Self care is something I keep hearing about, and I think it’s important. The best analogy is that parents should put on your oxygen masks before helping their children with theirs. A healthy, peaceful (as possible) mom makes for a healthier more peaceful home.
But, sometimes you might find yourself too busy or too broke to practice self care the way you want too. Then you might end up emotionally beating yourself up over this ‘failure’.
If you are spending your days nursing a fussy baby and calming an emotional and violent toddler, they aren’t gonna end up growing up with problems because you were too busy to shower and too broke for a haircut at the beauty college. (At least, I sincerely hope that is true!)
When my life is like this, I like to practice self care by taking moments for deep breaths and making sure to eat regularly. Then on weekends I like a long soak in an epsom salt bath while Luke takes care of the kids.
Sometimes you may be too depressed to do even the basics of self care. Then teachings that you have to take care of yourself to take care of others just adds more burden. You might be either too tired or too full of self loathing to do anything for yourself. Been there!
And I think that’s okay. The point of self care is to show yourself care and respect and love. If you can’t *do* anything for yourself, then try to show the most care you can by allowing yourself to feel that way, without condemning yourself for it.
If you beat yourself up stressing over self care, it defeats the purpose of self care.
But for the times when I can take good care of myself, here are some of my favorite things to do:
I made a scrub of coffee grounds, cinnamon, epsom salt, and olive oil, and sometimes I wrap with it (rub it into my skin then cover in plastic wrap for an hour) or just exfoliate with it before a shower.
I bought some cellulite cream and I put that on, and enjoy the smell and the affirmation that i’m worth spending a little time and money on.
Sometimes i prefer to use coconut oil as my ‘lotion’ instead.
If I can, I lock myself in the bathroom and sit in the empty tub when the boys are too loud.
My mother in law takes the boys about once a week right now – I know not everyone has access to a doting grandmother but for those who do, ask to schedule a weekly gramma day!
I take medicines – thankfully. I go to therapy.
When I’m down, I make a dinner I like, just like I would do for Luke.
I play a game on my cell phone when I’m really stressed and need to calm down.
I write almost every day when I can. Writing makes me feel alive.
I keep z-bars around for breakfast every day, so that I don’t have to cook in the morning. Boys eat z-bars, hot dogs, pbj sandwiches, or cheese sticks for breakfast.
I eat dairy free ice cream, which is special because I’m the only one who requires dairy free.
I try to keep frozen foods around to take care of my future-self when I am depressed or sick.
Every little thing I do for me, whether it’s making dairy free ice cream, doing a wrap, putting on lotion, or just eating breakfast, is a way of telling myself I am worth love and care.
And that’s a message I need to hear.