Isn’t it funny how as life progresses, responsibilities are spooned onto your plate and your self-care needs drip off?
But first, what is "self-care"?
In simple terms, it’s the act of caring for yourself. A way to care for yourself is scheduling “me-time”. This could be laying down and watching the clouds. It’s reading a good book, going for a long run, hitting the spa, getting your hair cut and colored, or going out with the girls for the evening. It’s doing something for YOU and no one else, uninterrupted.
Why does this sound so selfish? We feel the urge to take care of everyone to the best of our abilities. And we do! We have children, a home, and probably a tired significant other. Oh, and our career to boot! All of these priorities are extremely important, so we make sacrifices.
Why should a Working Mom make her self-care a top priority? Check out these few reasons:
It’s energizing! We could all use more energy, right? So much to do, so little time. If we have no energy, we have nothing to give and therefore will be useless to anyone (or at the very least we will be useful but extremely irate and witchy). Taking some me-time is an opportunity to turn cruise control off, pull over and rest for a bit.
We grow by connecting with others (queue in the theme song from Toy Story here, “You’ve Got a Friend In Me”). Remember a time when you spent time with your girlfriends without children interrupting. You feel satisfied with that relationship because you had the opportunity to invest in it wholeheartedly with your time and attention. We value contributing to others well-being and this should include our friends as well as our family.
You become an even happier person. Taking time to do what YOU want to do, not what someone else is asking or telling you to do is empowering. Not only do you feel refreshed, but you get to catch your breath. Have a moment alone with your own thoughts. It’s also a chance to reflect and appreciate everything that you have accomplished. It’s a celebration (and who doesn’t love a party!)
If these reasons don’t urge you to schedule in some me-time in the immediate future, try this exercise out:
Grab a pad of paper and title a page “Me-Time”. Write down what you would do if you had a day all to yourself. For this one day you wouldn’t be responsible for anything or anyone. Your self-care would be your only priority.