How To Get Started With Self-Care

how to get started with self-care. self-care kits with essential oils

If you’re anything like me, you’ll almost roll your eyes at the mention of self-care. The term is so romanticized and made to seem like a solution to all your problems, only that right after you do something that makes you feel good, you’re back to the chaos and stress of your daily life. 

I get it. 

I also didn’t believe that temporarily indulging in something that seemed fun could make much of a difference in my overall situation. I usually was not in the right headspace to relax and indulge because my tasks and my problems were always on my mind, staring at me right in the face, gutting me for daring to enjoy myself 

Don’t get me wrong, I love to have a good time every chance I get. Small acts of self-care can change my immediate outlook on life. But the effects die shortly after I wake up to the reality that we all live: The laundry isn’t going to do itself, and neither are the dishes. I’m going to have to prepare meals every day and I need to do some deep cleaning every once in a while, otherwise, everything will fall apart. My children are not going to keep quiet for me to get a quick nap and they still very much attempt to maim one another the moment I’m not looking. 

The mainstream idea of self-care doesn’t take you far. 

For your self-care game to serve you, you must address anything that hinders you from having a good time. Things that eat through your enjoyment. 

In this post, I talk about how to get started with self-care that works. These steps would give you a general idea of why the happiness you feel from indulging in little pleasures is very short-lived, and what to do to ensure that you get a more lasting feeling of welfare from your self-care.

What is self-care? 

Self-care includes things you do that directly uplift your physical, mental and emotional state of being. These can range from simple things like taking a bath or going for a walk, to activities that require some planning such as taking a vacation.

Why do you need self-care?

Being a mom is arguably one of the hardest tasks in the world. 

Think about it. 

You get to raise the next generation of humans. You have a chance to contribute to the shaping of humanity and the continuation of human existence. An opportunity to make the world a better place.

Little wonder that kind of responsibility comes at a great cost. 

But wouldn’t it be counterproductive if one person has to sacrifice their life for another for life to continue? Because it almost seems as if that is what it takes to be a mom.

When you work hard and grind, you forget to give yourself attention and care, and this can break you. 

If you’re broken, your autonomy as a human is affected as well as your responsibility for motherhood. 

And that is a huge price to pay. 

For that not to happen, you need to take good care of yourself and find the right system to manage your responsibilities and stress. 

The following is a step-by-step process on how to get started on a holistic self-care approach that works

Self-care should take a holistic approach to work. This means that it shouldn’t only include indulgence and momentary fun, but it should also target anything that won’t make the moments feel purposeless or filled with guilt. So, here goes 

  1. Update your mindset
  • It is not honourable to lose out on life while mothering your children. While it’s normal for moms to struggle, it doesn’t have to consume you. You’re not a good mom because of your struggles, you’re a good mom because you’re able to care for and nurture your children with love. 
  • It’s not selfish to have a life and enjoy yourself while being a mom at the same time. It sometimes sure feels like it, but anything that makes you feel good, that uplifts you is good for you, and your family by extension. So think of it as taking care of your family as well. 
  • Self-care doesn’t necessarily have to cost a fortune or take a long time. It can be as little as calling a friend, getting a cup of coffee outside of the house, or giving yourself facials. Even just looking away from the pile of laundry like it’s not there may count as self-care, or asking your sister to watch your kids while you take a nap.
  • You can make it happen, no matter what your situation is. Do you have your children back-to-back? Special needs children? Big house? Restricted finance? You just need to choose your self-care and not be too bothered by what you don’t have. 
  1. Identify your struggling areas

Many moms tend to struggle in one or a combination of the following areas. 

  • Sleep deprivation because you have a child who won’t sleep early no matter what you do, or one that doesn’t sleep through the night
  • Persistent laundry, despite everything you’re doing, you’re just not able to get your laundry basket empty. And when you try, it fills up again before you know it. 
  • Meal preparation seems to take all day. Between deciding on healthy options and preparing them, half of your day is gone. 
  • Homemaking tasks such as tidying, cleaning the floors and the bathroom, doing the dishes
  • Getting the children to stay on their own without constantly being in your hair, and stopping them from destroying items around the house and trying to kill themselves. 
  1. Set up a system to manage the areas you’re struggling with 

The distressing thing about homemaking is that the problem never ends. The good thing is that it’s manageable. There are certain systems that you can put in place to allow for more organization and give you some level of control over the situation. 

For example, with an unending laundry situation, you can try and do a load overnight every day and take them out in the mornings. 

You could also try to take your children to the park a few times a week or keep them busy with sensory activities to have some time to yourself. 

You could also try to sleep-train your children early and help them form a practical night routine so that you get to sleep[ properly at night.

These systems would let your life be somewhat under control and manageable. You’d still be doing a lot of work, but you’d have a systematic way of doing things and your head space would be freer.

  1. Try to draw an image of your ideal day as a mom

Imagine what such a day looks like, then work towards it. This is tied to the previous point of setting up a system that works. While you’re newly putting things in place, it may be agonizing to have to do something a particular way. 

But if you can draw a picture in your head what it’d be like when everything is somewhat in place, it’ll keep you going. You can work hard to get there and then stabilize. 

  1. Ask for help 

You don’t have to do it alone. There are so many responsibilities bound to being a mom and a homemaker. Try and get help when you’re overwhelmed. You could also try outsourcing some of the tasks. 

I ask my sister for help whenever I feel overwhelmed. I also let my parents watch my children for a few hours or days while I take a break. Also, there are a ton of useful tips on the Internet, you just need to be willing to try. 

When you’re able to follow the above tips, then you’ll have a clear and free mind to go ahead and indulge once in a while. Of course, you don’t have to be perfect and get everything sorted for you to be happy, but knowing that you’ve got everything systemized would reassure you that you’ve got it. And the following are the self-care tips that give you immediate dopamine 

  1. Make a list of the activities you love 

Now that you’re so invested in motherhood, you might find it hard to think about some things you love to do other than napping and having some personal time. But try and think back to the time before you had this responsibility; what did you love to do? What do you currently think you’re missing out on? Knowing these things will give you an idea of what you can do to feel good now,

2. Keep a journal

You need to treat self-care like another one of those things that are important to you. It doesn’t come naturally, hence, you have to put in extra effort to make it work. 

Set daily and weekly goals, track them and work towards them. You need to embody self-care and prioritise and see how much your life transforms.

3. Practice gratitude

You might be hung up on the things you can’t afford, or the things that you can’t seem to figure out. These won’t let you see the true picture of your situation. However, practicing gratitude will let you see the huge blessings in your life and you’ll be able to see how many privileges you have and enjoy what you have as well 

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