We can only nurture wholeness in children if we are willing to become whole ourselves. Self care plays a crucial role in that.
But in a world filled with constant demands on our time, how can we hope to nurture ourselves?
As a sensitive introvert, I am often encouraged to fill my cup by taking time for myself. I’ve been given dozens of suggestions from well meaning folks and inspirational websites encouraging me to meditate, make wholesome meals, practice yoga, and get a massage.
That sounds great.
Since I barely have time to shower, that kind of uninterrupted “me” time is just not possible.
What I’ve learned from being a busy working mama is that I must find less ambitious ways to keep my emotional tank full so that I can nurture my wellbeing and be the emotional container my daughter needs me to be.
So I practice self care in small doses.
And it works. It really does.
Here are my favourite mini-self care rituals:
This is a trick I learned from a Mindfulness program I did recently. Throughout the day, I make time whenever I can to “Take 5.” That means I take 5 mindful breaths in a row. It’s incredible how powerful this can be. It’s a great thing to model for our children.
The Silent Tantrum
This one I just made up to describe the moments when I am just done with adulting, but nobody else needs to know that, especially not my daughter! I calmly go into the bathroom, lock the door, and silently freak out. I flail around, contort my face, pretend to yell, punch and kick the air. I get all the frustration out of my body, privately and silently.
Everyone needs soothing. Sometimes I give myself a big hug, gently stroke my arm, or grab my hand cream and moisturize my hands in a really kind and loving way. These little moments provide instant calm.
Maybe it’s just me, but tea has got to be the most comforting beverage out there. Scalding hot English breakfast tea, with milk. It’s my signature drink. Whatever comforts you, treat it like your own personal ritual. Honour it. Sometimes all I get is one or two sips before I’m called away, but I treasure those.
I may someday have a life that includes daily yoga and regular massages, with long baths and time to journal.
But that is seriously unlikely.
So I practice self care in the fleeting moments I can grasp in the nooks and crannies of my wonderful, hectic life.
And it’s enough.
It really is.
How do you make space for self care? Share your best strategies in the comments.