Self care doesn’t have to be as hard as we make it. That said, self care is pretty important for most parents to be the parent they want to be. When you’re giving to your kids, spouse, employer, friends, volunteer work, and not leaving anything for yourself, where does that leave you?
For me, I’m short tempered around the people who are most likely to trigger me – my kids.
Right now, self care is giving myself grace and acknowledging I’m doing the best I can with aspirations to do better. It’s not about expectations. It’s not even really about goal setting. It’s just an aspiration. Aim for taking my multivitamin each day. Aim for more water. Aim to go for a walk. If those things don’t happen, give grace and acknowledge I’ve done the best I can.
Self care doesn’t mean stress yourself out in the name of being less stressed.
When I head to the downward spiral of spending my time worried that I didn’t get enough water in, scrutinizing the way my clothes fit, not getting to bed when I want, or mismanage my time and run late – that sets me up to be in the head space that I’m failing. That I’m not doing everything I want, how and when I want it. That I’m not trying hard enough, that I’m wasting my time, that I’m not…enough. This feeds those feelings of shame that can hold us back from being the parent, spouse, employee, business owner, friend we want to be. And no one is doing it to us, but ourselves.
There’s the saying, “what you focus on expands.” Would you rather focus on the ways you didn’t care for yourself, leading to more neglect of your needs, or focus on what you were able to do? Which do you think works better to help you achieve your goals?
So, in the name of self care, give yourself grace. Be the best you can be, while aspiring for all of your more’s and less’s and better’s. And when you do meet all your aspirations for the day, give yourself kudos. You did it! You got it done. And bask in the feeling of that. And then allow yourself to do it again.