When I was a young mom, I knew self-care was important to my well-being. What I didn't know was how to incorporate it into my day-to-day routine. Like many, I thought self-care meant hours at the gym -- hours I knew I didn't have without a huge sacrifice.
I firmly believe that 99.9 percent of women understand the concept of self-care. And I am certain the majority of those women, especially those who are mothers, have put off self-care to handle other tasks. Such is the life of a mom; but, it doesn't have to be all or nothing.
Self-care can be as simple as a 10-minute walk to clear your thoughts or a trip to the nail salon for a manicure. It can also be as elaborate as scheduling an in-home massage (Yes! There is such a thing! ) or a weekend getaway to a hotel by yourself.
That's the beauty of self-care: *you* decide what you need to feed your soul.
Remember that old-school advice our elders gave us about sleeping when the baby sleeps and all that good stuff? They knew self-care was important long before it became a trendy buzzword.
Trust me, the dishes in the sink aren't going anywhere, and I can guarantee you the laundry isn't either. But there aren't any guarantees on your health. We only get one body so we might as well take care of it.
Practicing self-care also means being willing to accept help. That 10- or 30-minute walk might be better without the kids, so let Dad or Grandma help. Same goes for the trip to the spa or the in-home massage.
Allow others to help you.
I spent years saying I would *work* on my health when the kids got older. Well, the kids got older (my firstborn is 25), but I didn't work on my health. I procrastinated. Feeling *blah* the majority of the time made me wake up. It was now or never ... and it is definitely not easy. I struggle with motivation, commitment, etc., but if I can have more *fit* days than non-fit days, I count it all joy.
How did I start on my journey to self-care, you ask?
I literally put one step in front of the other. I began walking short distances almost 10 years ago and over the years have increased my time and distance. I've also increased my participation in other outdoor events, such as 5K runs and hiking. Saving myself first has allowed me to model to my own girls the benefits of a healthy lifestyle. It is not always easy, but it is worthwhile, even if I have to get a babysitter for the younger kids for a couple of hours so I can participate in a 5K.
Truthfully, the path to self-care can be bumpy, so it's best to start small. Consider these tips as you start on your journey:
- Schedule your time, whether it's a walk or yoga on the mat in your living room, just as you schedule your child's doctor appointment or an oil change.
- Search online for real-life groups, such as MeetUp, that meet in public spaces and plan to attend a few gatherings.
- Join a support group through Facebook Groups or text messaging to keep yourself accountable. Receiving encouraging and supportive words can go a long way with motivation.
- Find ways to nip procrastination in the bud, just as you steer clear of the potholes on Poplar Avenue. (Inside joke for my Memphis drivers!)
- Above all else, do not give up.
I'm participating in GirlTrek's #100DayChallenge to walk/run/exercise for 100 days straight and Nov. 30 will be Day 100 for me. Join me for the last 10 days and win a cool prize from Memphis Moms Blog!
To enter the giveaway, share your daily workout from Nov. 21-30 with us on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter by tagging @MemphisMomsBlog or using #GetFitMMB. You can also follow me and tag me on Instagram @justlashaun where I post daily updates on my Insta stories.
Since we're all mamas here, don't be shy about how you look or even if you have to workout with the baby in the background. We all know the road to self-care is a bumpy one ... allow us to join you for the ride.
Winners will be announced Dec. 3.