The Importance of Self-Care
We often pretend we are too busy for it.
I say “pretend” because the busyness we create is just that, an illusion. It’s a reality we design that keeps our minds racing, bodies moving, and everyone else’s expectations and demands of us at bay.
The busyness fills us with anxiety, stress, and loneliness. However, moments of joy fill us with emotions of happiness, relaxation, and connectedness. The problem is, there isn’t enough balance and we don’t know how to deal with it. Many of us haven’t learned how to work through emotions properly or make time for ourselves, and we tend to think, “This is just the way life is.” We adopt negative habits from those around us and who raised us. We may not venture too far away from what we are familiar with, because we fear what uncertainty brings. So, we remain the same and stop loving and taking care of ourselves fully. Autopilot takes over and we become survival machines only focused on making money and appeasing others.
Our minds and bodies are overworked, and our hearts are underused. It waits in the shadows and pops out only in short spurts of joy throughout our lifetime until we go through a spiritual awakening. Have you ever noticed how powerful your heartbeat is when you are overwhelmed with happiness? Sort of makes you want to shout from the rooftops and inspire others, so they can experience the same euphoric feeling. It makes you want to meet new people, be more friendly, and walk around with a smile plastered on your face. You may even want to complete small purposeful acts of kindness throughout the day. The key observation would be the wanting to give to others. When you are living in a place of true abundance and joy, you tend to reach out and help others because you feel content with who you are.
For all of that to happen on a regular basis, you must come first. Your happiness must exist for you to spread joy to others. I know a lot of you may want to argue, “What about my kids? What about my husband/wife? What about the rest of my family? Shouldn’t they come first? It’s not about me!”
But my darling, it is.
Everything starts with you, and unless you make time for yourself to get some peace and clarity, you’ll be stuck on the treadmill of life. You won’t be your best self, you won’t be the best wife you can be, or the best mother. Ask yourself, “Do I spend most of my day irritated, neutral, or joyful?”
If you said irritated or neutral, you just need some more self-care time. Loving and taking care of yourself should be at the forefront of each day. It doesn’t really take much effort either. We keep associating the words self-care with expensive spa treatments, vacations, shopping, and more material items that don’t bring us lasting happiness. Not to mention, it drains your wallet and doesn’t connect you to the best version of yourself. While some of those luxury items are nice to have, you don’t have to spend money or a lot of time to catch glimpses of happiness. They are surrounding us in our everyday world, we just need to stop and notice them more often.
Self-care in its truest form could simply be: listening to the birds for 5 minutes in the morning over coffee, quick positive self-talk in the mirror before you leave for work, taking a deep breath and closing your eyes as the sun warms your face, taking a bath while listening to music, or laughing and appreciating the ‘art’ your kid drew for you on the living room wall.
You could start building time for yourself in your calendar such as reading, fitness & yoga, meditation, fishing with your kids, doing a mini at-home spa day with your daughter, cooking your spouse a Food Network worthy meal, or whatever gets your heart beating and keeps a smile on your face.
You don’t need more time; you need more moments of serenity.
Gratitude is the key that unlocks the door, so don’t ignore those little moments. Somewhere along the trail of life, kids, education, and bills, we forgot to appreciate the beauty around us and within us.
Love yourself, work on yourself and forgive yourself.
Once you make small acts of self-care a habit, you’ll become the best version of what your soul intended. Only then can you be the best wife, daughter, sister, or mother you can be.