Top 3 Self-Care Rules and Kylee crushing it at motherhood and fishing
We've watched Kylee with admiration as baby bump got bigger over time, and felt honored to read her musings on everything from fishing to motherhood, and everything in between.
How many of us would do the real-life equivalent of self-care with or without the baby bump? It's a perpetual learning experience for us all...
Top 3 Self-Care Rules to consider embracing...
In a few words, self-care is the key to living a balanced life. Possibly the top most premise worth considering is this: Being whole and meeting our own emotional and physical needs first...is crucial to the health of the family (in my humble opinion, the only way we will build the world we want to see in the future.)
1) Your “Self” is Bigger Than You
As some of you may know, I'm Resident Mama at Calm-a-Mama. Being a mom to three boys (one of whom has just graduated University recently), I get it: We can sometimes feel guilty about self-care because it goes against everything we’ve been taught about being a good human being. Self-care means putting ourselves first and we’ve been conditioned to believe this is wrong and selfish. Real change-makers are meant to suffer and endure hardship; and thus proper nutrition, healthy relationships, and exercise are frivolous, right? Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King, Jr., Mother Teresa—these individuals are forever linked to self-sacrifice and suffering. Did Mother Teresa have time for self-care? One would assume 'not really...'
The word “self” often has a negative connotation in this context because it seems to be only about the individual. But we need to expand our view of the “self” beyond the individual to include everyone we touch: our families, our communities, the whole of the natural world. When we practice self-care, we hone our interactions with everything around us--and sharpen our responses to them. This allows us to be acutely aware and not mindless about the utter need to protect the world around us. Imagine the powerful transformation that would happen if everyone took care in this way.
Back to Kylee...
"My biggest goal as a parent is to raise a beautiful, happy, and healthy daughter. I want her to always feel comfortable coming to me with any problems, issues, if she needs advice, or to simply snuggle. I want to teach her why it’s important to eat healthy foods and to move her body everyday. I plan to teach her as much as I can to help her be successful on her own."
2- Self-Care is Difficult and Worth the Work
Self-care can be really hard because it’s a long-term play. We all know that very often, great health and happy laughter can change the next-day to a flu, or a tummy bug where no amount of coaxing would make a kid (or anyone) eat their allotted meat and/or veggies and pudding... It's on everyone's minds right now, really: Covid-19 has all but wiped out many pre-conceived notions of how much control we have, it's taken most of us way outside our comfort zones. Political and sociological landscapes can change overnight, but we fail to understand that this also applies to well-being. It is much easier for us to make decisions that feel good right now (“quick-fixes”) than it is to have the discipline to make decisions that may suck now but feel really great later.
Here are some examples of how self-care takes prioritization and discipline:
Committing to only watching one Hulu or Netflix episode and getting to bed at a decent hour so you get a full night’s rest.
Not always feeling the need to have a drink (or two) with dinner or saying no to that second drink at a dinner party.
Learning to say “no” when you don’t want to or can’t do something.
Waking up early so you have time to do yoga, meditate, journal, or work out.
3) There is no Cookie-Cutter Approach to Self-Care
If you are thinking that you have to wake up at 5 am to go for a jog around Central Park or the nearest city track near you; or that you must start giving up most of your vices in order to truly dedicate yourself to self-care and to larger globally aware causes, the answer to a large-degree is yes. If the goals you have is fairly large, then live large, go big or forget about it. But if you want to just step up from today or dial up existing fitness efforts to help ensure your long-term physical, mental, and spiritual health, then no need to go extreme to a point that it's unsustainable... If you’ve been doing something that causes you to think to yourself “I really need to stop doing this,” then this is your invitation to take your own advice. (Remember, I told you that self-care can be difficult)
That’s not to say there aren’t healthy indulgences we can enjoy. These are defined by small actions we can take that help us restore balance in our lives, and bring us joy and happiness. It can be spending a day hiking, away from everyone. It could be an evening reading a good book, or watching THREE box set episodes (instead of just one), not responding to texts or emails for a few hours, or having a meal with a friend or your family while engaging in meaningful conversation.
These things are neither frivolous. nor superfluous to a busy life.
The point is this: self-care is not one-size fits all. Ask yourself what you need. Listen to your instincts and then just make it happen.
Thank you to the beautiful Kylee for inspiring this blog - Follow her on Instagram and we will keep sharing moms who are crushing it. Wanna join us in the spirit of community and storytelling? Join our #CalmamamaTribe
We at Calm-a-Mama are constantly creating for breastfeeding mamas, mamas-to-be and even Mums with grown kids! We have you covered for everything from calm drops and flower essence sleep drops to Mama Belly Balm and Happy Baby Balm (coming in Spring 2020). Download eBooks and follow us in all the usual places.