Self-care is becoming an increasingly popularized term in both scope and practice–self-care is an intentional activity you partake in in order to nurture your physical, mental, or spiritual health. It often becomes overlooked as we work to meet the ever-increasing demands of our day-to-day lives, yet it is so incredibly important. Self-care is a vital component in managing your stress and living a holistic, happy life. It is also the key to having not only a good relationship with yourself but also with those around you. Self-care is something you engage in that fills you up and rejuvenates you–it refuels you in mind, body, and soul.
Some of the individuals I have had the pleasure of meeting with struggle with the concept of self-care because they perceive it as being a selfish act–how can I spend time on myself when I have my spouse and my children to take care of; how can I put my needs above others; can I really take time away from those I am serving in order to focus on myself? The answer to this question is simple: Yes. Yes, you absolutely can put your needs first because, if you look at it this way, you can’t poor from an empty cup…Now, I’m not encouraging you to completely forsake the needs of those you care for, but I have known many a person who, whether intentionally or unintentionally, continues to give to those around them time and time again until they find themself in a place where they can no longer give…they have nothing left. Therefore, in order to take care of those we love, we need to learn to take care of ourselves first.
While self-care is something, as I said, that is unique to each individual–there are some factors to consider while developing your self-care plan. First, actively plan out self-care activities–carve out specific times in your schedule where you know you will be able to follow through with committing to your chosen self-care activities. If you are struggling with this then I recommend carving out 15-30 minutes before you go to bed or 15-30 minutes right when you wake up–that way you are more likely to complete your self-care activity without distraction. Second, make it a routine. It doesn’t have to be every day, but it does need to be consistent in order to best serve you in the way it is intended to. Third, it can be simple. Sleeping. Eating clean. Meditation. Laughing. Exercising. All of these are excellent examples of self-care activities that you can be intentional about and make time for in your schedule with ease.
So, what about your child? The reason I’ve elected to talk directly to you, the parent, about self-care and why it is important is because, and I can’t express this enough, you can’t poor from an empty cup. Therefore, I am thinking of your child when I am addressing you in regard to your self-care. Your routine and the way you go about refueling yourself and meeting your needs has both direct and indirect impacts on your child. Also, the best way for you to teach self-care to your child is to model it for them. If you talk to them about creating time to take care of themselves and engage in activities, they find meaningful AND you live out the example, they are more likely to develop these habits for themselves and participate in them consistently. Another wonderful thing about self-care is that it is something with your child, so it can be every bit as fun as it is necessary.
If you would like to learn more about self-care strategies for you or your child and/or develop your own self-care plan, feel free to reach out to us for a free 20-minute phone consultation!