Taking care of you is never selfish. Think about everything you do in the day. Think about everything you are doing for others in your life; whether it is family, friends or at work. When we make the time for ourselves we are saying ‘I am important and I matter!’
I do not believe in complicating self-care; my personal favourites are getting in my early morning workout followed by my coffee before the children wake up in the morning and tidying up after the kids go to bed at night. Do I love waking up at 5 am? Heck no. Do I do it because it’s the only way I can get some ME time before everyone wakes up? Heck yes! Does it make me a better person? Absolutely! Do I enjoy waking up to a tidy house with no dirty dishes in the sink? 100%! It helps start my day in a state of calm.
If you cannot remember what you enjoy or where to even start take some time to ponder these questions. What brings a smile to my face? What was something I used to do before kids/work/life got busy? If I could have an entire day to myself without responsibilities, what would I do?
I like to practice what I preach. I try to always check in with my mood to see where I am at and then I look at whether I’ve been consistent in my self-care. Almost every time that I am feeling stressed or overwhelmed it is because I have not been making time for self-care or I’ve been doing the bare minimum and need to step it up a bit or switch it up if it is not working. Self-care is not one size fits all or works for ever situation and feeling; figure out what works best for you and in different situations.
Try it for a week or two. Carve out some time in your schedule to do something that is just for you that helps recharge your battery. See how you feel after a week or two. It does not need to be perfect. The important thing is that you are making a decision to take care of yourself and making yourself important. You are taking care of you.