Friday, December 05, 2014

Self-Care: What does it mean to you?

Mark's Daily Apple posted a great piece yesterday about self-care.  My favorite part:

"More than anything, self-care as I see it is less than a list of behaviors and more a mindset that you’re going to do what serves you rather than what upholds the typical routine and others’ infinite expectations. If that sounds selfish, I’d offer you the seeming irony that when we let go of the obligation to react to others’ expectations, we can actually be more present to their needs as well as our own. We’re off the manic carousel and standing on solid ground. It’s a much better vantage point from which to perceive, act and relate in life. When we take care of ourselves we slough off less stress and projection onto other people. The impact is easy to underestimate."

Two points stand out for me:

1) The significant importance of self-care, and how it is often overlooked.  I think this is especially true in the parenting world (and maybe the most true when kids are young -- but I can't say for sure, ask me in about 10 years :) ).  There is so much focus on creating the ideal environment for our children, from the organic crib mattress to 'classes' for 2 year olds.  And yet -- so many parents I know (mothers especially, I think) neglect to take any time or energy for themselves.  Or they feel they 'shouldn't.  As a result, they wind up feeling frayed and stressed and no one wins.  

2) Self-care can be simple.  It has just as much -- if not more -- to do with mindset than the actual activities themselves.  To me, self-care is about consciously choosing to do something for yourself, and then fully engaging in it.  Allowing yourself to relax and enjoy the moment.  Obvious and less-obvious self-care rituals could include:

a 15 minute shower using favorite products (like a good exfoliating scrub)
✱ journaling for 10 minutes before bed.  I do this intermittently and love it.
✱ a yoga class or really any workout.  Getting to really use your body can even be a treat if you have the right mindset.
✱ a glass of wine and a magazine at 9pm
✱ reading (perhaps after eating) during lunch hour at work -- even if it's only for 10 minutes
✱ lunch out with a good friend
✱ meditating
✱ decluttering :) (current obsession)
✱ getting a massage on your birthday (this is my favorite favorite thing)

It's easy to think we don't have time for self-care but I would argue that almost anyone has 5-10 minutes per day to do SOMETHING consciously and deliberately for oneself.  Thoughts?  Your favorite self-care ritual?  (The possibilities are infinite, I think.)

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Dinner out with A&C (and Josh & Grandparents) on Wednesday night:

C fell asleep on the way.
He rallied though, after this!

Growing up way too fast:


Posing


Just omg.