As women, mothers, wives, business owners, and so much more, we tend to forget about ourselves as we continuously tend to the needs of others. We work from sun up to sun down working for either ourselves or others just to make ends meet. We are personal chefs as we prepare meals and pack lunches. We are hair stylists on a daily in the salons of our kitchens. We are accountants balancing our checkbooks and creating and maintaining monthly household budgets. We are teachers, chauffeurs, and doctors all by trade. You get where I’m going with this. We are superwomen, or at least we think we are. Even superheroes have weaknesses. Although we feel as if we can conquer the world and then some, we have to realize that at some point we will weaken without taking care of ourselves. As I’m writing this I’m sitting in my bed with a bad cold. I hardly ever take off of work, but I decided that my health was much more important than a job that can replace me with a snap of a finger. I’d rather take a day or two to rest up than to end up in an even worse condition because I didn’t take enough time for myself and my own health.
“There just aren’t enough hours in a day.”
I was talking to a friend of mine the other day who shared my same views and feelings when it comes the above statement. There really just aren’t enough hours in a day. We begin to slowly fall apart at the seams when we don’t take enough time for ourselves. Our hair isn’t done, we forget to shave, I even forget to eat at times. We continue to make doctor appointments for the kids while we push our own aside and just drink a glass of orange juice. It just comes naturally to make sure that everyone and everything else is priority over ourselves.
Self-care is extremely necessary for the betterment and elongation of your life. You have to treat yourself at all costs. No, I don’t mean strictly money when I say” at all costs.” There are so many different ways that we can allow ourselves self-care without spending a dime or even leaving the home. Just know and understand that if you don’t take care yourself, you won’t be able to care for anyone else in the future. By all costs, I mean that when you decide to take time for yourself, stand firm make and sure that you take that time no matter what is going on or how full your schedule may seem.
The advice that I gave my friend was this:
“You should schedule mandatory time for yourself, whether it’s an hour each day or one day each week. Do something that makes you happy and don’t let anything or anyone come in between that time you set aside for yourself. Set a day to get your hair done or nails. You have got to treat yourself. No one will do it as well as you would.”
Here are a few examples of the many things you can do to provide self-care:
Take a bubble bath:
This might seem really simple, but if your life is anywhere near as hectic as mine then you’ll understand that this is actually a luxury. I can barely take a shower or use the restroom without little people calling my name or sticking their fingers under the door seal. Sometimes I even open up the shower curtain to find my children sitting on the toilet seat or the bathroom floor just waiting patiently for me… (insert side eye emoji). To actually be able to run bath water without toys floating in it or bubble gum scented bubbles is a major accomplishment. So, yes, take a bubble bath ladies. This is completely free and so relaxing. You can pretend you’re at a spa in your own home. Light up some candles, pour in your favorite oil, bath salt, and make a few bubbles. Light a few candles and if you really want to get fancy, throw in some rose pedals and play some music. You can thank me later.
Reading is fundamental:
If you are an avid reader like myself, then this would be a great way to relax yourself. Pick a time each day where you stop everything and read a few chapters of your favorite book. Maybe even make it a goal to read one book a month so that you make sure you are getting your reading time in. For me, reading takes me to another place, whether fiction or non-fiction. I can imagine myself in inside of world full of the words that my eyes are surrounded by and take a step out of the normal just for a little while.
Some people think that it may be embarrassing to go out to eat by yourself. I use to feel that way. Bring your headphones or your favorite book and date yourself. Put on a cute outfit, fix your hair, and take yourself to your favorite restaurant when you actually make free time. Go see a movie alone. Bring a small blanket or comfy sweater and enjoy. I think the best time is during the matinee hours when the tickets are cheap and plenty of seats are available.
We often waste time waiting on others to be able to go out, whether it’s a friend or friends, boyfriend, or husband. There were plenty of times that I’ve made plans with others weeks ahead of time and something would come up that forced me to cancel. Ladies, you know that we like to buy a new outfit and get our hair and nails done as we anticipate that one day where we finally get to step out of the house. Being with company is great, but we also need to take time out to get to know ourselves by ourselves.
Make a nail/hair appointment
This does not have to be every week, but just often enough to be able to treat yourself and feel like a woman again. You don’t have to break the bank at all. Even getting your ends trimmed or a simple polish change can make a pretty big difference in my opinion. Most of the time I do my own hair and nails, so when I actually make an appointment, it’s a pretty big deal and I feel extra afterwards. You can’t tell me a thing when I walk out of the nail shop.
Work out/Eat right:
Self-care is so much more than just taking care of our flesh. We can always cover ourselves up with makeup, nail polish, a cute hair style, and a bomb outfit, but if we don’t work on ourselves internally, all of that will be for nothing. Take the time out to make simple changes to your eating habits and add physical activity to your schedule. Start small by doing simple exercises 20 to 30 minutes a day. Make small changes in your eating by switching to healthier options like wheat bread instead of white and increasing your water intake. It’s all possible with baby steps.
Spend Time on Prayer and Meditation:
While I’m on the topic of taking care of your inner person, let’s talk about prayer and meditation. Prayer and meditation is most definitely essential. If it’s the only thing you do, it would be beneficial to your life in the best way. Wake up an hour earlier in the morning or stay up a little later after the kitchen is shut down and the kids are asleep. The key here is to make time. Take the time out to not only pray, but to listen for a response from God. We spend a lot of time talking and not enough listening for answers from Him. Use this time to release your burdens on the Lord, meditate on His goodness and mercy for all that He has done and is doing in your life. Play some worship music and just praise His name. You will find so much peace in this moment or the day that nothing or no one can take away your joy. Command your day to be well despite what is to come and you will walk in perfect peace. I promise you that this is nothing but the truth. We spend so much time on everything else and can never seem to make time for God in our lives. Put Him first and everything will follow.
This list can really go on for forever. The main goal when it comes to self-care is doing something that you love or that you desire the most that benefit you. This thing is something that would take you away from the usual tasks of your world just for a moment. Taking time for yourself should allow you to relax, breathe, and think for once. No longer let the worries of how the bills will get paid, or the car trouble, or even how you’re going to get that permanent marker out of the walls (seriously, suggestions are welcome). Schedule your me time and stick to it. You can thank me later. You deserve it!
What ways do you instill self-care in your life? What are some things that you have always wanted to do but never can? Leave a comment below. Let’s talk about it.