As a mama of a special needs warrior, I can not stress the importance of self care enough. I can’t be at my best for Callie if I don’t take care of myself first.
It’s taken some work to get to the point where I do that though. For the first few years of her life, I worked myself into the ground. I hesitated to leave her at all, felt immense guilt when I did, and generally lived in an exhaustion induced haze.
So if I could look back and give that stressed out, frazzled, barely hanging by a thread mama some self care tips these would be it……
- Go to the gym. Take the hour out of your day and workout. The endorphins alone will help you. Moving your body will help you feel better, sleep better, increase brain function, and in general make you a better version of YOU Move, mama, move.
- Schedule time to do something you love–even if it’s frivolous. Go get your nails done. Go browse the bookstore with your favorite latte in hand. Go curl up at a Starbucks and read a book. Go to the park and take your art books. Go enroll in a class–kick boxing, pottery, dance lessons. If it lights your heart on fire and gets you out of the house, go do it.
- Spend time with your girlfriends, especially if they are mamas too! Find your tribe and schedule time with them. Lean on them for support. Trade time off–if you take their kiddos for an afternoon, they can do the same for the following week. Having a group that is going through a similar situation such as motherhood, helped me tremendously. Even if they couldn’t understand managing the health challenges aspect, they still knew and understood the feelings that came along with being a new mother.
- Ask for help. This is huge. I did everything but ask for help. And spent years feeling like I was drowning. You have people in your life that want to help you….you just have to be vulnerable enough to ask for it. And when you ask for it, tell them what you need. Leverage your partner, your mom, your coworkers. This is key too–don’t feel guilty for asking for help!!! No one has it together and asking for help is a sign of strength!
- Check in with yourself. Many times, our life is going 100 miles an hour…..especially when Callie was first diagnosed. Juggling doctor’s appointments, home health nurse visits, therapy sessions, and life in general rarely left me any time to do a pulse check on myself. Finding the time to ask myself the following questions made a huge impact in my mental health.
- How are you doing? Really?
- What’s not working?
- What’s working?
- What do I need?
- What am I proud of?
- What can I let go of?
I hope these 5 easy tips impacted you! Even if you are a point in your life where you can only implement one or two, please make the time to do them. You are worth the investment and the time. You can not pour from an empty cup!