Self-care has the potential to strengthen our confidence and it does not have to be laborious. I recently realized I have to start taking my power back through self-care.
If you are like me, you have read countless articles advising us women to include self-care rituals in our daily lives. Topics likely consist of self-care habits to fix our skin issues, yoga to lose those last ten pounds, more stylish clothes… yada, yada, yada. I even remember reading an article from Teen Vogue that advised us teenage girls to do a mayonnaise hair mask once a month. (I don’t think I need to tell you how that one ended, do I?)
These self-care recommendations are overwhelming. They tell us we aren’t fit enough, pretty enough, or even smart enough until we have clear skin, do yoga, and buy more stylish clothes. They imply that the only way to gain self-confidence and success in life is by incorporating their expensive and laborious self-care routines.
Self-care is how you take your power back.
Think about that. By finding what daily routines make us feel our best, we can take our power back. I’m talking about Khaleesi-level power here (maybe). HECK YEAH.
Self-care should be empowering and only include what you want!
Articles that tell me that I should be doing a six-step face care routine before bed do not make me feel good. I only want to do things that I find energizing. Thankfully, I have found that there are ways to use self-care as a means to live better and fuel me to do more of what I love.
Taking my power back means more than just a potential feisty-yet-cute photo-op for social media. It means fueling my self-worth. It means filling my bucket with energy that makes me feel confident and able.
Most of all, it means waking up each morning (hopefully after an uninterrupted night of sleep… a girl can dream) feeling excited to complete all the same tasks that call my name each and every day.
MIND: I’m decluttering the heck out of my house.
Marie Kondo is onto something here. Getting rid of old broken toys and organizing my front closet has been curiously empowering, as well as fabulous for my mental health. I’ve donated boxes filled with toys the kids aren’t interested in, kitchen tools I never use, and other household items we just don’t need. Do you use those cookbooks you got as a gift? Nope? Well, donate them. Have extra coats? I guarantee someone needs them. Stop keeping things out of guilt. Keep what you use and love and donate the rest.
The main floor of our house has an open floor plan, which means I can see all the rooms from wherever I am standing. This can be stressful when I’m trying to work at the kitchen counter and all I see are piles of clutter in every direction. My new motto is: less is more. And you know what? The kids are JUST FINE.
Just to reassure you, you do not have to go through everything you own in one day. I certainly am not. But, if you can fill up a bag or a box once each week, life becomes much more manageable.
BODY: I’m stretching before bed.
Like many families, our nighttime routine consists of madness from about 4:00 PM to the kids’ bedtime at 6:30 PM. My husband works late many nights so I am responsible for feeding, bathing, and putting our three kids to bed by myself those nights. Most of the time, once they’re all tucked in, I head straight to the kitchen for a glass of wine to enjoy (alone!) with a TV show before my husband comes home.
I’ve found that adding in some time on the floor stretching (don’t worry… my wine is still with me) while watching TV feels SO GOOD. The exercises I do are not fancy and definitely don’t make me sweat. It is simply some me-time that releases the day’s tension and feels like hitting a reset button.
Okay… doing your hair might not seem very soul-affirming but stay with me here. With two babies and a preschooler, doing my hair has not been a top priority. There is basically one hairdo that is functional: the good ol’ ponytail. Anything else invites little sticky fingers and/or pieces of hair falling into my face (this causes me constant low-level hysteria). However, I’ve learned that spending 5 minutes each morning sprucing up my ponytail has given me supreme pleasure.
When I look better, I feel more prepared for my day. If this isn’t soul-affirming, then I don’t know what is!
My favorite YouTube channel for ponytail inspiration is Milabu. My hair creations are always messier than hers, but I love her ideas.
When thinking about taking care of your soul it is immensely important to create time for yourself. After years of chatting with the moms who come to see me at work, I can confidently say that most moms don’t prioritize time by themselves. Before creating my new self-care routine, I wasn’t either!
I remember casually asking a mom what she had been doing just for herself lately, and her response troubled me. She, like me, has three kids and spends most of her time focused on keeping them fed, safe, and happy. Her response?
Me time? Ha. That’s cute.
Why is it so hard for us moms to create time for ourselves? We are experts at planning and accomplishing daily tasks but for some reason, planning a 20-minute activity just for ourselves feels nearly impossible.
No… not nearly impossible. It feels entirely impossible, right?
This is not a new concept. I’m positive that moms have been feeling this way since the start of time. Here is why I believe this: because caring for little kids is SO MUCH WORK. Parenting these tiny humans epitomizes the classic saying “one step forward, two steps back.”
One minute I’m picking up 50 pieces of plastic play food just to find my kids across the room emptying my laundry basket of freshly-folded clothes. (When will I learn to avoid placing the folded clothing basket on the floor?) Sometimes I stare off into space when I am exhausted at the end of the day, wondering what it was that wiped me out to this degree. I try to recount the day to myself, simply to legitimize what went down.
Regardless, my new self-care routine has lessened these staring-off-into-space moments. I’m attempting to take my power back through self-care by spending more time doing my hair in the morning (no mayonnaise masks!), stretching for a few minutes at night, and decluttering my house a little day by day. These changes nourish my mind, body, and soul!
Spend a few minutes thinking about three ways you can take care of yourself today that would make you feel powerful.
Think: Mind, Body, and Soul.
Choose quick and easy me-time activities that you do not find overwhelming and then look forward to them.
Maybe a little self-care is the missing piece we’re all looking for in living a contented life. Please share your favorite way to take your power back through self-care in the comments below!
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