Redefining Self Care

by Megan Mangiaracino

Redefining Self Care

The term self-care has become a buzzword in our culture. Maybe you think you know what it means or maybe you’re not quite sure what it’s really referring to. Should you be taking bubble baths nightly surrounded by candles? Should you be spending weekends at the Ritz Carlton relaxing your cares away?

What is Self-Care?

I define self-care simply as taking care of yourself mind, body, and spirit. I think that when something becomes a buzzword, and you see it often, it almost loses its significance. I don’t know about you, but I tend to shy away from things that become super popular.

Is Self-Care {really} Necessary?

If you can get past the hype of the phrase, I believe self-care is absolutely crucial for mamas in 2019. Here’s a few truths to underscore the necessity of self-care:

  • Life is not easy for anyone. No one is without problems.
  • Raising little humans is not for the faint of heart. There’s advice and messages everywhere about what we should or shouldn’t be doing as parents. Frankly, it can be overwhelming at times.
  • Many mamas have jobs besides the title of “Mom” whether it’s working outside the home or within the home. It can be a part-time side hustle or a full-time position. This means mamas have even greater responsibility and pressure as they try to keep everything and everyone moving forward

What Works For You

Photo by Jasmin Schreiber on Unsplash

Self-care can be as simple as taking a shower to adding in extra veggies to your meal. To answer the question at the beginning. No, a weekend at the Ritz Carlton is not the standard for self-care. If you can afford it and it helps you to feel more centered, then go for it. Just don’t let anyone tell you what self-care should or shouldn’t be. It’s personal, and you define it for yourself. If you try to do what works for me, and it doesn’t resonate for you, then you won’t feel any better. This is about you, mama. It’s about survival. It’s about living the life you dream for yourself.

5 Easy Tips on How-To Self-Care:

  • Brainstorm what you enjoy doing. What makes you feel happy? Relaxed? What are you passionate about? Start by putting it all on paper. 
  • If you are feeling really worn down, you probably need daily self-care, but believe me, I know it’s easy for self-care to take a back seat. It’s really important that you prioritize your time for yourself. This means you block out time just like you would for your child’s doctor appointments.
  • Start small! Like in the example I mentioned above, adding in extra veggies and/or fruits to a meal is just one small way of taking care of you. If it’s intentionally done and the action is meaningful to you, it counts! It could be going to bed 30 minutes earlier or taking a few minutes to put on a little makeup at the start of your day.
  • Let others in your house know your intentions. Maybe you want to start attending a yoga class on Monday evenings or you really want to join a book club that meets weekly. Let your significant other know about your desire so that you can ensure you have their support as well as knowing your child will be taken care of. If your child is old enough, it’s a great idea to start talking to them about it too so they start to recognize that this activity is now a part of the schedule.
  • Get additional help if needed. Your sanity is of utmost importance. If mama’s not happy, ain’t nobody happy. It may be worth its weight in gold to have a good babysitter or 2 on standby for times you need to get away for a couple of hours. It’s not that hard to find a good babysitter nowadays. Talking to other mamas you trust is a great starting point.

Photo by Natahn Dumlao on Unsplash

To wrap up, we’ve talked about self-care and redefined what it really is all about. Whether you call it self-care or simply taking care of yourself, it’s really important to take time to honor yourself for the amazing woman you are. Even picking one of the 5 tips I mentioned above can be a helpful starting point. Just remember beautiful mama, when you prioritize your own needs, you, in turn, ensure that you can best care for your family’s needs.

Maria Inoa is a speaker, blogger, licensed clinical social worker, and owner of Full Potential Counseling based in Jacksonville, Florida. Her practice focuses on helping women build healthier relationships with themselves and others. She’s been married to Tony for 8 years and is a mama to a 6 and 3-year-old. Maria believes that women are absolute warriors and is honored to be able to work alongside the women that she does.

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