When I think about self care I used to think about all the ways to feed, fuel, nourish and maybe even pamper my body. What I was leaving out was my mind & soul. My mind and soul were craving the simple pleasures of satisfying myself instead of a family of 6. If you don’t take care of yourself you can’t take care of them, right?
Lately, the self care I have been practicing is actively participating, or not paritcipating, in the activities that fulfill me and only me. My family is the most important thing in my life. I feel very lucky to have a supportive husband and happy healthy children. At times, I push–ok too many times, I push for my family to experience things together. “Everyone in the car for the soccer game, lets watch the same movie, head outside to play, etc.” Wether it’s an activity that I enjoy, my spouse enjoys or something we feel we “should do”, I have learned is that it is ok to not experience everything as a unit. Don’t get me wrong, we do plenty together and enjoy it! But we are all different beings and I firmly believe it is our differences that make us beautiful. What brings me joy, may not bring my husband, or children joy. But allowing ourselves to consistently seek out and make time for our own hobbies and interests not only feeds our soul but sets an example for others to engage in their own satisfaction as well.
I’ve been testing this experiment over the last few months. For example I really love a good excuse to dress up, leave the house, meet old & new friends, you know adult playdates. My husband travels for work and often times is away when the invite arrives or has just returned home and he is craving some downtime. The old me would have gently pressured (some may say guilted) him into attending with me, or stayed home if he was out of town. The result, happy campers are rarely happy when forced to camp. Instead I’m actively accepting and making plans where it fits, naturally.
We can at times feel like we have zero time in the day but practicing self care can take minutes, even moments if we prioritize. Here’s hoping you seek out the things you love to do and that you make time for them. Or politely refrain from the things that you do not enjoy and respecting others right to do so as well.
Photo credit: Alyssa Fortin Photography