Did you know that International Self-Care Day is July 24? I’m all for the big holidays of the year, but in my opinion, we should raise the roof for this particular day.
Self-care is so very important, especially as a momma. Caring for young kids is an endless task. And while I would do anything to keep my kids safe, fed, and feeling loved, sometimes I look at the magnitude of the task and just feel…exhausted.
To me, being Supermom means being able to ignore the piles of laundry long enough to take a second and feel good about at least a couple things that happened that day–even if it was just remembering your daughter’s sippy cup and stashing the preschool payment in the mail before it was too obscenely late. It’s hard; I want to ace this gig out, but the pace can be stymieing. That’s why self-care is so valuable.
I am a firm believer that in order to care for others, we must first care for ourselves. That can be a really, really hard thing to do as a mom. Oftentimes we have to sneak it in the corners of everything else. Oftentimes while we long for a spa day and solid nap, we only have time to pour ourselves a fresh glass of water or steal two extra seconds in the shower. However you do it, it’s vital to refresh and rejuvenate to gain the energy needed to be there for our kids.
Before becoming an OTCSafety Ambassador, I hadn’t considered managing medications to be part of my self-care routine. The World Health Organization defines self-care: “what people do for themselves to establish and maintain health, and to prevent and deal with illness. It is a broad concept encompassing hygiene, nutrition, lifestyle, environmental factors, socioeconomic factors, and self-medication. “
Huh. Go figure that all those vitamins and supplements I stuff in my fridge are a way of loving on myself.
Have medicines or other pills in your home? Make sure they are a healthy part of your own self-care regimen. Mark a date on your calendar to go through your medicine cabinet and get rid of anything expired, and of course, make sure to keep everything up and out of the hands of kids. And consider if there’s a supplement that might benefit you or your family. If you are responsible about your meds, they are a super-easy way to sneak in some self-care!
To help further explain the value of self-care and give us some cool ideas for how to do it, I got the input of some very smart ladies about what self-care means to them. The smart, real ways they embrace this concept are down-right inspiring:
Jenn of Coolest Family on the Block–“As a mega introvert above all else “self care” means quiet alone time.”
Kathy of My Dishwasher’s Possessed–“For me I find writing a few things that I’m grateful for has the power to instantly change my mindset. When I do it, not only does my day improve, but the whole mood in my family changes. When I don’t it’s not very pretty here!”
Jenn of Something Cleaver 2.0–“Since my son was born, my husband and I have had a deal: I get to sleep until 10 on Saturdays, and he sleeps until 10 on Sundays. As parents, it’s important to have one day a week where we don’t get up earlier than the birds!”
Kristen–“Self-care is being late to my therapist because I took an extra 5 minutes in the shower to shave my legs – life is full of choices!“
Stephanie of When Crazy Meets Exhaustion–“I used to think healthy meant a killer bod; since having kids, healthy means being able to keep up with them. So I don’t have the abs of my former self? But I can play a mean game of street hockey and a mind-numbing game of princesses.”
Kathy of Kissing the Frog–“Nowadays, self-care simply means doing something that makes me happy. It could be a long walk, it could be reading a novel, it could be writing something I’m really proud of, it could be lunch with friends or dinner alone with Hubby, or a spa service all by myself. Stephanie Barone Jankowski is right, the definition of self-care changes after motherhood and the demands on one’s time.”
Adrienne–“Extra minute in the shower. Plucking my eyebrows. Painting my nails once in a blue moon. Being alone, being with others. Walking/Running. Spa days with my sister :)”
Janine of Janine’s Confessions of a Mommyaholic–“I admit I probably don’t take care of myself as much as I should will be pulled in so many different directions daily, but the one thing I do try to make time for is a quick workout when I can and even (I know it may sound crazy) but doing my nails, just polishing them myself makes me feel a bit better and it is the quiet alone time that does it for me…”
Meredith of From Meredith to Mommy–“ I take a bubble bath with a book almost every night. It’s how I relax and unwind from being “on” all day. Productive use of child free time? No, but a happy mom is a better mom!”
Jessica of Domestic Pirate–“I think self-care evolves with us. When I had an amazing support system and my depression was under control, self care meant working out, eating well, and writing every day for me. Now? It means showering whenever I get the chance, giving myself the green light to sit and take my time to enjoy my coffee in the morning, and getting out of the house by myself at least once a week.”
Kari of Rhymes with Sorry–“I think “self care” is very fluid, because every person has different needs, just like the difference between extroverts and introverts.”
Melanie of The Not So Super Mom–“‘Self care’ always makes me think of hygiene or a beauty routine. Since (for me) there is no such thing as a beauty routine, sometimes those extra minutes in the shower/bathroom make all the difference. Showering without rushing, shaving my whole legs (not just below the knee)…”
Laura of Squeezed Fresh 4U–“Self-care to me, means making sure I get the people I take care of…to pay attention to me, too. To know that, hey yeah I just cooked all the last meals, been doing the dishes…and now it’s your turn.”
Amanda of Questionable Choices in Parenting–“Now that I’m a mom, self care tends to be my last priority but I’m working on changing this. The truth is, if Mommy gets sick, this whole ship goes down! So I’m eating better, working out, and finding time to get to doctors appointments.”
Jennifer of Outsmarted Mommy–“I can often be seen running with my ipod smiling like I slept with a hanger in my mouth. It’s not pretty but man alive does it relieve my stress. A less stressed mom makes for happier children. :)”
I hope you caught the important message that how self-care looks is different for everyone. Notice too how several of these ladies noted that the way we self-care is not stagnant; it will change as we grow and move through life. But whatever you figure out works for you, do it!
Join us on International Self-Care Day to redefine the notion of SuperMom as being a mom who takes the time to care for herself. And let us how YOU care for yourself below. Jump on the self-care bandwagon–it’s a very cool place to be!
****I am compensated as an OTCsafety blogging ambassador for this post, but my opinion are my own.****