My Self-Care, Your Self-Care

Sometimes it is about pedicures and bubble baths!

I’ll be honest, when I started this series about self-care, I rolled my eyes at the mention of bubble baths and self-care in the same sentence. Self-care is not about bubble baths, I thought. Not long ago I wrote that self-care is about persistence – challenging yourself to do right by yourself even when it’s uncomfortable. I still believe that, but since becoming a new mom once again, I can definitely say that self-care changes depending upon where we are in life. My own self-care is still about persistence and playing to my edge but it’s also very much about carving out the time to take a bubble bath or treat myself to a pedicure.

In my self-care series, I’ve had the opportunity to talk to several wonderful life coaches about what self-care looks like to them. Now, I’d love to hear from you. What do you do for self-care? Or, what would you like to start doing for self-care? Leave a comment and I will chose one person at random to win Weight Loss for Smart Moms, my eight part weight loss home study.

In the meantime, here are a few things I’m doing these days for self-care:

Giving Myself Permission to Take it Slow

I have had to re-evaluate what I can and cannot accomplish (without pulling my hair out) with a new baby at home. I can’t do it all and that’s okay.

Forgiving Myself

I’m very grumpy when sleep deprived. I lose my cool sometimes. When this happens, I don’t beat the crap out of myself in my mind. I just forgive myself and try to do better next time.

Brushing My Teeth (and flossing, and taking my vitamins and washing my face and taking a shower…)

This one was a no-brainer before becoming a new mom but now I have to force myself to continue to make my health a priority.

Taking a Bubble Bath!

The other day I asked my husband to hold the baby while I took a hot bath. He had just gotten home from a long day himself, but I asked without guilt. It reminds me of the saying, “Do you ask for what you want or just resent what you didn’t get because you didn’t ask?” Self-care, for me, is about asking for what I want. He can always say no, right? By the way, life coach Theresa Robbins just wrote a great article on The Power of Asking.

Going Outside

I take the baby outside with me for a walk even if only for a few blocks. Fresh air makes me happy.

Sleeping

I know that I need sleep so I find a way. And believe me, it isn’t easy with a newborn and two-year-old twins (not to mention two cats). I sleep even when I’d rather be sipping a glass of wine and watching Survivor. I’m a much better me, a much better mom, a much better coach because of it.

Getting a Pedicure

There’s a place in Portland called Zenana Day Spa that lets you hold your newborn while getting a pedicure. Very cool. And looking at my feet is a lot more pleasurable now.

Getting my Hair Done (even if it means I have to bring the baby!)

I’m a bit worried about this one. The appointment is set but two hours at the salon with the baby? We’ll see how it goes…  But, let’s face it, I am THAT vain.

Remembering to Dance

In her article, Dancing with Life, Master Life Coach Terry DeMeo tells of an Aikido Master who advises, “when you can learn to dance on a shifting carpet, you’ll never have the rug pulled out from under you again.”

So when I’m feeling frazzled, I try to remember to find a way to dance. Sometimes that means I dance. Literally. Sometimes I just remember to smile. Other times I figure out a way to find the funny. At any rate, it does wonders to shift my energy (and everyone else’s) for the better.

Okay so now it’s your turn. Maybe you’re a new mom like me or maybe you’ve never had kids or maybe yours are all grown up. Maybe you just started a new job or maybe you’ve just experienced the loss of a loved one… The bottom line?

SELF-CARE IS NOT ONE SIZE FITS ALL!

So when putting self-care into practice, I say… Be creative! Be confident! Have a blast!

And while you’re at it add a comment below to tell us about your own self-care these days.

Want More?

To see more from Amy’s Self-Care series, click here. To sign-up for her free e-course titled I Don’t Need Your Approval! How to Overcome Your Inner Approval Addict, click here!

