Let's Talk About Self Care
It's not what you think.
Let's talk about the self care that doesn't get talked about often.
Emotional Self Care
Yes, have a bath! Read your book (for 5 minutes even)!
But also: Let yourself off the hook for not being 'perfect'. Try to talk a bit nicer to yourself. Remember that this won't last forever. Remind yourself of all the difficult things you've done. Forget other people's expectations of you. Allow yourself to do whatever brings you a bit of joy or relaxation.
Emotional self care is also doing the (very, very) hard work of dealing with your biases, traumas, unresolved childhood issues. Get a good therapist or join a free support group. Listen to talks or podcasts (while you drive maybe). Journal. Allow yourself to go there. Now is as good a time as any. You are already so raw.
Emotional self care is not always fun. It's difficult and painful but the rewards can be great - especially for your children. When you take care of your own emotions and develop healthy patterns, you can bring this to your relationships with your family.
Physical Self Care
Yes, eat more vegetables! But also: eat anything (if you forget to eat like me).
Yes, go for a walk around the block or do a few stretches.
But also: schedule & go to your doctors appointments. Take a slow, deep breath. Put on a bit of makeup (if that makes you feel better) or forget the makeup (if that makes you feel better). Take your medication. Wear clothes that fit. Thank your body for all you have accomplished together.
The New Normal
There are many moments in life where things shift and they will be forever different (there is no going back). This is new parenthood.
Taking care of yourself is not a luxury. You deserve to be okay (at least) and you even deserve to feel amazing. Those of us who have struggled at times with our mental health know that it's not a matter of choice - we must take care of our basic physical and emotional needs.
Your relationship with yourself is the foundation for all your other relationships. Your bond with your children, your partner, your friends, and all your loved ones has the potential to be so much stronger when you are starting from a place of love for yourself.
You are magical. You are doing amazing things. Thank you.