What is True Self Care and How do We Sustain It in Motherhood

Caring for Your Body

Self-care is holistic. The physical and mental components of it are not autonomous.

You can take care of your body but have a messy mind. And you can take care of your mind, but if you don’t care for your body it will eventually impact that as well.

There’s nothing wrong with going for a manicure or a massage, but when I talk about caring for your body, I actually mean just the very basics.

As mothers (and especially new mothers) we can easily buy into the lie that we’re supposed to be martyrs for our children.

We sacrifice even the most basic of self-care. Hygiene and nutrition.

This might not be a popular opinion, but your baby is not going to be harmed in any way if they cry for five minutes while you take a quick shower.

Yes, your job is to love and nurture them. Yes, there are sacrifices that we make as parents, but it needs to be balanced.

As the saying goes, you cannot pour from an empty cup.

Fit in a daily shower and eat. I’m not even talking about a hugely healthy diet. If you’re just starting out, then at least be sure that you’re eating.

And of course, rest and sleep are both important physically and mentally.

However you can, work some kind of rest into your day.

How to Sustain Self-Care:

It Has to Happen Daily

Self-care is not going to be effective if you only practice it on the odd occasion. True self-care needs to be habitual. It needs to be something that is done almost on auto-pilot.

Work it into your daily routine and stay faithful to it.

Women reach the point of burnout all the time because they go until they can’t go anymore. The point of self-care is to prevent that from happening.

Learn to rest not to quit.

Self-care is not a recovery program.

It isn’t meant to be the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. It has to happen daily, throughout the day in order to be sustained. Which brings me to the next point…

You Have to Make an Effort

Self-care is no one else’s responsibility but your own. You are the caretaker of your mind and body, which means you are the one that needs to do whatever it takes to care for yourself.

That might mean making sacrifices in order to fulfill your needs.

You could be forgiven for thinking that self-care is meant to feel good. In truth, sometimes it doesn’t.

Just like exercise. It is what you need but it isn’t always (or ever) enjoyable.

A good place to start is with this post where I talk about setting up a productive schedule –> How to Have a Balanced + Productive Routine as a SAHM

Take baby steps. You don’t have to achieve it all in a day. Work on one area at a time and just do your best.

That will eventually lead to healthy habits that will help you sustain a good balance.


This piece originally appeared at www.christinekeys.net, published with permission.

Christine Keys
Christine Keyshttp://christinekeys.net
Christine is a work-at-home mom of three. A former nurse turned blogger she is the owner and creator of both Christine Keys and Raising Kids Making Money. She loves to keep it real about motherhood while also providing help and support for moms to simplify life and make things easier all around. Christine views motherhood as one of the most important callings and wishes to encourage and lift up moms as they try to balance it all.

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