I want to begin by saying that radical self-care is as importantto me as oxygen, carbs and cake, as a life without either of these would finish me off!
We all know that self-care is important, along with self-love, self-respect, and so on. We all know that having a bubble bath, going for a massage or simply going for a walk in the countryside should be part of our life to relax and unwind. However, many of us do not take the time to do these things, and many believe that what they want is not necessary when they begin to raise a family.
NOT TRUE. You do not have to sacrifice everything for your children. Of course, your children are your responsibility and need your love and the essentials to survive, but self-care is important in equal amounts if not more.
Put Your Oxygen Mask On First
I am sure you have heard this before about putting your oxygen mask on first and then your child’s, and in life, this is no different. Rushing around like a lunatic all day long is exhausting, and being everything to everyone comes at a price and this is when you have to put yourself first regularly.
Do Not Put Self-Care On Your To-Do List
Before you go into a wobble about the hundreds of things you have to do each day, and this is just another thing to do, I would like to stop you there. Self-care is not to be put on your To-Do list as it needs to become part of your daily routine, like cleaning your teeth or showering.
Healthy food, plenty of water, regular exercise and a good amount of sleep is the basics and I appreciate if you have babies, then sleep for the time being could be a thing of the past. However, napping, closing your eyes for a few minutes here and there will all help, and do not forget to ask for help — another thing we often are afraid to do. Being the martyr and doing everything can be too much, and if you have friends, family, or a lovely neighbour then ASK for help and share the tasks.
I mentioned a little earlier about going for a walk in the countryside or having a bubble bath is all good for relaxing and taking time for yourself, but radical self-care is something different — self-care on a deeper level. I am sure you’ve noticed there’s a lot of negativity out there, and no doubt you have your negative moments, too (we all do). Negativity from our thoughts, relationships, media all contributes to us feeling unhappy at times, and for some, very miserable. Being able to identify what is adding to your negativity, is a step closer to lighten the load and you beginning to feel happier.
Self-care is important so here are a few more things to consider to get you started;
Your negative self-talk
You may or may not be aware yet that you are your greatest critic. You can and will find fault in yourself, from how you look to what you did or said. If you spend your time judging others (we all do this in lesser or greater degrees), then the chances are you are also judging yourself. The majority of us would never speak to others the way we talk to ourselves, and this is when we can show our care for ourselves by becoming our own best friend.
In relationships, many of us struggle to set boundaries and are afraid to rock the boat. What’s quite interesting with women in particular when it comes to protecting their child, they will step in with no problem as the maternal instincts kick in. However, when it’s about themselves, often they will not speak up as if they are less important. Remember you are as important, as an example if you do not want your mother-in-law telling your child what to do, or your friend using you as a babysitting service then boundaries must be set for things to change.
We are a bag full of emotions, many of us do not know how to manage our emotions. So lots of us finding ourselves either in a biscuit tin, eating a tub of ice cream, or drinking too much wine, or shopping, to deal with the pain. What’s important here is to remember that feelings come and go and not to worry about how you feel. If you want to cry, then cry. Be with the uncomfortable feeling and observe as if you were standing on a beach watching the waves come and go.
We all have areas of our life that could with some (a lot) of work, whether it’s our health, finances, career, or a relationship. We also have times in our life when something happens, and we become angry, resentful or shout. Some things trigger us, and if it’s a regular occurrence, then it might be an area you want to look at as there will be some healing to be done.
I have left this to last as often forgiveness for yourself and others can be extremely difficult to do, but the first step is being open to creating this in your life. If you want to forgive yourself or others, this will begin the process as you are now open to the possibility and not closed off.
As you can see from what I’ve written, there is more to self-care than a bubble bath once a week. Radical self-care is important for someone who wants to feel better, be a better person and parent, with the added bonus of being a great role model for your children, as children learn from what you do, not what you say.