Self-care has been the ongoing topic around social media in the last few days. Articles and posts expressing the importance of making time for ourselves, to rejuvenate, to cleanse, and to take time away from the every day chaos. Proclamations of, do something you love, give your skin a little extra attention, get back to that favorite hobby you’ve placed on the back burner, or maybe indulge in a temptation or two. Self-care seems to come in all forms and can range from improving yourself or allowing yourself to do something that is on the naughty list.
I came across a blog that had a different perspective on self-care. A little controversial, but also eye opening. The main idea of the article was that self-care is not the glamorous “me time” we see on social media. The article suggests that self-care is how we tend to our mental wellness. The truth, however, is, that self-care is different for everyone. Aren’t we all struggling with something? Self-care isn’t just rewarded to those of us struggling with a mental illness. Stress comes in all shapes and sizes, and it’s important that all of us tend to that stress in whatever way we need. Whether it’s how we manage depression or a glamorous blow out we display on Instagram. Hey, you do you! At least that’s my opinion.
For me, self-care was an important tool to help me manage my anxiety. After becoming a parent, however, it became baby first – me last. I struggled to find time to do mundane things like comb my hair and shower, let alone treat myself to any form of extreme self-maintenance. Any hobbies that I enjoyed before I was pregnant fell by the waist side. Mental breaks were a thing of the past. Finding time to do anything other than be a mom took extra energy and time that I just didn’t have.
The reality is, the time we make for ourselves is extremely important. In my opinion, we lose ourselves when we put our own needs and wants aside. We believe that our self is not as important as what we consider to be priorities. Our kids, our job, family members, etc. We may even think it’s selfish to need a break. Yes, our schedules are jam packed, our kids syphon the energy out of us, and our job pays the pills. What we don’t understand, however, is that we can’t focus on these things when we are burned out or stretched thin. Our priorities are important, but so is our health and our mental wellness.
Self-care is self-explanatory. It’s how you care for yourself and it is important. You play a very important role in your family, in your job, in your life. We all experience stress and complications that can weigh us down, immobilize us, deter us from being the best us. Taking time to rejuvenate yourself is not selfish. There is no one definition of self-care. We all have different outlets we utilize to eliminate the tension. How you choose to take time for yourself is all about you, hence the word self.
This week, I focused on “me time.” I stopped counting showers as a self-indulgence and I did other things. I woke up early to get some writing done, I took a nap and didn’t feel guilty that my husband was with the baby, I put on makeup and got dressed up for church and I went for a walk with the dog. This is only the beginning. I am going to spend more time making myself a priority. It’s important for me as a parent, especially a parent with anxiety. Using self-care to manage my disorder allows me to focus more on being a mom and less on my emotions. Giving myself time for me gives me a break from the day to day mom duties and it allows me to rediscover a different side of me. In the end, I am a happier and healthier mom and wife.
When was the last time you did something you really enjoyed? How long have you been trapped in the same routine day in and day out? Do you feel like you need a break? It’s time for some self-care. Run a bubble bath, head to the gym, paint your nails, grab a drink with friends, pour some coffee and settle in with that book you’ve been waiting to read. Go ahead and find yourself again, recharge your battery, and slip away to your favorite haven. Go ahead and be a little selfish and make it about you. Honestly, when was the last time you did that?
Today, I move on to the next piece of my recovery journey; rebuilding myself physically at my own pace. I still experience pain and discomfort and I will adjust my health plan accordingly. I will rip up the expectations of who I think I need to be and set new goals to become the new person I want to be. I will take my mental health seriously and indulge in practices that will improve my mental wellness. Join me Mom and Dad, in my Postpartum Recovery Series as I build a happier and healthier me. I hope I can inspire you to do the same.
If you would like to be a part of the Postpartum Recovery Link-Up here’s what you can do:
1.) Follow me
2.) Talk about anything regarding your postpartum struggles (dad’s you can get in on this too) or your health after becoming a parent and the journey you are experiencing in improving both physically and mentally. You can also discuss things like how your mental health affects you as a parent, how your modeling great eating habits for your kids, how exercising has given you more energy to keep up with your toddlers, etc.
3.) Copy and post this statement at the end of your post, “I am participating in the weekly health and wellness challenge, Postpartum Recovery Challenge Link-Up hosted by Messy Mama”
4.) Once you post up your weekly challenge blog, click the Inlinks button below, check out other linked posts, and add your post. I will share each link post on twitter.
5.) Share your own post with hashtag #PostpartumRecoveryChallenge.
The link up will open on Wednesday morning and close Sunday night
Thank you to all who participate, and I am excited to see everyone’s unique health and wellness journey.
If you missed it, check out last weeks Postpartum Recovery Challenge, Small Choices Lead to Big Changes