There is this widespread idea that we should be "doing it all" as women and mothers. We want to make big moves in our career, nurture our families and have the most romantic partnership. The problem wit that is there are only 24 hours in a day and we often put ourselves at the end of the daily to-do list, if we're on it at all.
That do-it-all hustle is great for a while, but there will be a time you burn out because you're not taking care of you. In an article published by the Harvard Business Review, Stew Friedman found from years of studies that, "The more time that working mothers spent taking care of themselves, the better were the emotional and physical health of their children."
That's why self-care is so important.
Self-care, identifying your own needs and taking the steps to meet them, may feel like a selfish thing, especially when your list of must-dos seems impossible. Yes, there are dishes in the sink, you haven't seen your best friend for a while and your son needs your help on a school project. But, when you hit burnout – and you will – you won't be of help to anyone.
Self-care is about taking proper care of yourself, just as you would your family or friends. To focus on doing something that makes you feel nurtured, happy and reduce your stress. Neglecting you can quickly spiral into added stress, unhappiness and lowered self-esteem
If you just got a bit of panic, wondering where you will find the time in your schedule, that's proof that you really need it. And a little does go a long way.
Self-Care How To's:
- Meditate for 10 minutes.
- Unplug for one hour.
- Pay yourself a compliment.
- Sign up for the gym and go.
- Go to bed 20 minutes early.
- Enjoy a warm cup of tea in silence.
- Splurge a little with a small treat.
- Take yourself out for lunch.
- Enjoy a bubble bath.
- Get outside in the sun for 15 minutes.
- Dance to your favorite song.
- Put on a bright lipstick and take a selfie!
- Start a journal and write your thoughts.
- Read for fun and leisure.
- Burn a scented candle.
- Take yourself out for coffee.
Friedman explains, "In the face of intense pressure to meet the performance expectations of the people around you at work, at home, and in the community you're naturally inclined to give yourself short shrift." Self-care isn't a one-time deal. The best way to keep yourself refreshed and recharged is to do small things that you love every day and save the larger recharges for the weekends. Make it a priority, don't cancel on yourself because we know you wouldn't let a friend down, so treat yourself the same way.
You'll feel healthier and happier and so will the ones you love!