With Mother’s Day less than 2 weeks away, I thought now was a great time to introduce a new column called “5 To Live By,” written by Andrea Shillito, PCI Certified Parent Coach and Sleep Consultant. 5 To Live By will be a series of articles giving 5 tips each month featuring a variety of subjects. This week’s topic is the all-important Self Care. There is no better time than now to think about yourself a little bit more : )
5 To Live By: 5 Tips to Starting Your Self-Care Practice
By Andrea Shillito, PCI Certified Parent Coach
Self-Care. To a mother this term is not just one “four-letter word”, but two! After all, what mom has the time or the luxury to care for herself, let alone admit to it? I mean, what would people think? A mother taking time away from her family and her responsibilities to take care of her own needs? To replenish her soul? To re-energize and refuel? What a ridiculous concept! To become the best version of herself so that she can care for her loved ones to the best of her ability without becoming exhausted, resentful, impatient, and overwhelmed? Oh….wait….that could make sense!
The following are 5 tips on how to get started on your own Self-Care Practice:
1st Take Care of Your Health. You are no good to anyone if you are run down or ill. Be sure you are getting enough sleep, eating right, exercising and keeping up with your medical care.
2nd Get to Know Yourself Again. By getting in touch with your inner and authentic self, you will be able to tap into a wealth of self-confidence, creativity and pride that can only work to enhance the kind of parent, spouse and person you are. Some ways to do this could include: journaling, meditation, time alone.
3rd Find What Refuels You. For different people this means different things. It might mean a day alone to spend as you wish a few times a month, it might be a regular workout routine, time in the week to meditate or get out into nature, or perhaps a creative outlet such as painting. Whatever it is for you, make time to recharge your battery so that you can have the energy, patience and gratitude for the ones you love.
4th Form a Support Network. Make sure you have people around you who will support and encourage your self-care plan. Women thrive on relationships. Take the time to form meaningful friendships or nurture the ones you already have, join a church or spiritual group, and find others who share your creative passion – whatever that may be. There are also many Mom’s groups- such as MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers)- where you can meet women to whom you can relate.
5th Be Clear in Your Values and Priorities. Make a list of your values and of your priorities. Are you living in alignment with who you are and who you wish to become? If not, start today.
Now that you are clear on what self-care means to you, make a plan on how to incorporate it into your busy life and start taking care of yourself today. Do it for the ones you love. Do it for yourself.
About 5 to Live By author, Andrea Shillito “I have worked as an elementary school teacher for the past 12 years and am a trained Infant/Child Sleep Consultant and PCI Certified Parent Coach. Most importantly, I am the proud and happy mom to my two beautiful girls, Madison and Cate. I am pleased to be writing this column for The Mom’s Guide to San Diego and hope that you will find it informative, as well as inspiring. Wishing you a lifetime of joyful parenting!”