While walking through the halls of my son’s school this week, I saw a sign that read “Be kind to everyone, including yourself”. Much as I like to think I practice what I preach, this is the one lesson I often forget. Being kind to yourself is important at any time of year, but doubly so in the depths of winter, when a case of the doldrums can hit even the most cheerful among us.
Taking the ‘Selfish’ out of ‘Self-Care’
Setting aside time for yourself can be difficult. Mothers are particularly hard on themselves, constantly putting the needs of everyone else ahead of their own. The next time you find yourself thinking “I really should” do this or that, pause and consider this: self-care is a documented foundation of your physical and mental health. It’s as essential to your well-being as working out, eating well, and getting enough sleep.
Dr. Christine Northrup has this to say on the subject:
“I’ve come to the conclusion that good self-care is the single most important aspect of our health, period. Taking time for pleasure and fun decreases the stress hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which, over time, are responsible for heart disease, cancer, and most chronic diseases such as arthritis and high blood pressure”.
We each have a choice when it comes to whether or not to keep zooming through the laundry list of life. We can end the day in an exhausted heap (believe me, I’ve been there too many times to count!). Or, when you need it, simply put your feet up and take a break. Unapologetically enjoying a nourishing “me” moment is not selfish, it’s self-affirming.
Practice Random Acts of Self-Care
A few mid-winter - or anytime - favourites!
• Stock up on indulgent bath products and use them regularly
• Buy yourself flowers
• Rent a movie that you alone are interested in
• Get a massage
• Take a restorative yoga class
• Buy new underwear
• Get a great haircut
• Write a bucket list
With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, be your own best advocate and try to set aside a small part of every day to do something relaxing, indulgent, or just plain fun. Even better, when in need of an unscheduled break or a pick-me-up, go ahead and take it without one ounce of guilt. Being kind to yourself can sometimes be the hardest act of all, but the result will be a happier and kinder you.