- It can cause you to be less alert, less able to focus, and less able to problem solve.
- It hinders your ability to lose weight (and can actually cause you to gain weight).
- Causes your skin to age faster.
- Impairs your memory.
- Can lead to heart disease and high blood pressure - both of which can be fatal.
- Increases risk of depression and anxiety.
I have been wracking my brain to think of how I can best serve and help you during this time when we're out of our normal routine and thrown into unusual circumstances. I met Deborah and loved how she infused self-care with energy, and I gratefully accepted her offer to guest post on the blog this week.
We all have demands on us that drain our energy. In fact, that is how humans are designed right? We put forth all day and then sleep hard at night!
But sometimes we struggle to really RESTORE ourselves and our energy.
The truth about Self Care that gets lost in pop culture is that it is more than getting massages, or treating yourself to a girls day, or taking the most amazing vacation ever.
Self Care is any intentional action we take that cares for our mind, body, spirit, or emotions. Using that as an outline, let's talk self care!
1. Care for Your Body.
It’s so easy to let caring for your body slide, especially if you don’t like what you see in the mirror. Out of sight, out of mind, you’ve got more important things to do right!??! Wrong!
Taking care of your physical needs is most important, because if you don’t, then you have nothing to give.
It’s so easy to recommend sleep to reenergize, but if you are a mama, sleep doesn’t just come!
So what are other, practical ways, to recharge you throughout the day?
Schedule yourself 10-20min to exercise: yoga, walking, bench pressing babies... 😊
Pause to rest your mind and body for 10 minutes.
Make your favorite smoothie.
Honor your physical space; cleaning can be a gift to yourself.
Celebrate one aspect of your body; this will lift your mood and improve your ability to care for it well.
2. Care for Your Mind.
Mental health is no joke and we see the effects of neglected mental health everywhere.
The truth is, our minds aren’t safe. At some point we can get so wrapped up in our own thoughts and beliefs it can be difficult to untangle them all without professional help.
The first step of good mental health is acknowledging where you are. Is postpartum still kicking your head? Are long, lonely days at home leaving you confused as to the day? Are you struggling with being a working mom, the battle between heart and need? You aren’t alone! So why stay alone?
Acknowledge out loud where you are mentally, telling your partner or a friend.
Remember to take time throughout your day to talk to other adults.
Make a list of topics or tasks that excite your brain, and make time to enjoy them.
Read books and write in a journal.
Remember to dream a little, set your inner creative free, down a happy path, and enjoy the ride!
3. Care for Your Spirit.
We don’t always like to think about our spiritual selves; religion might not be your thing, but you still have a soul.
In ancient Greek the word used is “Psuche” which means breath. The idea is that your spirit is your very breath, it is the core of who you are, and the ultimate purpose in your life. The Greeks also didn’t break humans down into these four parts, instead recognized that they are all one, all interconnected, and all valuable.
In neglecting your spirit, free, religious, or otherwise, you neglect a very important part of who you are and all you can be.
Make time for your daily religious practice.
Identify passions that you can live out every day within mom-life!
Identify your personal values; if you aren’t living in line with these values, you will have inner battles that are very draining. Living aligned with them, you will free up energy.
Take time to identify who you are now, and who you want to be growing forward, and embrace your true spirit!
4. Care for Your Emotions.
Emotions, feelings, are just information telling us about what is happening around and in us.
Because so much can change moment to moment, our feelings can often feel like a roller coaster.
Scientists have now begun to see how these feelings are stored in the cells of our bodies, trauma, anxiety, and such.
Remember that when you feel like you cannot care for your emotional world, that it's too overwhelming, psychotherapy can really help.
Crying is healthy. There is no shame in it. So have that good, cathartic cry.
When juggling multiple emotional worlds, remember your kids' emotions are theirs, they need to learn to process them. While it is your job to teach this, it's not your job to process it for them.
Make a habit to enjoy self-soothing practices, anything that calms and re-centers your emotional world.
Name your emotional need, and learn to identify what meets it, so that you can learn to ask for what you need.
Giggle, flirt, and celebrate life with your partner; it's easy to get bogged down in the emotional depths of life - pause to enjoy the fun parts, too.
Today’s guest blogger is Deborah Sprague, a Certified Professional Coach who delights in helping clients break through barriers and reach personal goals! Teaching others how to Self Care has long been a passion of hers, and her favorite ways of caring for herself are hiking; listening to music; viewing art; and enjoying healthy, delicious, food! She can be found encouraging you to self care on Instagram and Facebook @PsucheLife