Self Care: Walking the Walk

It has been almost five months since I invited you to join me in making self care a priority and to follow this series of posts on self care.  Today, I wanted to share a post that is a personal reflection on my experience over the last few months.   In addition to blogging about self care monthly, I’ve offered two self care workshops and focused a portion of my posts on social media to the topic of self care.

Focusing so much of my energy and work on the topic of self care has had tangible benefits for me and my family, but it hasn’t been easy.    It seems like prioritizing self care should be easier, but I definitely struggled more than I thought I would.   As a mom, wife, therapist and business owner, I always believe I have something that I should be doing, but if I don’t focus on self care I can’t be as strong in each of those roles as I would like.  I am not just talking the talk, but actually walking the walk.

Here are some of my reflections on my self care journey over the past months:

  • I had two light bulb moments after considering the reflection questions I shared in the Refining Your Approach to Self Care post.
    1. I recognized how important getting outside is for my personal self care process and ACTED on this realization. I started this blog series during the cold winter months, but most days I got my kids outside for at least a few minutes so I could focus on breathing and taking moments to be mindful of nature.  Sometimes these moments where as we were loading in and out of the car on the way to an activity.
    2. I realized I needed to be more purposeful about either including my children in myself care practices or asking for alone time to make self care a priority instead of waiting for the magical times where both of my children were asleep or otherwise occupied and I didn’t have anything else I thought I should be doing. It is easier for me to include my children in myself care practices than scheduling time away.
  • I also realized how often I made excuses to avoid prioritizing myself care and have been more aware of these excuses, so I can challenge and work through them. For example, I was avoiding working out because I couldn’t figure out how I would fit it into my routine of caring for my family and growing my business.   I realized that I could work out with my daughter present and that this allows me to get my workout in while also spending quality time with her.   Sometimes my daughter participates in some of the exercises I am doing (modified in an adorable preschooler way), but most of the time she reads books or works on an activity while I am working out, but we are still engaged in conversation.   We’ve had a lot of important discussions about health since we started this practice.   Most weeks, I  get 5 workouts in and my daughter likes to participate even if my husband is home and she could be doing something else with him instead of working out with me.
  • Some of the specific ways that I have been able to improve my self care practices over the past five months are:
    1. Being more intentional about spending time outdoors each day. While outdoors, I try to take time to focus on breathing and appreciating nature.
    2. Working out five days a week.
    3. Focusing on improving my nutrition.
    4. Scheduling time away to do fun things.
    5. Increasing the amount of time I spend doing things I enjoy such as “fun” reading.

As I already mentioned, it has been harder to make self care a priority than I initially thought it would be.   In March, I evaluated how I was doing on this journey and realized I needed to step up my game if I was really serious about making self care a priority.   I think I’ve done especially well over the past two months.

I recognize that I still have room for growth in myself care practices and that self care involves daily and weekly commitments to continue on this journey.  One of the things that I would like to do is to check out some of the self care related apps that Laura Reagan shared for my self care resources post and see how these apps could be used to help me continue to prioritize self care.   I would also like to try to implement some new self care strategies  such as meditation or journaling.   I am proud of my accomplishments over the last five months and committed to continuing to make self care a priority.

For those of you who have also been focusing on prioritizing self care, I’d love to hear about your journey in the comments below.   Also, feel free to share this post with anyone else who may be interested in prioritizing self care.


12 thoughts on “Self Care: Walking the Walk

  1. Sarah, thanks for mentioning my post on self care! Like you, I find that making self care a priority is an ongoing struggle! Despite creating an intentional practice I am constantly reminding myself to focus on this. Part of my self care practice is to be compassionate with myself when I don’t meet my own expectations and to remember that I’m doing the best I can. I am glad to hear that I’m not the only one who struggles. You have my support! Keep up the great work!

  2. Laura, Thanks for your comment and all the great material that you write and share about self care as well. I think that it is important that as moms and helping professionals we keep encouraging each other to make self care a priority.

  3. This is so important! I constantly struggle with trying to do 1 million things at a time and often forgetting to take a breath and slow down. It’s a constant battle but I totally agree that self-care is so important. If we take better care of ourselves then we can take better care of others! I look forward to reading more about your series on self-care. Thanks for sharing!

  4. Self-care is so important! All of your practices are such great ones and are ones I, too, try to do regularly. Journaling and creating artwork are two other ones that I find really helpful.

  5. Thanks for your comment, Alicia. I hope you are able to find time to slow down and make self care a priority. It really is important!

  6. Cole,
    Thanks for your comment. It is great that you’ve found some self care practices that work for you! I hope that you continue to make self care a priority.

  7. Jody, Thanks for leaving a comment! It is often those little things that can make a big difference. We often think that self care has to be such a “big” thing, but taking moments to slow down and focus on breathing are so important. And I also think the smaller things are easier to try to incorporate into daily life.

  8. Maggie, Thanks for sharing your self care strategies. Do you find it easy to implement these strategies regularly?

  9. Great post! I feel like the only time I have self care time is when I’m in the shower. I swear those 30 minutes of alone time are priceless for me. While I’m a wahm and only have 1 little one to care for, it’s been a constant struggle to be more intentional with me time and care. I get so sidetracked and distracted with my ongoing list of things to do that I often neglect appreciating the present.

  10. Thanks for commenting, Linh. It is definitely a challenge to make time for self care as a parent. It is great that you are taking advantage of the small moments such as showers! Good luck as you continue to try to make time for self care.

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