Welcome to my home spa. My regimen consists of wearing a mud mask while listening to calming music and doing the dinner dishes. Once the mask has been removed, I’ll let my moisturizer soak in while I pick dirty laundry off the floor.
Et viola! Soft, luminous skin AND an overflowing pile of dirty laundry!
Welcome to real-life self-care… Because being grownup can feel like a never ending list of (mostly other people’s) things to keep up with, I’ve found little ways to be nice to myself in the process, and you can too.
And if you won’t indulge in self-care for yourself… do it for your kids. It’s imperative that our children see us doing it.
Does that sound a little dramatic? I mean it.
Self-care isn’t selfish. If anything, it’s the most powerful way to teach our children to become fully functioning humans.
Think about it. Our children are watching us. We use our words to tell children that one day they can grow up to accomplish anything. At the same time, many of us model the exact opposite, barely attending to our most basic needs, and rarely making space for the things that truly light us up.
- Many of us cook organic meals for our kids but fail to nourish our own bodies adequately.
- We pack their schedules with dance classes, soccer and music but can’t justify the time or expense of a gym membership or once a week yoga class for ourselves.
- We beat ourselves up for not being as present and patient as we’d like to be but feel too guilty to take the time to ourselves to recharge and refresh.
WTF is that?! For some reason, we (especially moms) have this idea that raising our kids up requires us to squash our own needs for their benefit. We push ourselves to exhaustion, fail to care for our physical and mental selves, and then feel guilty for being exhausted and short on patience. Not only that, some people pride themselves on being selfless even as their resentments build and affect every aspect of their experience.
Our wellness (and resulting ability to be patient and present) have a direct impact on the way we show up for our children, our partners, our friends, our wider community and most of all… ourselves.
Self-care is more than just a cliche, it’s a survival skill.
If we want our children to grow up and love themselves, take care of themselves, and truly believe that they are worthy, we owe it to them to show them how it’s done. We may have to bumble and test and tweak our way through it, but valuing ourselves in active and tangible ways will set our children up for much better lives.
Driving kids to soccer and feeding them healthy food isn’t enough, we have to teach them how to keep caring for themselves once we aren’t there to manage it all for them.
So try incorporating self- care into your everyday life. Let your kids see you wearing a hideous mud mask. Replace some of the time you spend binge-watching TV shows with a long soak in the bathtub. Trade babysitting with a friend so each of you can have some time to just….be.
I hope you will be inspired to think of ways to incorporate healthy habits into your own reality. Me and my mud mask will be rooting for you!