Listen. I'm gonna shout about this until it gets through to people. There is nothing selfish about taking care of yourself. You were put here for a purpose. Every moment you spend consumed with guilt or shame is a fucking waste.
I'm gonna talk to Moms for a moment, the rest of you just hang on or scroll down. Mom guilt is insidious form of shame because supposedly it is in the service of the higher good - raising kids. It's bullshit. Your kids do not need an exhausted, frustrated, and unhappy version of you. Is guilt your only motivator? Then here's some Mom guilt to choke on. You are teaching your kids what motherhood looks like. Every time you sacrifice yourself you are telling your kids that when they become parents they should wring themselves out like old dish rags. Would you ever say that to your kid? I didn't think so. Take care of yourself Momma. Ask for help. Lower your standards, again and again and again. Every family needs different things. I don't give a flying fuck what society or the PTO tells you. Your kids need you to be YOU. Taking care of yourself is taking care of them. And you are being an excellent example of a happy human.
Phew. Onto the lighter portion of this little blog post. 🤣
Self Care is a great many things. So let's dig in...
I know this is what most people think of when they hear 'self-care'. It's bubble baths, manicures, hair cuts, shopping trips, or fancy coffee. It's very conveniently packaged this way with many trying to sell you the perfect 'fix' for that exhaustion you are feeling. I'm not about that shit. I will be recommending people I have personally worked with. Look them up or don't. You need a few things to be a functioning human. Food. Water. Rest. These are basics. So ask yourself...
Am I eating food that nourishes me? No. I'm not talking about dieting to be a size six. It's about feeding yourself what you need, not what the diet culture is pushing this week. This is called Intuitive Eating. If you want more information about this, I recommend reaching out to my friend Jenn LaBonte at LIFT for EveryBody.
Am I drinking enough water? Don't beat yourself up for this one. Seems like everyone is walking around at some level of dehydration all the damn time. Just add another cup of water to your day.
Am I getting enough sleep? What the hell is enough? That's up to you! Do you like to split sleep by sleeping a few hours at night and then taking a nap in the afternoon? Night owl? Early bird? Listen to your body and prioritze resting.
Tell more people to fuck off. I'm serious. I bet you have at least two toxic assholes in your life right now. Distance yourself. Set time limits. Protect yourself.
How do you know if someone is a toxic ass? It's pretty simple, do you have to gather courage to be in the same room with them? Do you feel tired after spending time with them? (Not the I had so much fun that I stayed out way too late kinda tired. The bone deep done with this person's shit kinda tired.) Not everyone should have access to your energy.
I understand that not everyone can get away from let's say a toxic coworker for example, but stop letting them into your head. No one gets in there without your permission. Be mad at me if you want, but it's true. Call your power back. Set up shields. Limit your interactions to the bare necessities to get the job done. Find ways to shed their energy on the ride home. Protect you.
Sometimes the person you need to tell to fuck off, is yourself. Are you running yourself ragged? Saying yes to too many things? Cutting yourself into smaller and smaller pieces? Trapping yourself in old shitty ways of thinking? Knock it off. This is usually a sign of a low self worth. You deserve better. Please get help. See a mental health professional. Therapy is a form of self-care too.
This works in parallel with boundaries. Budgets ain't just for money. Budget your time, your money, and your energy. We all only have so many spoons. There are only so many hours in the day. Stop spending recklessly.
Do I really need to talk about the benefits of exercise? Pretty sure you already know that you don't move enough. I am not talking about going to a gym three hours a day six days a week unless that's your style. Be gentle with yourself. 10 minutes of yoga is better than nothing. 5 minutes of dancing in the kitchen is better than nothing. This is not another place so shame yourself, this is about moving your body in a way that you enjoy. Play tag with your kids. Go window shopping with a friend. The key is joyful movement.
Soul Filling Activities.
There's a kid's book called Have You Filled a Bucket Today? In it they talk about the invisible buckets we all carry. The book specifically talks about being kind to others to fill them up. Buckets. Cups. Spoons. Whatever you want to call that reserve of energy we use to complete everyday, it is something that needs to be tended. What activities do you LOVE doing? We aren't shooting for meh or so so. You are looking for things that make you feel energized and uplifted. Is it spending time with your best friend? Singing Karaoke? Playing with your kids? Cooking? Painting? Visiting art museums? Deliberately add these uplifting activities to your life.
Caffeine is not a replacement for sleep. Accomplishing everything on your to do list at the expense of sleep is a recipe for burnout. Sitting on the couch and obsessing over your unfinished tasks is also not resting.
I've found that I can either rest my mind or my body, not both. There are people who can sit in quiet meditation for hours. I'm not those people. Maybe someday.
To rest my mind, I do something physical. I try a new yoga class. I go for a walk while listening to music. Anything that keeps my body busy and my mind still.
To rest my body, I do something mentally engaging. I listen to a guided meditation. I read. I watch tv. I scroll TikTok while laying in bed. Anything that keeps my mind busy and my body still.
Reiki or Energy Healing.
A reiki or energy healing session can feel like you just woke up from the best nap ever or like you've drank three monster energy drinks. I find it depends on the practitioner. Either way it is wonderfully restorative.
For sound healing & Reiki I recommend:
Beth of Reiki with Beth
For Energy Work & Guidance I recommend:
Kelly McCarthy of Beyond Words N Wisdom
There are a ton of amazing Energy healers out there.
There are wonderful spas that offer deeply relaxing massage treatments. But I prefer a massage that is more healing centered. I definitely recommend:
Kerrie Fleming of SoulBodyWork