This year, is a year for improving yourself. Throughout the year, my main focus for the blog is going to be on self-care strategies for moms. Having been dealing with postpartum depression and other physical health issues after my pregnancies, I have come to realize just how important it is to put yourself first. Yes, caring for your children and making sure their needs are met is extremely important, 100%. As a mom though, we need to be able to function at a normal, healthy level in order to properly care for them too.
2020 is the year to become a better mom by becoming a better you! This doesn’t mean that anyone is a “bad” mom, but we all have our strengths and weaknesses. I choose to be intentional on improving my own weaknesses, for myself and for my family and I would love if you joined me on this journey! I have wrote a post similar to this before (Click HERE to view it), however, now we are going to take our understanding of self-care to a much deeper level.
What Is Self-Care?
The best definition of self-care that I could find comes from Oxford Dictionary which states that self-care is “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.” There are three main points that we can take from this, the first being that self-care requires action, so it is intentional. Secondly, it is “protecting ones own well-being and happiness”, so it is a preventative measure. Lastly, it is often done “during periods of stress,” so we can assume that if we fail to consistently practice self-care, there may be negative outcomes that require us to seek that need for self-care again.
I have always been an advocate for self-care, but I never knew how serious I needed to be about it until I had children. As a mom, we are constantly fulfilling the needs of our children and our husbands. We are also constantly meeting the demands of our family and friends who, understandably, just want to be around all the time to support and help you. The person who we tend to forget during all of this, is ourselves. Often, this leads to many moms moving in a downward spiral of being unhealthy, which in return affects how we behave as a parent.
I will probably say this many times in my life, but we need to remember that our children are watching us! The best way to teach is by example. Your children will not remember all the words you say, nor will they really care, unless they see you in action. Lead by example. Forgetting yourself does not make you an all-star mom, it just makes your job as a parent that much harder.
What Happens If We Don’t Practice Self-Care?
I have mentioned some of these before in my post The Importance Of Practicing Self-Care As A Mom, but here are a few examples of what it can feel like when you neglect to practice self-care.
- Feeling Burnt Out
- Feeling Exhausted
- Feeling Easily Overwhelmed
- Lack of Concentration
- Lose Your Sense Of Self
- Weak Immune System
- Short Tempered
- Lacking Personal Hygiene
Some Benefits Of Self-Care
- Restore Energy
- Become A Better Caregiver
- Respond Better In Tough Situations
- Increase Your Efficiency And Focus
- Healthier Overall
- Stronger Immune System
6 Types Of Self-Care
When you break it down, self-care can be broken into 6 main areas, which are, physical, mental, practical, emotional, spiritual and social. Most of us are great in a select few of these areas, but weak in the others. Personally, I am a very empathetic person, so understanding my emotions and what I am feeling is a strong suit for me, but I really lack in all other areas. True harmony in self-care comes when we can master all areas within ourselves.
Yes, physical self-care is taking care of your body, but it is more than just your appearance. Physical self-care means participating in something active on a daily basis to keep you strong. It is feeding yourself a nutritious diet to fuel your body. It is knowing when you are pushing yourself too hard and need a break. Physical self-care is taking care of your body inside and out.
Mental self-care is taking care of your mind, as if it is just as tangible as your body. To care for yourself mentally is to talk nicely to yourself. It means allowing yourself to have a creative outlet. It is stimulating your mind in a way that promotes personal growth. Mental self-care is being intentional and clearing your mind.
Sometimes self-care means more than just pampering yourself. Sometimes it means getting up and doing things that are essential to your health, regardless of whether you want to do it or not. It means taking a shower, getting out of bed and getting dressed first thing in the morning. Practical self-care is budgeting and paying your bills. It can be as simple as cleaning up after yourself or decluttering your room. It is the little things in life that we think don’t hold any meaning, but when we neglect to do them, they really add up.
Emotional self-care is understanding that your feelings are valid, but not allowing the negative ones to consume you. It is saying no when you don’t want to do something. It is learning to control your anger. When you let go of guilt, you are taking care of your emotional being. Emotional self-care is understanding stress and stressors and working toward letting that go.
Spiritual self-care is about going within. It is about forgiving, finding your purpose and finding peace. Whether you believe in God or simply mediate, taking care of yourself spiritually is taking the time to dig deep and search for answers to the questions about life. It is praying and journaling, understanding yourself fully.
Finally, social self-care is about meeting your needs from a social aspect. Everyone needs interaction with others to thrive. Social self-care is finding meaningful relationships and growing them. It is about getting out of the house and consuming knowledge, gaining perspective and seeing the world through other people. Spending time with family, friends and loved ones is so important to your well-being. It is also about setting boundaries where needed and respecting others. It is about asking for help and creating support systems.
Like I said earlier, in order to really be able to care for someone else properly, we need to make sure that we have taken care of ourselves first. Over most of the next year, I will be putting a large focus on one of these 6 types of self-care at a time and really trying to understand them on a more profound level. Each week, I will share with you something that I have done to improve my self-care and how you can do it too! Since I have really been struggling with my physical health and body image, I will first be talking about physical health care! Let’s do this together! Be sure to subscribe for updates and different self-care activities we can do to become a better mom over the next year!
Share with me in the comments below your strongest and weakest areas of self-care!