Self-care is an essential part our physical and mental health. For many women, work, home, and social obligations can leave self-care neglected and, sometimes, undiscovered. Stress is proven to be bad for our health because it activates our fight-or-flight response, which includes an “increased heart rate and blood pressure, slowed digestive functioning, decreased blood flow to the extremities, increased release of hormones like adrenalin and cortisol.” (Scott, 2015) Self-care restores the relaxation response, which reverses the affects of the fight-or-flight response and restores order to the body and mind.
I am a huge self-care believer. I am all about those moments of treating yourself. I spend 6 hours a day with 24 six year olds and then even more time preparing for them. There are days when I swear I will cringe if I hear my name one more time or refuse to pick up another crayon from the floor. Sure, that is the career choice I made for myself, but that does not mean that it comes with no stress or that I shouldn’t seek refuge from it. At this point, we do not have kids of our own so I still have ample opportunities to rest, relax, and breath before moving on with my day. I am so grateful for that. For me, self-care generally takes the form of naps, pedicures, manicures, massages, barre classes, coloring, reading, dinner with my girls, or existing in silence until my husband gets home.
Self-care takes different forms for different people. For some, self-care means being alone at home in silence, while for others self-care could mean going out to bar with a group of friends. Whatever self-care means for your is how it is meant to be as long as it restores your inner peace and restores balance. It is not selfish to indulge in self-care because to focus on yourself allows you to readjust your outward focus.
Here are some self-care ideas to balance your busy, overworked mind, body, and soul:
Do you practice self-care? What self-care ideas do you have to help balance your life?