What self-care really means

Self care is defined by either “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health” or “the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress”. Self care to me means putting time into taking care of yourself that is an improvement on just making it through, you know what I mean, you may be clean, fed and functioning but do you feel like you have at least a moment of peace or that you can carve out some time to do something you enjoy? No? Well then you need some more self care.

Yes yes yes , I hear your objections! Time is an absolute bastard, it steals our days from us and takes those precious minutes we set aside for us and devours them. I’m not for one minute saying that you need to have a full day to yourself every week, with no household chores, work obligations, child responsibilities or to do list (what bliss, can you freaking imagine!!) but something that you as a human enjoy is certainly possible.

For example, if you like to get your nails done. This is an hour long venture if nearby plus half an hour in a coffee shop, because hell you deserve it, that’s an hour and a half. An hour and a half when you can just be you without those lists thrashing around in your head and little hands reaching for you, without a pile of laundry or that email you’ve been avoiding for a few days. You deserve it, not just for your mental health but so that you can recharge to tackle the other hundreds of things that you do on a day to day basis.

My self care regime includes 3 – 4 hours per week where I can take myself off to a coffee shop and get some work done. Now the joy I get from this is that I can walk in and order a coffee without someone admiring my baby. I am just a woman ordering a coffee, I can drink said coffee while its hot too which is a bonus. Nobody takes a second look and I love it. I also love my baby getting fussed because he is gorgeous but there is this moment in my week when I am a coffee going remote worker who finds a corner and taps furiously away on my laptop. I usually manage to use the last hour or so to work on my blog which is purely mine, it isn’t a pressing work commitment or something I am doing for someone else, it is my little project and I can have that sacred period where I am fuelling my self care by writing.

I am not one for hair, nails and the like (Sarah, I know you’re laughing now – we had a conversation the other day about the fact that her beauty regime costs more in 4 months than mine does in a year) but I do like to get my hair cut regularly so its healthy. My son was born 4 months ago and I haven’t had it cut since I was 8 months pregnant, usually I would go out of duty because making conversation with someone who is adept at sounding interested isn’t really my cup of tea. This completely changed this time. I thoroughly enjoyed getting my hair washed, my head massaged and a cup of coffee brought to me. The chit chat was still dry and idle but this luxury amidst what is a very busy life now was really something special. A spa day is definitely next on my list!

My point here is that self care is whatever you need to make you feel like more than just a wife, mom, worker bee or whatever other hat you wear every day. Its tough out there and its hectic, we’re always busy and usually tired but if you can find a moment in your week to have a quiet cuppa, read a few chapters of a book, get your nails done or go for a walk – do it. Make sure you do it without guilt too, this is challenging I know! I always feel so guilty for taking time out when there is so much waiting to be done but if we aren’t taking care of ourselves, we won’t be much good to the roles we fill and the people who rely on us.

©Only photograph belongs to The Sanity Fairy

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