The importance of self-care for wellness, relationships and stress-management
Self-care is care provided “for you, by you.”
It’s about identifying your own needs and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do some of the activities that nurture and nourish you. Ultimately, it’s about treating yourself as kindly as you treat others.
"When you recover or discover something that nourishes your soul and brings joy, care enough about yourself to make room for it in your life." - Jean Shinoda Bolen
Being good to our children and those around us starts with being good to ourselves.
Self-care can sometimes seem like a luxury that busy moms just don’t have time for, but the fact of the matter is that it’s key to maintaining our well-being and allows us to be our best selves for those we love.
So, in a hectic life filled with responsibilities and obligations how do we make the time?
Try using the 3 keys: Ponder, Plan, Prioritize.
- Ponder what self-care means to you. How can you treat yourself more kindly? Choose an activity that is meaningful to you, makes you happy or brings you peace.
- Planning is a key factor to making self-care happen. For most moms, your schedule can fill up in the blink of an eye. The best way to make sure self-care happens is to schedule it ahead of time and stick to it! You can wait for after the kids’ bedtime, trade off with friends for babysitting or do it on your lunch break at work.
- Finally, prioritize. Moms tend to have great intentions to take time for themselves, but so many other things come up! By making self-care a priority you not only make sure you’re paying attention to your own wellness, but you’re actually modeling positive behavior for your kids as well.
When it comes deciding what self-care activity is right for you, remember that we are all unique. It's up to you to determine what fits with your schedule and lifestyle. We’ve listed a few activities below to help get you started.
- Explore mindfulness – this article lists the top mindfulness apps for iphone and Android.
- Learn how to meditate – check out this free 21-day online meditation program by Oprah and Deepak Chopra.
- Take 10 minutes each day to journal – record your thoughts, feelings, moods, write a poem, make a list – whatever feels natural to you.
- Talk openly with a trusted friend.
- Make exercise a regular part of your routine (take a 15-minute walk 3 times a week).
- Download your favourite podcast and make an ongoing appointment with yourself to sit down and enjoy it. Not sure where to start? This Huffington Post article lists some of the best podcasts of 2013.
If you’re a single mom living in Metro Vancouver and having difficulty managing the stress of lone-parenting, consider connecting with the YWCA’s Single Mothers’ Support Services. We offer individual and group support to assist, empower and inform you.
YWCA Single Mothers' Support programs in Abbotsford, Aldergrove, Maple Ridge, Surrey and the Tri-Cities are fully funded by a unique partnership among Coast Capital Savings, Envision Financial and Vancity credit unions. Programs in Vancouver are funded in part by the City of Vancouver.