You matter. You deserve self-care. What’s your self-care like right now? Do you make conscience decisions about filling yourself with fulfillment and peace, or are you numbing out in front of the TV before collapsing into bed?
Regardless of your current self-care practices (or lack thereof), this episode is for you.
Especially as parents of children with extra needs, we merit extra care.
In this episode, Jessica differentiates between self-sooth and self-care, and responds to the “I don’t have time” excuse. We chat about some of her favorite forms of self-care like running and deep breathing, and she teaches us about the concept of false guilt.
As you’ll hear over and over throughout the episode, the art of self-care is vital. And I promise you won’t regret the time and care dedicated to yourself.
Every night before going to bed, I slip into a steaming hot bubble bath.
Yes, every night.
I sigh as the hot water envelopes my skin and I settle into a good book or an uplifting podcast episode.
I adopted this practice almost a year ago and haven’t looked back. It’s been a game-changer to my arsenal of self-care.
A life-coach podcaster brought about the epiphany that I needed this in my life. She said that to ward off burn out or desperation for an escape from “life”, we need to bring the luxury into our everyday lives—what wisdom!
She counseled her listeners to reflect on simple things or activities that make us feel luxurious, and then to incorporate them into each day. I decided right then and there that nothing speaks luxury to me more than bubble baths. It’s virtually free and always available to me! Check, check, check.
It’s become a habit like brushing my teeth before I climb into bed. And all day (especially on those seemingly unending ones), I look forward to my little dose of luxury. And it truly fuels me.
So, what is self-care? What “counts”?
In episode 32 all about self-care, Jessica Patay shared how she personally differentiates between self-care, and what she refers to as “self-soothing”. She claims that we are self-soothing when we do things like have a favorite cup of tea, or have our nails done. In the moment they may give us a thrill or comfort, but the comfort is quick to dissipate; it isn’t lasting. And if it isn’t lasting, then it is not considered self-care.
Jessica shared a few of her favorite habits that fill her proverbial vessel. She loves to go on runs with friends early in the morning several times a week, writes in a gratitude journal, and does guided meditations through an app. (Link in show notes).
And this is not to say she has hours of free time each day. She (and I) create the time for life-giving practices. She boldly stated:
“We have choices about whether we're going to do these things or not. We really do. It's really in our hands. We are not powerless to our schedules and to our family's needs. We're not!”
And that is one of the most powerful aspects of self-care.
It is taking our mental, physical, and spiritual health into our own hands. We are ultimately responsible for our well-being and our happiness. But that’s not to say we can’t ask for help in getting the time and space we need for those practices.
As Jessica adamantly states, we need to ask for help. If finding that time feels impossible, we need to express our needs to our partners, friends, and family members. And in the episode, Jessica gives some awesome ideas on how to go about asking in a non-threatening way.
False guilt can also be a huge obstacle in giving ourselves the care we need. Jessica defines that as the feeling of guilt when doing things that are perceived as wrong, but in reality are not wrong at all. That guilt can easily creep in for moms when taking time for ourselves. But there is absolutely no need to feel guilty for having needs and taking care of them. As Jessica tenderly put:
“Think about the love and care that you give your child. And the support and the intention and the effort with which you take care of your child. That same heart intention and love can be given to yourself.”
I love this so much. And I’ve had similar thoughts before—we put our whole hearts into the care of our precious families. How are we any different? Are we not a key person in our families and just as deserving of our own love and care?
So, are you ready? Are you ready to amp up your self-care, even if it’s just a few baby steps at a time? Remember to start small and manageable so its easier to stick with it.
Here are some ideas to get you thinking about what practices might work well for you:
- Going for walks/runs (solo or with a friend)
- Zumba/other aerobic exercise
- Deep breathing
- Gratitude journaling
- Traditional journaling
- Painting or other form of art
- Reading a good book
- Phone call/visit with a good friend
- A girl’s night out
- An inspiring podcast episode
Or yes, a nightly bubble bath.
The sky’s the limit on what practices and habits you choose to utilize to bring more fulfillment and joy into your life.
You deserve to be cared for. You have worth. You matter. And self-care is a great way to acknowledge that worth.
The most important step is the first one.