Earlier this fall, Ashley of Our Little Apartment – wrote a post called How I Practice Self-Care and I have been inspired to share my self-care regimen.
Before we get to the good stuff, can we all have a collective groan/shutter/giggle at the phrase self-care? I am not a fan, but it is what it is. Being able to take better care of ourselves so we can really be there to take care of others is what is up. Like it or not.
Without further ado, 10 Ways To Practice Self Care.
1. Go to yoga class. I go even when I don’t want to. Especially when I don’t want to. I find the more resistance I have to going – too tired, too cranky, too busy, too…, the more I need it. My people thank me for going. Yours probably will too.
Classes can be expensive, but there are ways to work around that. Practicing at home on your own, with a video or podcast. Attending community classes or classes with new teachers. One studio in Sacramento is by donation only. When I wanted to go to more classes than I could afford, I started volunteering at the front desk at my yoga studio in exchange for classes. It never hurts to ask.
2. Lay down often. Sometimes on my yoga mat with props (and I feel very virtuous for practicing restorative yoga on my own) and most days with my daughter in her bed for a couple of hours. There are days (usually in a row) when I am so tired by nap time I sleep with her and wake up with her patting my face and other days when I watch Netflix or catch up on my blog reading.
Most nights I am in bed ready for sleep in the nine o’clock hour. Going to bed on time is a struggle and I know it’s early, but I’ve got to be rested in order to keep up with the baby.
How much sleep do we really need? Probably more than you think.
3. Cook at home. I derive a huge amount of accomplishment from having cooked, so there you go. Plus I am allergic to dairy and oh so many other foods that eating out or packaged foods is a pain. Feeding myself well and gold stars? Sign me up!
I live a dairy-free life and am always in search of yummy recipes. If you are interested in my treasures, check out my Food Finds Board for recipe ideas.
4. Read a book every day. Some days it is just a few pages, but I make sure I do it. Reading is what makes me happy.
Looking for something good to read?
5. Go for a walk. Usually with Ruby in the stroller or Ergo, although recently I’ve been having her walk to wear her out for her nap. In any case, my feet are hitting the pavement every day and I feel so much better for it.
6. Connect with friends. Park dates, walks with kids, brunches, yoga classes, texts, phone dates, Facebook messaging – I make time for connecting with people I love.
The upshot of 50 years of happiness research is that the quantity and quality of a person’s social connections—friendships, relationships with family members, closeness to neighbors, etc.—is so closely related to well-being and personal happiness the two can practically be equated. People with many friendships are less likely to experience sadness, loneliness, low self-esteem, and problems with eating and sleeping. Source: Happiness Is Being Socially Connected
7. Kid-free time – daily. Luckily my husband is a teacher and can come home in the afternoon to take care of little girl before dinner. Mama needs some time to herself. Most of the self-care tips mentioned here aren’t for toddlers.
8. Couple time – this is new. Very, very new. And may become my new favorite thing. Thanks, Grandma!
9. No television news or women’s magazines. I’ve learned I’m a pretty delicate flower prone to depression, so I keep the visuals of depressing things to a minimum. I get my news from NPR and Twitter. I’m fancy that way. My ears do not betray me the same way my eyes do.
Body acceptance is always a work in progress and so keeping women’s magazines full of air-brushed images and “tips” for “improving” me out of my life also helps.
According to one study conducted by researchers at the University of Missouri, after just one to three minutes of exposure to the types of images routinely found in women’s magazines, young women hate themselves more than they already do. Source: Excerpt from Airbrushed Nation found on Rosie Molinary’s blog.
10. Ask for help where I need it and live with good enough rather than seek out perfect. Recently someone posted on my Facebook wall a card saying “Cleaning house with kids around is like brushing your teeth while eating Oreos.” Um, yes. So twice a month California Green Clean comes and cleans while I take the tiny mess maker out of the house. It usually lasts until the next meal, but it is totally worth it for my sanity alone.
Does the mothering olympics make you crazy? Check out Good Enough Is The New Perfect.
So tell me, how do you take care of yourself?