Self Care: It’s Not What You Think

The other day, I saw a social media post on “self care” that really got me thinking. The author was frustrated about the unending advice to “fill your cup” when she simply doesn’t have time for manicures and yoga classes because, well, LIFE. And I wholeheartedly agree.

But I have a different interpretation. I think the problem stems from two places: (1) the misunderstanding that “self care” must be discreet events like massages or date night, and (2) the societal pressure for women to continuously make their children and families the priority (over basic self care like eating actual meals or taking a shower).

For me, self care is a daily (even hourly) practice… regularly tuning in to how I can meet my own needs in addition to those of my children and family. It means asking myself what I want for breakfast (“more than just tea”), what game I want to play (“not more shopkins”), or what I want to do next (“spend time in the garden before homework”)right along side my loved ones. Sometimes that means making time for a yoga class before grocery shopping. Sometimes it means listening to classic rock instead of Disney radio. My meditation practice has become an integral part of learning to listen to my own heart’s desire, the crucial step to being able to meet my own needs so that I can better meet the needs of others.

Whatever self care has looked like for you, perhaps it’s time to reevaluate how we think of taking care of ourselves. And let’s model for the next generation what it looks like to truly care for oneself.