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Self Care Isn’t Selfish

Healthy Living Tips

Can’t remember the last time you took 5 or 10 minutes out of your day to breathe, do something nice for yourself or make yourself feel special?

Then, this is for YOU!

Last Christmas my husband got into a huge pileup on the freeway and completely totaled his truck.

It was my worst nightmare.

You can read the whole story here.

It was a total wake up call.

Not only to cherish my family every single day and try to be more present.

But, to start taking care of me.

I realized in that moment when I received the call from my husband that I was just speeding through life, not appreciating anything, and most importantly, I realized that I didn’t even know who I was anymore.

Before kids, husbands and 24-7 responsibility, I remember my self care being a thing I did weekly. No exceptions.

Every Sunday, I’d deep clean and condition my hair, give myself a foot bath and face mask and just really sit and enjoy pampering myself.

It was an hour or so routine that I loved to do and looked forward to it.

After having one kid, then another, and another, my non-self care routine looked like grabbing a huge coffee and running out the house. Constant chaos, wiping butts, feeding, cooking, nursing, birthing, shopping, cleaning. OMG.

Insanity.

It’s like everything else came before my needs.

And it wasn’t working out for me.

The thing is, it wasn’t anyone’s fault. It’s just how life migrated after 9 years of letting it roll.

I was snappy with my family, super tired all the time and to be quite frank, looked like I just woke up no matter what time of day it was.

I’d try to hit up the gym or commit to a class with a friend, but some way, some how, the boys (and husbands) commitments trumped mine. Always.

Until that car accident.

Then, something inside shook me to my core.

Something flashed in front of my mind that a beautiful friend had said a year or two prior.

SELF CARE ISN’T SELFISH

What brilliance, right?

So simple. Yet, why was it so hard for me to get the self-care I needed to fill my cup so I could be a better person to everyone around me? But, more importantly to get the grounding I needed for myself.

It was because I got into the habit of not showing up for myself.

And when I got some energy to get out and go to a class or whatever, the babysitter would flake or hubby would be late, I’d just say, Oh Okay, Whoa is me. Next time. Whomp. Whomp.

And continue on down the path of taking care of everyone else’s needs but my own.

What shook me this time around what that my needs are important.

If not, more so than anyone else’s.

Because if I’m a mess, the entire house and energy in the house is a mess.

Can ya feel me yet? ;)

So, after a long winter binge-watching Netflix, not answering emails, calls or invites out, I told myself I’d start with something small.

Meditation.

I hopped on an app and committed to meditating for a few minutes a day.

Sounds easy.

I did it for like 5 days straight then one thing popped up, the next thing came up and before I knew it, I was skipping out even on just 5 minutes of mediation.

Tomorrow. I said.

But, I kept with that commitment and gave myself permission to just open the app and do whatever I could do.

One minute. Great.

Four minutes. Yippee.

Skipped a day? No worries.

The thing about it is there was NO EXPECTATION of sitting for 10 minutes a day. That was absolutely too much to commit to.

So, having that in the back of my head, I wasn’t hard on myself when I skipped days because the kids woke up before me.

It just took all the pressure off of me and this time it felt different.

Fast forward a few months, I’m proud to say I’ve meditated over 5.5 hours and my average time is 9 minutes.

Did this happen over night?

No.

Was it difficult in the beginning?

Hell yea.

But, I started with ONE THING and just got into that groove before I did anything else.

Or before I made the commitment to do anything else.

Long story short?

Self care is important. 

And it’s important for it to be something that works for you. To meet you where you’re at in your body, mind and life right now.

You cannot just jump on the meditation wagon because you’ve heard it was great.

It is a great thing and I’m really enjoying it, but it took me months to get into and settle into a routine. And I still screw up by not setting my alarm then just move onto the next day because I missed my window before the three-ring circus begins at my house. ;)

If there is anything I can tell you from going through a big life event and going into a full blown anxiety/depression mode, is that self care is crucial for your mind, your body, your health, your life and your family.

But, it has to work for you.

What is ONE THING you can do today that makes you feel good?

Is there a few minutes you can take away from the chaos that is life to focus solely on you?

Here’s a few things that are helping me along my journey.

  • Daily/weekly detox baths
  • Putting on my face mask
  • Deep pore cleaning with my new special gadget
  • Soaking my feet in hot water and epsom salts
  • Having my husband rub my back
  • Having my husband comb my wet hair
  • Deep cleaning and conditioning my hair
  • Listening to my favorite music really loud
  • Listening to calming music in the dark
  • Sitting in the hot shower for daaaaaays

And here’s a few more

  • Using the HeadSpace App to start learning how to meditate
  • Sitting in the bathroom and balling my eyes out after a long night with the kids
  • Making a homemade body scrub and putting it in a fun mason jar
  • Voice-texting friends to complain about kids or hubby Ha! just to get it off my chest
  • Writing in a journal
  • Seeing a therapist twice a month (weekly in the beginning)
  • Visiting the doctor to ask about anxiety medicine
  • Sought out a naturopath to deal with some health issues and anxiety
  • Prayed
  • Took a much needed solo vacation
  • Asked for help from my mom and my husband
  • Committed to one night of yoga at my fave local studio
  • Walking, hiking and just getting outside closer to nature

I tell you about these things to not brag or boast, but to try and give support to let you know you’re not alone.

You’re doing your best and your life is busy.

And to tell you that you deserve self care. It just needs to be a top priority for you, before the people around you assume it’s just some fad or some phase you’re going through.

You need to stand up for yourself and take care of yourself. Whatever that may be.

And I also know with how busy life is, you sometimes have to take the self care when you can get it.

I’ve been known to meditate while my three year old naps next to me.

I’ve also turned on the tv (aka the babysitter) for my kids so I can go take a quick 10 minute detox bath. And did my face mask and deep conditioner all in one shot so I can kill several birds with one stone.

So, I invite you.

Grab a few minutes to yourself.

If that means bumping your music and rockin’ out in your car before you have to go pick up your kids from camp or school, by all means, go for it!

If that means setting your alarm 8 minutes earlier so you can journal and have a cup of tea before the kids wake, go for it!

If that means saying “No!” to one more activity your kids sign up for, please, please, please, GO F-ING FOR IT!

We are our best when we feel our best.

Please, before you do anything else, make any more commitments, say yes to anything else, ask this one question, ARE YOU SAYING YES TO YOURSELF?

Hugs always and think about some of your own ways that will help you on your self-care journey. :)

Shauna

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