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{ 14 Comments }

14 Responses

  1. Megan Loughney says:

    Hi Amy, love all this stuff about self-care, thanks so much for bringing this to attention. I am transitioning from a part-time working Mom to basically not working outside the home at all and of course there are feelings associated with that. I recently went to a friend’s house and she works full-time, has 2 kids heavily involved with sports (which her husband coaches) and she pulled off an amazing dinner complete with 2 types of homemade bread. She was getting her family ready for a trip to Hawaii and her husband was out of town this night. I started to feel inadequate and began questioning my efforts that day. But I quickly got my thoughts back on track and reminded myself that my SELF CARE these days may look different than others and to not feel guilty about that. Plus, my friend would have never wanted her guests to feel that way. So I continue to go to Bikram yoga, lunch with friends and sometimes watching TV in the middle of the day and continue to (try) to pull off some self care everyday.

    Thanks for everything, Amy. You are wonderful!

    Megan

  2. Wow, Megan, just read your comment…..I know a couple of people
    like your friend and I NEVER fail to feel inadequate in their
    presence.

    Amy, you make me laugh!
    You and I have talked about how the most common perception of self
    care evokes images of bubble baths, lighting candles and getting
    a mani/pedi. Well, although we both know there is so much more to
    it than that, sometimes those pampering activities are exactly
    what’s needed. Cheers to you for giving yourself what you need,
    when you need it. There’s also something to be said for adapting
    to what may not be perfect, but what is available. Sometimes we
    just have to go for what’s doable in the moment, and save the
    other stuff for when we have more time to plan.

    xoxo,

    Cookie

  3. One of my favorite forms of self care is pulling back on self
    judgment and allowing myself to feel whatever I’m feeling. I used to
    try to fight my negative emotions and I resisted things I didn’t like a
    about myself. Now, I know that many times, I don’t have to beat myself
    up for feeling bad.I can just feel bad knowing that by allowing it, I
    can also release. Feeling bad doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with me.

    I also love, love, love to curl up with a good book. I always choose
    something I want to read not something I “should” read for this to count..

    Listening to music and singing along at top volume is always a good
    form of self care for me as well (although those who are within
    hearing distance may not approve!) There’s nothing like pumping up
    the volume and getting in the groove!

    Rock on, Amy! You are a wonderful source of support for women everywhere!
    Theresa

  4. Yes, a pedicure makes me happy. But more importantly, giving myself permission to turn off the computer and read a book in the middle of the day feels pretty freaking good! For 15 years, I never had that option.

    I also like to listen to music before I go to sleep. Putting in the the earbuds and turning off the light, I can really let the music permeate down to my cellular level. That vibrational energy can be incredible!

  5. Amy says:

    Thanks ladies for the wonderful post.

    Megan, I do that too! I’ve
    heard it called compare and dispair, the comparing mind, etc. There’s
    a wonderful expression about “staying on your own yoga mat.” Pam Slim
    writes about it in a post this week I believe…http://www.escapefromcubiclenation.com/2010/10/26/unicorns-rainbows-and-work-life-balance/.

    Cookie, I know I know. I’ve had a few aha’s since baby number 3, hee hee.
    Seriously, I love what you have to say about adapting to what may not
    be the perfect thing but what is available. Taking care of a newborn
    and trying to implement self-care lends itself to creative problem
    solving!

    Theresa, Yes a big part of self-care for me is in the head. I used to
    be so self-critical but now I forgive myself and try to talk to myself
    with understanding, patience and kindness (or if I don’t I eventually
    catch on to the negative self-talk and remind myself to knock it off!)

    Thanks again gals. Great discussions!

  6. Amy says:

    Jessica – I totally agree. Giving the self permission to play hookie is the best!

  7. Amy, I just love your series on self-care. Thanks for your brilliance.

    In thinking about self-care, I feel like it’s a living, breathing thing. One that I want to plan in my routines but that changes, sometimes day to day. When my kids were infants, self-care looked like napping when they napped (irrespective of the bomb-site of my house!), I had a ‘nursing basket’ that I had lots of goodies in that I could place next to me while I fed them (it had a large glass of water/cup of tea, TV remotes, magazine, moisturizer, lip balm, and anything I thought I’d need while I was in one spot for a while). I suppose that was a mobile self-care unit!

