How To Self-Care
Growing up, I knew a mom was strong, invincible, did not sleep enough or buy herself new clothes. A manicure? What was that? The women who got manicures were scorned as lazy and selfish. My mom was (and is) superwoman. So were the moms’ of my friends. It was something we took for granted just like we knew we’d have a fresh hot dinner waiting for us each afternoon as we came home from school. A mom was a superhero but got no credit for it.
Funnily enough, I never stopped to think how I would manage such a burden until I became a mom myself. I was falling apart and my therapist was pushing me to take care of myself.
It was such a forgein concept I felt guilty doing those things. Moms don’t take care of themselves. They don't need to.
Well, this mom did need to take care of herself and so she tried.
And she was astounded at the way she suddenly had more time, patience and energy all around.
I’m not going to lie. It didn't take a day. It took years to get to a place where I am today. I'm still learning what works. I’m constantly reevaluating and readjusting.
But I have learned a few tricks along the way and I’m passionate about busting the myth that women don't need to take care of themselves.
I’ve heard countless of women complaining that they took the time out, got a babysitter went to get a manicure came home and... nothing. The burnt-out feeling of overwhelm was still there.
I’m no expert but over the years I’ve learned a few things.
Not everyone self-cares the same way. Very simple. Everyone had different interests and likes. Not every girl enjoys buying a new dress or painting her toenails purple. Find out what rejuvenates you.
Self care is not about maintenance. If you always get your eyebrows waxed going for a waxing isn’t what is what’s going to replenish your spirit.
What is self-care about? The answer lies in the word “self”. It’s about taking care of every aspect of yourself. At least once a week you need to replenish every aspect of yourSELF.
Let’s take a look:
Emotionally- that’s your mood. What makes you happy? How are your relationships? Take the time to reconnect with your spouse or a good friend. If that’s not the key to awaken your spirit put on music and dance. Like the quiet? Maybe you need a massage once in a while, wallet-permitting of course. Of course as women we are blessed with an extra dose of hormones. That just means we need to be more on top of our moods.
Physically- how are you feeling? Going to the doctor when you are sick isn’t self care, that’s basic. But actively taking charge of your health- making sure your eating and drinking properly, working out occasionally and getting enough sleep is extremely crucial. That small medical issue you’ve been putting off about taking care of it? Schedule it in today!
Spiritually- take the time once a day to make a meaningful connection with G-d. It could be a five minute meditation early morning, a ten minute break to daven mincha, a weekly opportunity to bake challah and pray.
Creatively- as a left brained type of person this is my favorite. I like to draw, paint, and create. Those are my things. What are yours? You all have hobbies and talents. Take the time to nurture them!
If you are aware and on top of nurturing each and every aspect of *YOU* then you will feel fulfilled.
The crazy thing is that after writing this up as a instagram post, I was listening to Tsipi’s podcast and she was talking about the New York Times bestselling author Michael Hyatt’s book. His concept was eerily similar to my ideas. His basic premise- to feel taken care of you must nourish all aspects in your life. It was exhilarating (and disappointing- there goes my own bestseller) to realize I have come up with the same concept as Mr. Hyatt. So if you guys weren't going to listen to me, take his advice please. He’s the pro.
Lastly, I just wanted to end off that as I got older and more mature I learned the different ways my own mom took care of herself. You know why? Because there is no such thing as superwoman.
So go take a break Momma.
Rivka Bitton is a creative wife, mom and business owner who likes to write on the side. Follow her on instagram for tips, tricks and hacks for the busy Jewish woman.