I don’t know about you, I think this goes for all of us, but my self care used to come and go in phases. These phases were disrupted because of different life events – motherhood, work, a time-limited project or any other event that would temporarily disrupt my usual day to day life.
Every time I’d be on one of my self care highs, I would feel amazing. My confidence improved, my energy increased, my moods improved – I was a better person to be around when I made myself a priority.
However, when I would let my self care go and was not taking good care of myself, my sleep would become disrupted, my moods would change and my level of confidence drastically decreased, making me feel pretty crummy overall.
With recognizing this, I made a promise to myself over a year ago that I would make every effort possible to be consistent with taking good care of myself. After all, we all noticed that I could be a better wife, mom, daughter, friend and business owner when I was making myself a priority.
I won’t lie, there are months that I could still use some improvement. R Devine Skin Care has grown rapidly and sometimes, work takes over my personal life more than others. But, I’ve also learned to now recognize those times and ask for help, something that I’ve always struggled to do throughout my entire life.
So, what exactly do I consider my self care? My self care consists of fairly strict, but enjoyable, holistic eating, exercise and workouts, relaxation treatments like floating and massages, time out in nature, and also time spent alone doing absolutely nothing, meditating or reading. It also involves surrounding myself with encouraging, positive people, and either limiting or putting an end to toxic relationships in my life.
I’ve learned a lot from taking good care of myself, and I wanted to share this learning experience with you because I think it’s so important that we all practice and experience this in our own lives. Here is what I have learned:
There Are Enough Hours in a Day for Me
Think of someone who you really admire – someone who just seems like they have it altogether – they may be successful, healthy and fit, happy or have other qualities that you admire. Do you know what you have in common with that person? You both have 24 hours in a day. It’s how you choose to spend those 24 hours that really makes the difference.
I used to waste a good 1-2 hours a day scrolling through my phone on social media. While it’s great to be social, what was I really getting out of that? Sometimes, I wasn’t even being social, I was just scrolling away, wasting time. All while I was doing this, I was making excuses that I was “too busy” to go to the gym – I really felt that I was too busy.
So, how did I fix this? I started scheduling self care into my calendar. Just like how all of my kids appointments are scheduled, my meetings are scheduled and my work time is scheduled, so now is my self care. If I have my self care scheduled into my calendar, that’s a priority and NOTHING takes over that. During my self care time, I just tell people that I’m unavailable, and that’s that. I would never cancel a client because something better came up, so why should I do that to myself?
Since doing this, it’s funny how often I hear people say, “Wow, I don’t know how you have time to do everything that you do”. Yep, I’m a mom, I’m married, I own a successful business, I spend time with family and friends and I still take care of myself. I just use my time very wisely and work efficiently during the time that I have.
I Love Myself
This was something that I have always struggled with. For years, I pretended to love myself, but deep inside, I was always judging and sabatoging myself. I’m a perfectionist, so nothing that I do was ever quite good enough for me – in my opinion, I could always be better. While this quality can be good in business, it’s not good in day to day life, and it’s not something that I want my kids growing up to adopt for themselves.
Once I started taking good care of myself, my body transformed, my energy transformed and following that, my mind transformed. I started practicing daily gratitude. I started making note of my good qualities. I started writing down every single accomplishment that I achieved, both small and large. I then reflected on all of this weekly. Rather than seeing what I was not achieving, I learned to see the good in myself and good that was all around me, and guess what? This helped me see that I am actually a pretty amazing person. And you know what? You are too – so make sure you look for those qualities in yourself like I do.
Self Care Makes Me a Better Wife and Mom
Before taking care of myself, I was always in “mom mode” or I was in “work mode”. I was never really in “Rachel mode”. I felt guilty spending time away from my kids when I worked, and when I wasn’t working optimally because of pure exhaustion, I was feeling guilty about that. This led to burn out mode pretty quickly. I was exhausted, I was stressed, I wasn’t really happy. And then I’d feel guilty for not feeling happy, knowing that I have a really good life. Sound familiar, moms?
Once I started exercising, I started sleeping better, and this improved my energy levels. My exercising started out as walks in nature. I’d put my favourite playlist on my phone, and I’d go for a jog through the bruce trails, completely alone. This time alone would clear my mind, it would allow my own thoughts, my goals, and my dreams to process. The physical activity would release a whole lot of stress that had built up, and I’d wonder why I had ever stopped doing this in the first place. I felt refreshed. I felt renewed. I felt… happy!
And after taking this time for myself, my refreshed self would come home, feeling good and ready to conquer the world. My husband and my kids noticed how much this positively changed me, and we all became happier.
Perfection is Not the Ultimate Goal, Happiness and Contentment Are
While self care is a priority for me, there are weeks that it’s not perfect, and I’ve learned that that’s ok. There are still weeks that my energy isn’t as high, or that my workload is a little heavier than others. I now ask for help during those times. If I don’t have enough energy to get to the gym during my scheduled time, I’ll rest on the couch with a cup of tea and a book instead.
Even more so than taking care of myself, I’ve learned that it’s important to listen to my body. When I need rest, I rest. When I need to release energy, I go to the gym. Some weeks, I still feel guilty if I’m not at the gym 3-4 days a week, but my health and my happiness are more important than perfection. I’ve now learned to be content listening to my mind and body, rather than fighting it.
I Deserve To Be Happy
While my family and my business are my priorities, neither my family nor my business can function optimally if I’m not happy. Therefore, I have learned that making sure that I’m happy before everyone else is happy isn’t selfish like I once I believed – it’s necessary in order to ensure that everyone else can be happy. My happiness is essential for our family’s overall happiness. I want both of my kids to see me happy and taking good care of myself, so that they can learn to do the same for themselves. It’s also vital that I’m in a good place mentally, in order for my business to run efficiently. Because running through life in burn out mode, stressed, tired and exhausted, isn’t beneficial in any way, for any one of us.
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Knowing the positive benefits of self care is one of the many reasons why I created R Devine Skin Care in the first place. I want to inspire women all over to stop idolizing “busy”, and go back to the times when we made time to enjoy life. Life isn’t meant to be rushed through, it’s meant to be enjoyed – and in order for it to be enjoyed, we must first love ourselves and be happy.