How to Make Self-Care Sustainable
Cynthia Walgenbach | Apr 7, 2023
How often do you find yourself irritated and short with the people around you? If the answer is OFTEN there is a chance that your own cup is running dangerously low. Yep, that self-care cup that everyone is always talking about.
There was a time when I felt like it was impossible to do anything nice for myself, especially when my kids were with me. This was a major problem, since I was a SAHM and I was literally with my kids 24/7. The results weren't pretty. I was a shell of my former self, exhausted from staying up late to watch TV or do anything I enjoyed, and increasingly resentful of the people I loved most. I began to see my precious children as people who were taking things away from me.
The truth is I didn’t know how to fill my own cup. I had been taught that good moms never take breaks and I liked feeling like a good mom. In fact, my self-worth was very much tied to how others perceived me and how much I could produce. I feel so bad for the younger me that bought into those destructive beliefs.
I also didn’t feel like I could just blow $100 bucks on a spa day or brunch ( (although seriously if you can, you should probably jump on that). Thankfully, I have learned that true self-care is simply attuning to what truly feeds your own soul and moving in that direction.
Ask yourself, what really nourishes me? Is it a hot cup of tea in the morning? Time to do a morning meditation? A 10 minute walk outside? A phone call with a friend? Then ask for those things unapologetically. And know that it's okay if it doesn't look perfect.
One of the worst things we can do is give up when it doesn’t look perfect or come easily. Getting the time and space to get your needs met might take some creativity and honest conversations with your partner/support system. It might mean your house is not perfectly clean because you allowed the kids to play wildly while you sipped your hot tea. It might mean you abandon perfect in exchange for done.
I’m here to say it’s okay if it takes a while for your kids to learn not to interrupt you while you’re on the phone. It’s okay if you have to pause your workout video while you tend a scraped knee or break up a sibling argument. It’s okay if you read a chapter of your book during your kid’s soccer practice instead of watching raptly or socializing with the other parents. What’s important is simply starting and claiming that time for yourself.
Everytime we carve out a few precious moments for our soul to come alive again we declare to the world that we matter. And our children learn that too. That mothers are important. That they can ask for what they need. That moms don’t have to sacrifice their well-being for everyone else’s .
So yes, my laundry will get done today. But it’s going to be after I have a dance party in my kitchen.