I’m not into New Year’s resolutions. However, this year needs to be about self-care. Not selfishness. Self-care. When I was a new mother, I was told I needed to take care of myself. Sleep when they slept. Don’t worry about the dishes and house. In the beginning, it’s pretty unrealistic. New mothers tend to learn this lesson much later, however. Why? Because the mindset shifted. Mindset. Mind. The mind is such a powerful thing. It can help heal, or inadvertently harm.
In the beginning, I knew the dishes NEEDED to be washed. They just do. It’s unsanitary to leave dirty dishes around. I knew the clothes needed to be cleaned. The carpet needed to be vacuumed. However, while these things were true, the reality is, my then-boyfriend would take care of things that I couldn’t. My mind only knew I would be a horrible person if I didn’t clean. So I brought myself down mentally, and therefore, physically because of my mindset. I cleaned when I should have slept. Since I didn’t, my post-partum depression became a bit more brutal. My sleepless and exhausted brain became even more foggy, fatigued, ill-tempered, angry, resentful, hateful and sad.
It wasn’t until they were about 6 or 7 months old that I started feeling better. I had come to understand that sleep means more than just turning off for a few hours. Sleep means restoration and actual healing within the body. As I began to lay down for an hour while they napped (because I worked incredibly hard to get them on the same schedule), I’d wake up able to function a little bit more. My mindset had successfully shifted. I understood.
So this year, understand that self-care does not only mean giving yourself pedicures. Self-care doesn’t only mean sitting in a bubble bath with candles. Self-care doesn’t only mean leaving your family for a couple of hours to be by yourself. It includes that, but it also means your mind will benefit from your understanding of what it means to take care of yourself. When you’re sick, you do all the things to get better, to make it stop, to make it go away. There is nothing selfish in getting your body back to health. It’s necessary. If you’re a mother, you realize the necessity of being well. No one else can take care of your family the way you do and you don’t get better if you don’t take care of yourself.
Take care of yourself often.
Download a yoga app and take 15 minutes while the kids are distracted. Read a few pages of a book weekly in the beginning. Drink a smidge more water to ease the brain fog. Turn to essential oils for overall stress relief, headache relief, and for better/more sleep, say “no” to something if there’s too much busy-ness.