One of the things that becomes more and more of a hot topic as we get older is self-care. For many of us, the time to get it together is usually when we are at the brink of falling completely apart. In some cases, a visit to the doctor has scared us into recognizing that we have pushed ourselves beyond our limits or we notice that our clothes stop fitting the way we like and realize that we have gained weight. Either case, the root of it all is how we take care of ourselves. This topic becomes even more pressing as we realize that there are eyes watching us all the time. They are emulating our self-care rituals, and if we neglect ourselves so will they.
Self-care is important because if you are not well it is impossible to cater to the needs of your family.
Sit back for a minute and think about your daily lives; does the idea of what you do every day leave you amazed at how you manage it all? I am sure many of you are like me, some days you are exhausted and wish you could take a vacation. As moms, we are responsible for a lot – we are managing the households, cooking dinner, raising children, providing support to our spouses and when we get time, then we manage to tend to our own needs.
And, therein lies the problem.
I had to realize that pushing myself to perfection wasn’t good for anybody except the little voice inside my head. When I started taking time to care for myself, I noticed an uptick in my effectiveness in every other area of my life. That’s when it became clear to me that self-care is important because I need to be at my best in order to be there for my family.
And, being at my best isn’t perfection. Being at my best is about incorporating some techniques into my busy lifestyle to make sure that I’m balanced and centered as far as my physical, mental and emotional well-being. Being at my best is about monitoring and managing the stress that can wear down my mind, body, and spirit. Have you ever snapped for no apparent reason? Well there was a reason; you just didn’t realize it at the time. Perhaps you needed rest, a moment to yourself, or simply needed some things taken off of your plate. In either case, it’s important to pick up on your cues and following through with what your body needs. Rather than having to explain an attitude or apologize for a snap moment, start a regular routine of self-care to prevent day-to-day wear-out.
Self-care demonstrates a love for self.
Not only does self-care help you operate at your best, it also demonstrates self-love. Allow me to get a little preachy on you for a second. The body you have is the only one you will get, the same goes for your mind and your spirit. There are no second chances or do-overs, it literally is just what it is. So with that said, will you agree that it make perfect sense to take the necessary time to love on you? We are so used to giving; it’s in our nature as mother and as women to give ourselves to others. Did you ever stop to realize how much more people will love you when they see you demonstrate a deep love for yourself? I am willing to guarantee you that they will be influenced by your actions, motivated to replicate them in their own lives. Not to mention how much fuller you will become, simply the love you have starts from within.
We are raising daughters, and we all know the importance of self-love in little girls. The absence of it follows them in to adulthood making it difficult for them to love others and in some cases causing them to seek validation in the wrong areas. If we want to teach our daughters about self-care, we have to teach them about self-love and that can only be achieved through being the example.
Self-care builds strength and character.
A few years ago, Suave conducted a survey that included 3,000 women. Results of the survey indicated that 76% of women says that it is important to take care of themselves. Yet, 80% of the women said that they practice what would be defined as intentional self-care such as going to the spa, taking a day off to just do something for themselves. Of the women that did practice self-care every now-and-again indicated that they felt happier, prettier, more confident. With self-care we are able to operate at our best, we are able to demonstrate self -love and we are working to build our own strength and character. Every good thing starts with our belief that it’s possible, right? So if taking care of yourself prepares you to do good things in the world, is there really anything left to discuss? Think about it, strength and character are attributes distinctive to an individual and they are positive traits. If we build ourselves with strength and high moral character then those traits will present themselves in our children as well.
Strength of character is the state or quality of being mentally strong. I interpret this as being able to walk away from things that aren’t good for me. That in itself is self-care. I also see this as a reflection of that age old phrase, ill-being but I won’t break. That’s strength and it’s also self-care. Taking care of yourself means knowing your limits; it means having the ability to walk away when you’ve had enough; all of which are also extension of strength.
Self-care is necessary, for ourselves and our little ones who are watching us. It helps us to be at our best, having a good attitude and being able to positively interact with others because we aren’t under unnecessary stress ourselves. Self-care reminds us to love ourselves first and it helps to build strength and character. I don’t know about you but I’ve made the needed adjustment to my self-care routine and now it’s locked and loaded.
Is self-care a priority for you?