FIVE WAYS TO ORGANIZE SELF-CARE
If you are like me, once you became a mom, “self-care” – seeing to your personal needs and interests – became a distant memory. Sometimes, it seems like more effort than it’s worth to take time for yourself. Still, as a professional therapist, I can tell you “self-care” is important. Here are some ideas for creating that elusive “me” time and space.
1. TO DO:
It’s satisfying to check tasks off a list. To laundry and groceries, why not add items for yourself? Maybe it’s simple, like flossing, or perhaps it requires more planning, like taking a class. Include the physical, mental and spiritual aspects of your life.
2. TO DON’T:
If finding the time to take care of yourself seems like a fantasy, have a look at your obligations to see if anything can be tweaked or cut. My husband found a lot of freedom at work when he learned the principle of a “To Don’t” list. Now his meetings include time to brainstorm what no longer needs to be done. You might not have to do all the things you think every good mom does.
Find a special room or nook with pleasing aesthetics and lighting. Have supplies for self-care handy: beloved books, a yoga mat and treats. This area might seem difficult to create, but it doesn’t have to be big. My friend has energetic sons and although she loves decorating, she has accepted that picture frames and vases have a very short, pardon the pun, shelf-life in her house. If this is the case for you, try a self-care drawer with personal effects and treasures at the ready.
Be it from family, friends or paid assistance, ask for help when you need it. Try trading off with a friend; this will give you some alone time and provide entertainment for your child when a new face comes to play.
5. BE CREATIVE:
Many household tasks can get dull so get creative! A friend of mine got together with another mom and they prepped, cooked and made meals to last a month. Get imaginative with the personal interests and hobbies you once enjoyed. Many a mompreneur started with a desire to get back to her artistic passions.
Kelly Flannigan, MSW, is an individual, marriage and family therapist. She and her husband live in the Caribbean and are the parents of an industrious toddler. Despite the demands of motherhood, she continues to flex her “self help” muscle for women at all stages of self-discovery through writing and blogging; without this outlet her life would resemble Parenthood meets Groundhog Day.