Why I Practice Self-Care Even If It Kills Me!

16 Self-Care Tips!

By Courtney Daly-Pavone February 26, 2024

*This article is a 4 minute read

According to the National Institute of Mental Health, "Self-care means taking the time to do things that help you live well and improve both your physical health and mental health. This can help you manage stress, lower your risk of illness, and increase your energy."

I started my mom journey eager to see Disney movies with my son. I was dying to bake Rice Krispie Treats, and don one of those haute couture painted macaroni necklaces. I was fully immersed in Mommyhood. I wore mom clothes, you know yoga pants all day, hair in a massive bun half dry. My endless supply of coffee in a travel mug that miraculously always stayed warm. I was on hand when the school called in need of help, and I knew more about the goings on in the classroom than I did the intracacies of my extended family. We were always on the go. Like a raptor I lived off the half eaten mac and cheese bites and pizza crust my child didn't finish. 

Oh another thing my car had Pepperidge Farm Goldfish in the seat cracks, and melted Crayola's in the cup holder something years earlier I said I would never let happen. At one point the back window of my Volvo wagon was covered in stickers from Trader Joe's. My living room looked like a daycare center with large scale toys crowding every corner. Let me just say my that coffee table was a Thomas The Train table. No Louis Vutton purse for me, I had a knapsack so my hands could be free, plus I had to hold all of the extra snacks,wipes, water, and survival gear that I needed on a twenty-four hour basis. Sound familiar?

After a decade of being this person, I ran myself into the ground. Did I mention that during this period my dog had standing spa appointments, and I didn't? 

I was planning to find me again when Covid hit and I was homeschooling my son. Suddenly my cleaning, teaching, and entertainment duties increased tenfold. I had taken on too much, and I had reached my threshold.

Two years later...

I dug my way out of the trenches mainly for health purposes, but I got out.

Here Are 16 Self-Care Tips I Now Utilize

Stand Your Ground

I was afraid to ask for help, or assistance of any kind. Don't be afraid to lean on your spouse, family, friends, or a sitter so you can carve out some time for yourself.

People Will Think Your Superwoman If You Keep Perpetuating This Image

No one is a mind reader, you need to let them know if you're drowning, otherwise they will think you can handle it and you're okay.

Connect With Your Friends

This can be tricky in an age of social media. You think you just saw someone because they're on your social media feed, but in reality you haven't seen them in three years! Pick up the phone and call them. Then make firm plans to meet for coffee sans kids! 

When Was Your Last Doctor's Appointment?

Keep up with your annual exams: mammograms, dental, colonoscopy (if over 50), and gynecological tests. I put off an eye exam when I clearly had trouble seeing. What brought me in to the optometrists office? My son had a stye in his eye, and while I was there taking care of his needs it dawned on me to schedule an eye exam (I'm still working on this).

Find Time For Some Solitude

Turn your phone off, and go for a walk. You really need to enjoy silence, and clear your head especially if you have young kids that ask questions all day long.

Set Boundaries For Your Family To Follow

I like to work out at the gym, and initially my family would call and text me while I was trying to run on the treadmill. What's a typical question that can't wait? "Have you seen my phone charger?" How annoying is that? Being the keeper of all things stinks, and you know what I don't want that job. Everyone deserves some time to be alone with their thoughts. Turn off your phone, and tell them they'll have to wait to talk to you.

Give Yourself The Day Off!

Ask your spouse or partner to watch the kids one day, and they can have the following day off while you take care of them. This is a real day off where you sleep in, and cooking and cleaning is outsourced.

Learn To Say No

People pleasers like myself have to learn to say no. I find it helpful to pause before saying no. Also, you shouldn't feel guilty for saying no. You're allowed to do what you want to do sometimes.

Catch Some Z's

Have a sleep schedule to insure you’re getting enough sleep. Blue light from devices and screens can make it harder to fall asleep, so reduce blue light exposure from your phone or computer before bedtime.

Practice Gratitude

Remind yourself daily of things you are grateful for. Jot them down or replay them in your mind.

When Was Your Last Hair Cut?

Remember my big bun? Mine was hiding split ends, and it saved plenty of time in the bathroom, but it was weighing me down. Go for a fresh new cut and lift your spirits!

Are You Getting Exercise?

Are You Getting Enough Vitamin D From Sunlight?

Are You Eating Healthy Meals?

Eating right isn't just about weight loss. It's about feeling better remember food equals mood.

Treat Yourself To Some Main Staple Clothing Items

There's something worse than mom jeans- Low rider jeans without a belt that expose more than you intend to show off. What about ill fitting bra tops and camis left over from your maternity days? Update your look with some new jeans, a classic white shirt, jacket and new shoes, maybe even a few accessories. You can mix and match your existing wardrobe after adding these main staples. Go to the store and try your clothes on in person. You'll be able to check out the latest styles, and try more cuts of clothes than you would be able to order online. Your body may have changed and you might need to try on different sizes.

Mani, Pedi, Brows & Lashes

I used to think mani pedis were a waste of time until I became a mom. If your hands are always immersed in cleaning products, have someone else pamper you. I recently went to have a brow wax, several friends splurge on brows and lashes. Try something new it might be exactly what you need to revamp your look.

The Takeaway

Self care isn't about you per se, it's about you taking care of yourself so that you can be a better mom, wife, and friend. If you don't take care of yourself who will?

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