Our days are stressful, and the to-do list is never ending. At times the pressures of daily living can be overwhelming, and we all need a break. Self-care is a way to show love and kindness to yourself. As a parent, modeling proper self-care can show your child that they need to have supportive people in their lives, but that they can also meet some of their needs themselves.
Some assume that self-care is a vacation, massage, or a dessert and it is, but it can also be something smaller and more accessible than beautiful white sand beaches. A few examples of smaller versions of self-care that you can do daily or weekly:
Take a hot bath
Savor a cup of coffee, tea, or hot chocolate
Rub lotion on your skin
Listen to a light-hearted podcast or audiobook while on a long commute
Go on a date with someone you care about
Order take out
Setting boundaries in your life could also be a form of self-care. For example, while on your lunch break, don’t answer work related emails. Maybe you and your family could have a family game night and all cell phones are turned off during this time. Learning to say no can be difficult, but also a form of self-care. Each day only has 24 hours and it is okay to say no to something so you can say yes to something better. When we don’t set boundaries in our life, we can suffer from empathy fatigue and we might not be able to give our loved ones what they need.
When using self-care, be sure to enjoy the moment. It shouldn’t be something that causes guilt. If your mind turns to laundry, the email that you didn’t respond to, or the grocery list, gently bring yourself back to the present moment. Cherish the moment for yourself and use it to recharge. Self-care can serve as a preventive measure so that stress doesn’t build up, but it can also be used as a healthy coping skill on difficult days.