This post is inspired by some sweet conversations I’ve been having with my sister, Sar.
Raise of hands – who here laughs at every “self care” video or blogpost? Just me? Don’t think so. . .
It’s unrealistic. Most videos or blogs will tell you to make weekly manicure appointments or girls nights or shopping trips for the whole day. Is there a Mama here who actually manages that? I highly doubt it. In fact, I doubt there is a career woman or college student reading this who makes time for weekly outings to relax or have a break. It simply does not happen.
The lists of activities to go out and do for your time off is ridiculous. Even if I had the time to go and get a mani/pedi every week, where the fartknocker am I gonna get the money for that?
Girls night out? One of my best friends lives half a day away from me, the other best friends I have either work full time, have kids, or are going to school. The odds of all of us being free weekly, or even once a month, at the same time is the stuff of D R E A M S.
A whole day of shopping? And if you aren’t planning on spending money, window shopping is a depressant. Believe me. Plus think of all the work you can get done during that time!
Bottom of the line is that we as Mamas, full time career women, and inteligent college students are told to take care of ourselves by doing things that cost money, take up too much time, or are out of our reach.
But it is important to take care of ourselves! So many people depend on us. But you know who really depends on you? Yourself.
Your mental, emotional and physical health is essential to making sure you can be the best you can at work, or at school, or in the home. How many of us end up neglecting ourselves because of our ever so long to-do list? Our health gets put on the back burner too often. We are under the impression that in order to take care of ourselves we have to plan extravagant adventures or day trips. That lots of money must be spent! And that our work, projects, and children can’t come along.
I speak from my own personal experience but it may be true for you also; that when I am taking care of myself, I can take better care of those around me. The to-do list is easier to finish. My babe is less capable of ridding me of my sanity. And my relationship with Elih is. . . Well. . . Easier; for lack of a better word.
So how can we – the busy busy women – care for ourselves in a realistic way? I’ve got some ideas. . .
Buy good coffee and cream |
Spend a little extra to buy yourself some gooooood coffee (or tea) alongside a yummy creamer or flavouring. I honestly tend to drink 3 cups of coffee a day. Each one is my own little bit of heavenly peace; lifting my mood and my energy!
Get out |
Go to a cafe or bakery. Bring your assignments, work, or kids! If you can, meet up with a friend who also needs a break. Just spend an hour together! It’s amazing how much energy you can get boosted with after a quick date with a friend.
Read a book |
Short, long, fictional, biography, romantic, adventurous, inspirational, easy. Pick your poison! Get a quick 10 minute read in at some point during the day (maybe with that yummy coffee/tea). It could be before the kids are up, or class starts. Maybe during your lunch break, or nap time. Or it could be before you go to sleep. Just get a chapter in!
Go to the gym / workout at home |
This is one of my favourite ones. Either I hit the gym in the morning at 5:30am for an hour before Elih goes to work, or I’ll stay home and do some yoga or practise karate. It’s hard to wake up early and get out of bed, but I always have an improved mood for the rest of the day. Maybe you can do a quick 15 minute class from youtube (there’s a million out there) or go to the gym. But get active! Maybe you could take the kids out for a walk. It’s scientifically proven that 30 minutes of walking outside can help battle depression.
Do your nails at home |
Have a friend over! Or turn on a movie! Do your own nails when you have a bit of free time (naps/lunch break/study break). If the rest of the day sucks, at least your nails look cute! Haha!
Have a long bath/shower |
I’m personally a shower person (never had a comfortable tub for a good bath). Crank some music on, grab a glass of wine, and turn on that hot water! Get P R U N E Y!!! Use that time to relax while also checking “take a shower” off the to-do list.
Watch your favourite movie with snacks |
No, it doesn’t have to be in the evening. At any point throughout the day, grab a bowl of ice cream – #benefitofadulting – or whatever unhealthy treat is your favourite, and watch that movie everyone thinks is lame. Because we all have one of those. Mine is Extreme Days. And i’m proud of it!!!
Basically, find an easy creative hobby to enjoy and take time to do a little bit of it every day! Knitting is my thing and sometimes I can only get one little row done at a time, but its therapeutic.
Call me old fashioned but I adore baking! I would do it all the time if it weren’t for the fact that I would be an extra 200lbs.
Try saying that ten times fast.
At the end of it all, taking care of yourself doesn’t mean you have to spend lots of money or drop the kids off at the babysitters. You can still get that to-do list finished while maintaining sanity.
And on the rare occasion, you can get the girls together for a night out!