Making selfcare a habitual practice is no easy task for anyone. Selfcare is an ongoing process that needs to be constantly reassessed based on your current needs and the reality of your life. It’s an ever changing learning curve. And the more you add on your plate the more likely selfcare will get dropped from the list…A schedule change, unexpected event, health issues, summer time, the holidays. All these things just come along with life do not help make selfcare a habitual practice.
Motherhood simply compounds these problems. For some reason, the more our families and lives require of us the more likely we are to put our selfcare on the backburner. And the kicker is these are the times we need to double down on selfcare. The truth is the best way to keep selfcare on our to-do list is to make it a habit. I know that is definitely not an easy task but here are 5 ways to make selfcare a habitual practice.
- Start small. Change comes about one small step at a time. If you pick one small habit to focus on it doesn’t seem so impossibly overwhelming. Turn your cell phone off at night or just at dinner time, replace one soda a day with a glass of water, or get up 15 minutes earlier than your kids. Do that one small thing every day until it becomes a habit.
- Incorporate selfcare into your daily routines.You already have morning and nighttime routines that you perform daily that are basically subconscious at this point. Brush your teeth. Wash your face. Comb your hair. It is easy to add a selfcare habit into your already set routines. Drink a glass of water as soon as you get up or before each meal, stretch for a few minutes at the end of your shower or keep a journal at your bedside and journal for 5 minutes right when you lay down for bed.
- Follow a schedule. The reality of motherhood is that everybody needs you for something and before you know it the day, week, month, year has gone by and you haven’t done anything for yourself. The key is you have to make the time for yourself and scheduling something makes it far more likely it will happen. A trip to the gym every Tuesday and Thursday morning, therapy session every Friday afternoon or even a monthly hair appointment. These things are much more likely to happen when you stick to a set schedule instead of waiting for the opportunity to arise.
- Keep it simple and realistic.There is a quote, “Life passes most people by while they are making grand plans for it.” Stop dreaming up all the grand things you would do if you had time. The reality is if you have children, you will never have the time you wish for. Pick something simple and just do it even if you only have 5 minutes. Sit quietly and meditate in your car for 5 minutes before you walk into work or after you drop your kids off.
- Make it a priority. Selfcare shouldn’t be something you might do if you have the time…it should be at the top of your list. Call it cliché if you want but as they say…you have to put your oxygen mask on first before you help everyone else. What is the one thing you need to do for yourself? Workout? Have quiet time? Eat 3 meals a day? Whatever it is make the time you need in your schedule, tell your family so that they know it is a priority and they are on board and ask for what you need.
Elisha Beach is a stay-at-home mom to four kids and four step-kids…Yes, you read that right—eight kids. She is a wife, home cook, taxi driver, herder of children, terrible housekeeper and founder of The Mom Forum. This blog is part of the Prioritize Me blog series documenting Elisha’s journey in selfcare and putting herself first.
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