Being a busy single mom and entrepreneur I often focused more on my children, family and building my business than actually taking care of myself. I thought I was perfectly fine; after all, I was getting some sleep at night, trying to relax when I had some free time and getting my nails done when I had a spare chance. What I failed to realize is that I was actually burning myself out. My “self-care” wasn’t doing a bit of good because I wasn’t actually grasping what the term actually meant. I thought it meant taking some time throughout the day for myself but I was very wrong. Self-care is about making sure that your mental, physical and emotional health is taken care of. While I was doing some things for myself I wasn’t doing everything I could to nurse my mind and body. That was causing me to be burnt out and very exhausted throughout the day.
Once I figured out the actual meaning of self-care I started to implement some self-care tips throughout my week. I started slow because I had to get used to actually doing things for myself instead of doing things for others. I felt selfish but at the same time I knew that I couldn’t continue on being burnt out and worn out. Even now I do find it hard to take the time for myself but I do it. Even if it means locking myself in the bathroom with my journal and a cup of coffee for a half hour. (Admit it, you’ve locked yourself in a room to get away from your kids for a few minutes.)
What did I do and what can you do to practice self-care?
Self-care is actually very easy to implement once you actually admit to yourself that you need to take better care of yourself. You can start to practice self-care by making small changes to your daily life:
- Not trying to fit everything into your day
- Asking for help when you need it
- Go to bed a half hour earlier than you’re used to
- Take a bath with your favorite bath bomb
- Journal your thoughts, complaints, what you’re grateful for
- Get up a half hour earlier so you can have “morning me-time”
These are some things that I started to implement in my daily life. I forced myself to go to bed earlier and wake up earlier so that I could have some time before my kids got up. I also started to prioritize my to-do list so I didn’t have a laundry list of things that I couldn’t fit into my day. Having a to-do list is only functional if you can actually get all of your tasks done After that it turns into a huge mess and a stress inducing list of tasks that you’re overwhelmed with. I also started to journal every night before bed. I started to journal because it helped me to dump everything out of my brain and onto paper. This helped a great deal because I didn’t have all of these stressful thoughts floating around in my mind, promoting my insomnia.
Make self-care a daily habit
It takes 30 days to form a habit. Your new self-care routine may seem selfish at first but once you get into a pattern it becomes second nature to you. Practice your new daily self-care habits every single day and add something else into your schedule that will give you time to unwind. This might be reading a book, going out for coffee with a friend, visiting a new restaurant, going to a movie or even watching a movie on the couch after your kids go to bed for the night. You don’t have to do anything huge for yourself, just start to implement small self-care steps every day.
How do you practice self-care? What are your favorite things to do for yourself?