As special needs moms, we are so busy taking care of our children and families that we often forget to care for ourselves. I know it probably feels impossible, but I want to encourage you to incorporate daily self care into your life.
What exactly is self care? Self care is a set of habits, routines, and coping mechanisms that help us become the best versions of ourselves. Self love is treating yourself with kindness and love. Self love is impacted by doing daily self care, your thoughts and mindset, activities and who you surround yourself with. If you can learn one thing by reading this article, I want you to know that your own thoughts can have the biggest impact on your life satisfaction. This realization alone can change your life.
I want you to know that you deserve self care and it is ok to make yourself and your needs a priority. Start paying attention to your thoughts and how you talk to yourself. Are you being kind to yourself? You must first believe that you deserve self care or you won’t take the action to make it possible. Now let’s discuss how to incorporate self care into your day.
The first step of adding self care into your day is to decide what is important and realistic to add into your day. There are lots of self care activities that you can do occasionally like massages or pedicures or going to lunch with a friend. But, I want you to think about something that is personal to you, you enjoy and realistic to do on a daily basis. Let me give you some ideas: reading, exercising, walking, journaling, praying/meditating, writing, painting, etc. What is something that you enjoy that you are not currently doing but want to incorporate into your day? This should be something that makes you feel happy so when you get to the end of the day you don’t feel disappointed that you didn’t do something for yourself and you don’t feel like your day is over and you didn’t accomplish the things that are important to you each day.
Now that you have an idea of what you would like to do each day, the second step is to remind you to keep it simple. If you make the goal to complicated to begin with then you won’t want to do it. Start simple and small. For example, if you are adding in walking to your day. I wouldn’t start with an unrealistic expectation of walking for an hour or more a day unless that works for your schedule. Start simple and small and build from there. You want to make sure that this is enjoyable and not overwhelming otherwise it won’t feel like self care, it will feel like another thing you have to do each day and that is not the goal.
Step 3 is to plan how you will fit it in to your day. I want to encourage you in the beginning to put it on your planner or on your phone as an appointment. You can even set your alarm to go off daily at a certain time as a reminder. If you don’t plan how and when you will fit it in to your day, it won’t happen. Even if you only start out with 5 minutes, that is ok! Just fit it in and start!
The next step is to be flexible. Understand that there are going to be days that it doesn’t work out to fit it in and that roadblocks happen. This does not mean that you quit. It means that you need to be flexible and understanding that life is not perfect. Adjust your time if needed and if you can’t make it happen, then you just pick up where you left off the next day. Don’t allow yourself to get down or think negatively when things don’t go your way or you aren’t able to do things exactly as you want to. Be adapatable and flexible. Remember the mind is a powerful thing. Give yourself a pep talk and tell yourself positive messages instead of discouraging ones.
Finally, I want you to stick with it. You started it for a reason and I want you to remember why it is important to you. I want you to make it a habit. I want you to celebrate your wins and give yourself a pat on the back for fitting it into your day. Life is busy and the fact that you are making this a priority is important for you and the quality of your life. It means that a year from now you can look back and be proud of yourself for not letting the days just go by but fitting into your days the things that are important for you to have a happy life.
So what are you going to start adding to your day that is personal and important to you? Make sure that whatever you pick you make it simple and realistic to do each day. Make sure you are realistic with the amount of time you have and be flexible with your schedule. Make it a priority to stick with it until it becomes a habit. And, pay attention to your thoughts and mindset about self love and self care. It is important to remember that you deserve to be loved and cared for.
If you find yourself not following through with things, I want to challenge you to pay attention to the thoughts you are having about that specific thing. Is it positive or negative? How can you look at things from a different perspective to help you?
I hope these 5 steps for adding self care into your day are helpful. It’s amazing how adding in something simple for yourself each day can bring happiness to your life.
With Love and Gratitude,