    Now self-care looks like including yoga, walking, meditation, journaling, reading, eating nourishing food into my routines – basic body needs that have at times been ignored. Being coached and coaching myself. Showing myself love and compassion and trying to release the judgments. Enjoying the moments, laughing, seeing the funny side. Phone calls with my best friends. The more I read and understand about being a Highly Sensitive Person (www.hsperson.com), the more I see how quiet time and renewal really restore and enhance that gift. Rest is a biggie.

    Thanks again Amy – so thankful for your posts!! They’re parts of my treats for self-care! Hxo

  8. Amy says:

    Okay Helen, I’m goint to copy your idea. I need a nursing basket! And I l
    love how you say that self care is like a living breathing thing. So
    true. And coming from one HSP to another, I totally agree about quiet.
    In fact, Joy and I have the house all to ourselves today (twins are
    at school) and it is SO quiet. I love it. I never thought of it as
    self-care but it totally is for me. I NEED quiet. Thank you for the
    reminder. xoxoxoxoxox

  9. Jen Trulson says:

    Amy I love how you share your perspective of self-care before and after. It’s so true – self-care is different for all of us. I want to scream ditto ditto ditto to all the above responses. I’m a very social creature but realize the larger part of me loves quiet alone time. I remember the day I fell in love with myself and I was enough, now I crave me time. When I take time to read, meditate, practice yoga, journal, sleep in the middle of the day, turn up the music, sing out loud and dance – watch out world! Others get the best of me when I give the best to me. And I too love a pedi! Add massage and acupuncture to the list as well ;)

  10. Alethea says:

    I have twin girls who were born at 33 weeks. While very healthy at birth, they were terrible sleepers and woke me up every 45 minutes for the first two years. Between full time care of our girls, keeping up the household and trying to run a home-based business, I was consumed. Somewhere around 18 months, I was breaking down. I finally told my husband that I needed some down time and started “Mama’s Morning Off” on Sundays. It made all the difference in the world for my frame of mind and was the start of my self care. It began as just an hour where I would go to a coffee shop and read the paper, something I never got around to at home. When my husband asked what I did while I was gone, I said, “Nothing”, that was the whole point. It eventually evolved into half a day of me away but the time to myself rejeuvenated me and let me start the week refreshed. Our girls would throw tantrums when I started this but eventually it turned into their special time with Daddy and they would practically push me out the door to get started on whatever adventure Daddy had planned for them. Mama’s Morning Off saved me in those early years, I no longer take them since our girls are 2nd graders and I have lots of time now :-)

  11. Amy says:

    Jen – I love how you say “I remember the day I fell in love with myself.” I am so intrigued. This sounds like a story… do you have a post about this? I want to hear more!

    Alethea – I can so relate to your words. I was basically forced into my own self care when my twins were infants out of sheer overwhelm. And it’s a darn good thing! So many mama’s just get by though and maybe I would have too if it weren’t for those little angels. Thank you so much for your post!

  12. PattyDickson says:

    Meditate and pray daily! Couldn’t suevive without it!

  13. Melissa says:

    This is such a big topic! Amy – I love the point you made about asking for what you want without guilt so that you don’t later resent the fact that you didn’t get it. Sometimes, it’s hard to remember this and I love what you say here.

    And Jen – I, too, remember the day I fell in love with myself! But I didn’t really remember it until I read what you wrote! Everything shifted from there:)

    Some things that I love: turning up the music and dancing, cooking dinner with a glass of wine, and walking outside just to breathe the fresh air.

  14. Amy says:

    Love cooking with a glass of wine :-) AND totally agree that meditation and prayer are life savers!! I’ve been trying a form of walking meditation when I can get outside.

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