As women, particularly those of us who are moms, we have the tendency to take care of everyone else but not take such good care of ourselves. Even as the author of a self-care book, I am very guilty of this myself! I make lists of everything that needs to get done in a given day, but I forget to put anything that takes care of me on that list.
I have no problem justifying spending money on clothes for my kids or on buying things for their education like books, curriculum and even technology, but I feel guilty spending money on myself. I spend time taking my kids to appointments, several each week in fact, but haven’t been to a dentist for myself in over five years or a doctor in about two. I am obviously not the poster mom for self-care!
I have, however, begun over the past two years to make baby steps in the right direction and am finding that it is absolutely true that when you take better care of yourself, you have so much more to give to others. I will now buy myself clothes when mine are falling apart or no longer fit. I get my hair done (which is a double self-care tactic for me because it is a close friend from out of town who comes to do my hair at my house every few months so I get to have a great visit with a friend plus feel better about how I look!); I take time off from the kids; I spend more time with friends; I am more conscious of what energizes me and spend more time doing that.
I recently bought myself a FitBit and thanks to that, am drinking more water, moving more, eating healthier, and losing weight! That has made a big difference to my overall energy level.
So as a reforming self-care-failure, I encourage you to invest in yourself.
- Take time for you. Put yourself on the calendar. Literally.
- Take care of your body. Exercise. Eat healthy. Drink more water.
- Be willing to spend money on yourself. Invest in training or education to further you towards your goals whether those be career goals, parenting goals, relationship goals, or personal goals.
- Invest in some new clothes that make you feel confident. Don’t spend money you don’t have because of course debt will just cause more stress, but you can still create a new wardrobe for very little money with a bit of creativity. Trade clothing items with a friend. Shop at a thrift store. Sell your old clothes at a consignment store and re-invest the money into new clothing.
- Spend time with people who encourage you and bring out the best in you.
- Do what energizes you.
- Relax. Take a bath. Read a book. Sip tea. Watch a sunset.
- Protect your time. Learn to say no and simplify.
- Take time away from your everyday obligations.
- Unplug. Whether it be one day a week or one evening a week, step back from all technology and get a break from the constant barrage of e-mails and digital requests.
- Spend quiet time in prayer.
- Ask for help. No one can do it all.
Invest in you. You are worth it!
Join me this month as I share ways to help you move towards the life you want to live. Join me in the challenge. Ready to jump off the cliff?