As a tired AF new mom to a 4 month old, self-care is something that’s been on my mind lately.
I’ve always lived a super busy lifestyle and if I managed to eat three meals in a day, well, I was succeeding in life.
But the thing is, that kind of chaos isn’t sustainable.
While I used to survive on 4 hours of sleep while managing a day job, my blog, working out, feeding my cat, managing friendships and relationships, now, at 27, I’m exhausted.
And dude, with a baby, things are no joke.
Most days I feel like I’m drowning.
Most days I scream and shout because if my little one isn’t crying, my cat is meowing so damn loud and all I want is some peace and quiet.
So for those of you new to the whole idea of self-care, here are a few tips I picked up from a webinar I attended earlier this week.
Slow down, pour yourself a cup of coffee, turn off the tv playing in the background, and really think about this stuff.
Do it for you.
Do it for your sanity.
Otherwise sooner or later, you’ll burn out.
Trust me, I know.
Self-Care vs. Treating Yo Self
Now there’s a phrase I hear way too often. Treat yo self! Feeling down? Go buy the thing! It’s Friday and you’ve had a long week? Drown your sorrows in a gallon of ice cream. But here’s the thing – self-care is very different from this idea of treating yourself. See, self-care is all about taking care of yourself on a regular basis so you don’t get into crisis mode where you feel like you need all the things to help you feel better. Instead, you’re already feeling great and a treat here and there is just that – a treat – not a cure of some sort.
Think about it in terms of car maintenance. If you’re regularly getting your oil changes and rotating your tires, then your car’s gonna perform way better and it’ll be less likely to break down on you. But if you ignore those annoying little lights that pop up on your dash telling you that you need to do something, then you’re probably gonna experience some car issues in the near future. See what I’m saying?
Self-care is about slowing down, and making sure you’re getting everything you need in order to perform at an optimal level. Not this sort of zombie-like existence we sometimes fall into.
Self-Care Isn’t About Being Happy
What? Self-care isn’t about doing all the things that make you instantly happy? Nope, sorry guys. That’s not what self-care is. Like I said before, self-care is about doing things that set you up to succeed in your daily life. It’s about doing what you need to do in order to be capable of tackling your to-do list all while staying sane.
I’m talking about reassessing your priorities, getting enough sleep, taking a look at your diet – things like that. Those are the things that keep you functioning at a high level. Not just shopping and spending all your money. That can actually add a lot of stress to your life if you’re not careful.
Related Reading: 10 Easy Ways To Relax After A Long Day At Work
Self-Care Means Knowing Your Limits
Everyone has their limits. Some people can truly operate on 2 hours of sleep, and others, myself included, turn into the worst versions of themselves when they’re sleep deprived. My poor husband has been a witness to this over the past few months. So sorry, babe.
But other people can work two and three jobs, manage a strict fitness routine, be the president of the PTA, and they’re 100% okay. I mean, where they get their energy from, I’ll never know, but hey! More power to them.
Point is, your limits won’t be the same as the next person’s, so know what your limits are, and then stick to them. If that means turning down activities and engagements, that’s totally fine. If that means being home by 6pm every day and saving your dinner dates with friends for the weekends, that’s okay too. While some people can do ALL THE THINGS, ALL THE TIME, some of us need more time to relax, unwind, and recharge. So ditch the comparison game, stop trying to keep up with everyone else, and do you, babe.
Related Reading: How To Get Your Shit Together
What do you guys think about self-care? How do you guys practice it? And what area of your life do you need the most help with? I know for me, it’s time management, so let me know your answer in the comments!