Self-care. If you ever go online and you know how to read, you see this term all over the internet, usually beside a picture of a woman indulgently relaxing in a bubble bath.
Self-care seems pretty self-explanatory: taking care of yourself. This can be physically, mentally, emotionally… Google it and you will find 134 new ways to practice self-care. Personally, I like to keep it simple. And although I tend to be resistant to anything that seems too trendy, I’m a huge advocate for self-care. As a mother who struggles with depression, I know it is extra important to prevent myself from getting burnt out and run down.
The thing with self-care is that it’s different for everyone. For some, self-care may be drinking an organic smoothie every morning made from ingredients you foraged yourself. For me, it’s more like making a huge banana split with extra chocolate sauce and eating it in the bathtub with the door locked. To each their own! I’m going to tell you a bit more about what self-care looks like for me and hope that it will help inspire you to define it for yourself.
Self-care is leaving the enormous, wrinkly pile of laundry and going to bed early.
Self-care is taking my medication every morning.
Self-care is only drinking coffee out of the mug with the hearts on it because it reminds me that I am loved.
Self-care is teaching my oldest how to use the Kuerig so that he can make me the coffee because I do enough for him so it’s only fair.
Self-care is venting to the right people when I’m upset.
Self-care is asking for support when I need it.
Self-care is telling the kids it’s Mommy’s turn to listen to music in the van.
Self-care is going out for a girl’s night and not feeling guilty about it.
Self-care is wearing baggy pants when I’m bloated and giving a dirty look to anyone who even thinks of asking if I’m pregnant.
Self-care is saying “No” when someone asks me to do something I feel like I “should” do but my schedule is already full. I have this tendency to say yes out of guilt because I don’t like to let people down. I’m working on saying “No” without apologizing but I still tend to say, “Sorry, I can’t.” I know it doesn’t warrant an apology but it’s a work in progress.
Self-care is how I respond when my kid stares too long at my naked body and points out how my boobs used to be “more puffy” but now they’re just hanging down. I know she’s right and I think to myself, “Kids are assholes”.
But then I remind myself that this body birthed and nourished three children and is f**king amazing! So, I put on my padded Victoria Secret bra that is fraying at the straps and I walk with my head held high. And I focus on still having a good butt that fills out my mom jeans. That’s my kind of self-care.
What does self-care look like for you?
*Opinions expressed are those of the author, and not necessarily those of Parent Life Network or their partners.