Lessons in Self-Care – It’s an Essential, Not An Indulgence

When you think of self-care what generally comes to mind?

Do you imagine a perfectly curated Pinterest board of smoothie bowls and mind-bending yoga poses?

Or perhaps those wellness retreats everyone seems to be going on these days where they spend hours meditating and connecting with their spirit selves.

Or maybe it’s simply the journey to self-discovery that Oprah and Deepak Chopra are always going on about.

I used to be all about “self-care”.

Or at least my idea of it. Which included many, if not all, of the things above.

But then I became a mom.

Dun. Dun. Dunnnnnnn.

And I’ve since found it extremely hard to keep up with my previous ideas of what self-care is.

Because as much as I love the idea of smoothie bowls every morning, going on yoga retreats, and spending hours listening to podcasts about bettering your self.

It’s a bit much for my every day, and frankly I just don’t have the time or mental capacity for it all.

This is not to say that I don’t think self-care is important.

I’ve just found that my perception of what it means could use a little tweaking.

Many of us, my self included, see self-care as an indulgence, a means of pampering yourself, big luxurious gestures that often take up way too much time.

And many of us view prioritising such a thing as selfish and vain.

Raises hand. 🙋🏾‍♀️

I know that was my mentality, especially after having Mason.

Who am I to take time out of the day to care for me? Especially when there’s so many other things that need to be done in order to take care of the baby, the house, the hubs, etc. etc.

I was totally the haggard looking mom cliche.

Couldn’t remember the last time I showered, wearing old sweatpants and t-shirts, hair in the same disheveled fro – it was bad.

And whenever I did try to make some effort, it felt like some big to-do, like I was trying too hard and it would throw off the rest of my day.

I was battling two extremes.

My mindset was either you’re all in or you’re all out. There was no in-between. Which I’ve come to learn is no way to view something as essential as self-care.

And yes, I’ve come to believe it’s an essential. But not in the way I used to think about it.

While luxury spa days and wellness retreats are great from time to time, they are by no means the defining characteristics of self-care.

If anything, some of the best means of self-care are found in small every day moments meant just for you.

It can be as quick and easy as lighting a favourite candle, buying a fresh bouquet of flowers, throwing on a cute dress even though you have no where to be, or savouring a cup of coffee (or glass of wine 🍷) alone while daddy manages the kiddos.

Self-care is an essential because it sets yourself up to offer the best version of you possible.

It’s about investing in yourself. Doing what makes you feel good in your body, mind, and spirit.

For a well-nourished self is better primed for higher productivity, makes for a more selfless personality, and has an easier time tapping into their creative prowess.

There is absolutely nothing selfish or vain abut offering the world your most inspired and well-nourished self.

In fact, it’s quite possibly the best thing you could do.