What is Self-Care?

Self-care is taking care of the body physically, mentally, and emotionally. When we take care of our bodies it is not a selfish act, its the way we show ourselves the love we show to others. We matter and often times we believe that taking care of everyone else is more important than ourselves. I have many women clients that tell me that they feel like their life is falling apart, they want to take care of themselves but don't have time to. For the moms with children their complaint is they cannot even go to the bathroom without one of their child knocking at the door. This is sad because I also experienced this as a mom.

Self-care is important for every human including children. It is important to practice it daily. If we neglect self-care it will start to effect the body. Adult self-care will look different from children self-care and children don't require the same amount of time for self-care because they do it by habit each day. They play games they like, play with friends who are nice to them, snack on food they enjoy, and occasionally their parents have to remind them to brush their teeth and bathe. Adults need to be reminded to stay away from friends that are negative and toxic friends, exercise, eat healthier, and the list goes on. Adults are so busy focusing on their career, family, and personal struggles that making time for self-care seems like a waste of time. On Clevelandclinic.com they say "80% of Americans don't get enough exercise." 80% of Americans are neglecting their self-care, or speeding through it so that they can take care of things prioritize more.

We cant pour from an empty cup but we tend to believe that we can. Burn out and fatigue is so common and using quick fix routines when our bodies needs a daily regimen. I used to think self-care wasn't important. Though I didn't verbally admit it my actions spoke for themselves. As a mom I felt that it was selfish act for me to want to go to the grocery store alone, go to the gym without my daughter interrupting my workout, spending time with myself reading a book, going on dates alone with my husband, and so many other activities. I felt that mommy guilt that being away from my children wasn't what a mother was suppose to do. The shameful mom clubs also didn't make me feel any better when I shared this. I felt isolated because I wanted something that most moms around me didn't believe was right. Was I wrong or was they wrong? This was the questions I would ask myself as I struggled with trying to keep everything together.

Though a lot has changed over these years, women are still neglecting their self-care. I have a friend and her health is failing right now and she doesn't know how to make time for herself. She has a stressful job and after work she is left tending for the children. Though she longs for self-care and know that she needs to because now its effecting her health, she chooses to stay busy with family and friends because they need her the most. I love my friend but sometimes its hard watching someone neglect their body. I sympathize with her because I allowed my health to fail and for years I prioritized my family. I felt like that was important at that moment but as I continue to neglect self-care I did more damaged than good to my body.

Self-care isn't selfish it's setting boundaries, knowing who you truly are, and accepting yourself unconditionally. Its exercising and eating foods that nourish the body. Its loving our body inside and out. It's making time for ourselves like we make time for others. We only get one vehicle in life, that's our bodies. Our bodies takes us everywhere we need to go. When the check engine light comes on that's a sign that we have went too long. So, ask yourself today how are you truly feeling? Have you neglected your self-care and made time making sure everyone else was okay? It's okay if you did, acknowledge it and then decide that you will make time to take care of your whole body.

Spend at minimum 30 minutes in the morning before you start your day taking care of your mind and body. Prepare yourself for the day because there are going to be people that need you and you may not have time to stop and breathe. Spending time with yourself before you share with others will help improve your mood and make the days better. You can read a positive word, pray, exercise, to get your body in a good mood. In the morning I start my day with prayer and scripture, exercise, and then an audible book while I shower.

Your mind and body is important, today I challenge you to prioritize it first and let everything else fall in place. I have three children and I understand how it feels as a mom to not want to make time for yourself but I also know how it feels when I don't. Make time for yourself today or you will be forced to make time for it later. We all have a choice, choose to take care of yourself.

"Take time to take care of yourself now or you will be forced to take care of your illnesses later. You are worth it, don't sell yourself short."-unknown

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