When was the last time you did something for YOU? No, really! Women really are ninjas – we do everything from keeping up the home, raising kids, making dinner, PTA meetings, and for many – also holding a job outside the home! But the one thing we tend to fail at is practicing self-care Superwoman needs (and deserves) some pampering too!
I run 105 miles per hour from the moment I wake until I hit the sheets at night. I'm a mom, wife, blogger, volunteer, veteran advocate, and also have 4 very large (and needy) inside dogs. I also have a serious case of “shiny-thing” syndrome – aka ADHD – and just can't resist jumping on new projects. BUSY doesn't really define my life adequately! I have literally run my self into some major mental health issues several times because I just keep going. Sounds like many of you, right? Let me tell you this: If you don't slow down and MAKE time for yourself, you will eventually be so burned out that you are of no use to anyone! Aside from my ADHD, a lot of my busyness had to do with my other mental health issues of depression and anxiety. I kept busy to keep the depression from creeping up. If my mind was always focused on something, the bad thoughts wouldn't have a place to set up shop in my head. That has backfired on me on more than a few occasions and causing me more anxiety and stress, as well as health issues.
Beloved, I pray that in all respects you may prosper and be in good health, just as your soul prospers
3 John 1-2
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PRACTICING SELF-CARE – MAKING TIME FOR YOU
How to Make Time for Yourself
Get rid of the Guilt
So many women feel guilty when they do things for themselves. They always think they have to be the perfect mom, wife, friend, etc. The truth is that if you took a few hours off to go for a walk on the beach, read a book at the park, or get a massage or pedicure, chances are no one would really care. Instead of slaving over cooking dinner, pick one night a week to order pizza. That time you would have normally committed to cooking could be used for something you want to do. In the long run, what your family will remember is whether Mom was always stressed out – not that you made them eat pizza!
Stop Competing with Pinterest Moms
Just like we tell our daughters that the models in magazine pics are photoshopped, I would venture to say that those picture perfect pins on Pinterest have the same thing going on. What I mean is that, yes, those picture perfect snacks for the school holiday party are so cute, but chances are that Mom has neglected other things in her life to make them. We show people what we want them to think about our lives. The perfect holiday family photo – yes it is perfect, but how many tries did it take to get there and Mom probably need a drink after the kids went to bed! Ladies, we are ALL a hot mess that puts on a show for the world to see. Stop comparing yourself to what you see on Pinterest! Going all out on occasion is fine but trying to be that Mom that always brings the cutest snacks or perfectly wrapped gifts and gift baskets is a sure-fire way to end up on Prozac! My kids are lucky if they get HEB brand cookies for their school parties! I have other things I could be doing and I'm ok with saying that out loud!
Make Time by Making YOU a Priority
Practicing self-care and finding time for yourself is such an important and necessary part of maintaining a healthy Girl Boss lifestyle. So how do you make time for YOU when you have such a crazy schedule? I came across this great book the other day – actually another blogger had mentioned it – The Fringe Hours by Jessica Turner. I decided to get it, hoping to find time to read it. Funny thing is I decided to put it in my purse instead of at home on my desk where all the other “hopefully I'll read this book” are sitting. Not sure why I did that but I'm thinking it was a Jesus thing. Anyway, early last week I was sitting in the line of cars waiting to pick up my daughter from school like I do every day. Usually, I just sit there playing on my phone – using data that I shouldn't be using. For some reason, I decided to open up the book and start reading it. WOW! You know when someone tells you something you already know but hearing it from another person makes it more correct? That is what I got out of just the first couple of pages! I thought I didn't have extra time for me but here I was, reading a book! I highly recommend The Fringe Hours for anyone wishing they had time for a hobby or anything outside of their daily norm. Once you decide that YOU are truly a priority, you would be amazed at the extra “free time” you find during the day!
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Making YOU a Priority – What to do With Your Free Time
Practicing self-care means treating yourself to things YOU love and want to do. Even just a few minutes a day of doing something for YOU will give you much joy that translates into feeling better the rest of the day and keeping you on your game! These are just a few of the easiest ways to treat yourself!
Read a book
Don't think you have time, refer back to The Fringe Hours and see that you actually have quite a bit of free time available if you choose to. Not sure what other books to read? Try a free trial of Amazon Kindle and download several different ones for free until you find what suits you! (Trying new things doesn't always have to cost more money!) Here are some more of my favorite books:
Work on a hobby
Set aside an hour 30-60 minutes (while the kids are napping, during your lunch break, etc) to start a new hobby or get back to something you used to enjoy such as scrapbooking, journaling, knitting/crocheting, photography, ANYTHING as long as it is something YOU enjoy. If you enjoy writing, consider starting a blog.
This is one that is actually really easy. Even if it's just taking a walk for 15-30 minutes or more. Or find a 30-minute workout routine on Pinterest! Exercise will do wonders for your entire body and mind and you can do this for free! Download the Kindle App for free and nock out 2 in 1 by listening to an audiobook while you go for that walk!
Go get a pedicure or body massage (btw, lots of great discounts for these on Groupon!). You will come home feeling refreshed and relaxed and ready to get back to your Mom and Girl Boss duties!
You Are Worth It
So now, as you go about your day, take advantage of those little moments of time to indulge in a page or two of your favorite book or to journal your thoughts. When you are planning out your week, be sure to schedule in ME TIME among all the other tasks that you have filling up your calendar. If the slots are getting too full, see which ones (like maybe some of the house chores) can go an extra day without getting done and put yourself in that slot of time instead. Practicing self-care will lead to you being more refreshed and more “present” when you are with your family and friends, as opposed to being tired and worn out. You do so much for so many and now it is time to start prioritizing YOU because you truly deserve it!