As my children shower me with kisses while I am bowing out of bedtime routine, I ask myself, is this self care?
As I tune into a podcast, I ask myself, is this self care?
As I step into the gym and pound out some weights, I ask myself, is this self care?
As I eat a salad for dinner, I ask myself, is this self care?
As I visit the spa for a facial, I ask myself, is this self care?
Self care is not a night out.
It IS recognizing the need to carve out space and fostering relationships with people you trust to take over, when needed.
Self care is not a podcast playlist.
It IS the desire to grow and learn and the recognition that you can do so by processing auditory information while on the go.
Self care is not a workout.
It IS a commitment to healthy choices and achievable goals.
Self care is not a healthy meal.
It IS admitting that however meal planning, groceries, meal prep and cleanup are going to happen, I will be rest assured knowing that my family is well-nourished and I feel good about how I fuel my body.
Self care is not one visit to the spa or salon.
It IS the realization that life and parenthood are hard work and our bodies, like cars, need regular maintenance and tune ups, including visits to the body shop.
All of the above might be what self care may look like along the way. Why then, might it not feel like enough?
Self care is more than making a wish and hoping it comes true. It is a highly individualized and sustainable practice that helps make me, me so I can fulfill all of the roles in my life that make me, me.
As an occupational therapist with experience formally assessing self-care and developing treatment plans around this, I was shocked when feeling lost after having children and needing guidance to take better care of myself. I am grateful for the many supports along the way and the evolving journey. 💛
Photo courtesy of Instagram @bumpandbabynz