Love is in the air...
It's February! And that means every grocery store and Dollar Tree has an endless supply of red and pink treats enticing us to spend money on chocolate we don't even want in our homes in the first place. I do actually like Valentine's Day. Heck, these days I'll take any excuse for a date night! And I fell in love (pun intended) with Valentine's Day in a whole new way last year watching my two year old examine his Valentine's Day treats and cards from his friends at daycare. He was SO excited. It made the day fun in a way I hadn't experienced before. All that to say, Valentine's Day is great, with the right mindset and expectations. BUT, the love I really want to talk about today, is loving yourself, e.g. self-care! Personally, I think this February holiday is a perfect time to spend a little time loving on YOU. So let's talk about self-care, why it's important, and why it's so challenging to implement.
Self-care is quite literally the care of oneself (To the moms reading: check out that 2nd bullet in Webster's definition here). So why is it important? Well, I don't think many of us would argue that taking care of oneself is good for us physically, mentally, and emotionally. I'm sure we could find plenty of research supporting that. From my observations in working with clients and interacting with friends, the reason self-care is so important and the reason it's so difficult to do actually go hand in hand. So many of us spend a lot of time caring for other people in our lives (spouses/partners, children, parents, friends, etc.) and we know this is important, so we tell ourselves that that is a priority, which might come before we make room to take care of ourselves. Everyone else gets taken care of first and then there's often not enough time/energy/money/you fill in the blank to take care of you. (That's the 'why it's difficult to implement' piece). If you find yourself in that position (moms, you know I am talking to you), then my argument would be that it is crucial for you to take care of yourself in order to be able to maintain the level of care you are lavishing on those around you (That's the 'why it's so important' piece). If you burn the candle at both ends, you won't have anything left to give. Taking care of yourself, is a way of taking care of your children. Reread that sentence out loud to yourself. It is good for them and you! Now, go back and read my January posts about setting realistic expectations for your goals and then think about what you are going to begin to embed in your life that will be rejuvenating for you. If you need ideas to get started check out the links below on self-care. Valentine's Day 2018 is all about loving yourself (which in turn means you will love those around you better). Happy Heart Day.