Between laundry, dishes, meal prepping, diaper changes, potty training, school pickups/drop offs, distance learning, home schooling, sports, creating content, showing up for in person work, working from home, loving on your kids, pouring into your marriage, spending time with Jesus, caring for sick loved ones, showing up for your friends and family, all while dodging all these pandemic germs…
It can be EXTREMELY difficult to find the time for yourself.
Like, you just need a serious break!
Believe me I get it! As some one who has mastered the art of Self Care, having created a lifestyle of getting time for myself not just One Sunday a Month, but finding the time every single week… I recently found myself unable to get away as usual. The past few weeks have been wildly unpredicatable!
So today, I want to share a bit of my Self Care Strategy that has helped me, and the moms I work with, to ensure that we are able to get a break…even when we’re short on time, or when things don’t go as planned! Because let’s face it… we’re no good to anyone else if we’re not taking care of ourselves. So we have to learn to make the time! Let’s go!
1. Get clear about what self care actually is to you, and indentify who is there to support you!
You first have to understand what Self Care is and the begin to figure out what all you enjoy. I share this before Self care is personal and is what ever you deem necessary to care for yourself… and fill your cup spiritually, mentally, physically, emotionally and relationally. Knowing what you enjoy, and what fills your cup is the first place to begin. Once you get an idea of what all you enjoy and/or need… ask for the support from your spouse or a trusted loved one. Whether it’s your spouse offering to step in, or someone from your church family who you’ve grown to love… There are people who have offered to help and are just waiting for you to accept… take them up on it… whether an hour or a 4… accept the help. It may be a bit awkward at first to let go and accept the help, but I promise you the benefit of actually getting a break to recharge, will far outweigh those feelings!
2. Know your schedules!
When was the last time you sat and looked over your schedules? (Yes, “schedules”, because we already know that our schedule is not the only one that we have to manage or consider when it comes to getting time for ourselves). But seriously, when was the last time you looked at it? Not just at all the things you have going on , but the actual times when you can get a break? Days off from work? Nap times? Lunch hours? Morning or evening time? Now I can already hear most of you saying, “girl, I already know my schedule and there just isn’t any time for me”. Then I would challenge you to look at what is filling your time, to the point that you can’t even pour into yourself. Ask yourself, “what am I doing that I can either stop, or put on hold in order to get time for myself”? When we say yes to everything else, we are in essence saying no to ourselves. Saying you can’t pour from an empty cup is one thing, doing the work and adjusting your boundaries to ensure that you live this out, is where the magic happens.
3. Schedule yourself… write your time on your calendar!
we are so good at adding everything and everyone else to the schedule, but ourselves. From the kids’ checkups, doctor’s appointments, sports practice, holidays, trips… we are religious about making sure it’s all written in. But when was the last time you added yourself to your schedule? Yes, actually scheduled and wrote in “Mommy Time” or any other indicator that you were going to step away to enjoy time for yourself?
This was a major self care flex for me, and it all started when I pre-planned and scheduled my first “Selfish Sunday”, which wasn’t even a full day at the time. The first time I scheduled myself, it was only 3 hours, but it was everything I didn’t even know I needed! Furthermore actually scheduling myself (ie writing on the calendar), ensured a few things for me:
- It was a reminder to myself that I needed to care for myself and something to look forward to.
- It was a reminder to my family (my hubby) that I was going to be away, so he didn’t make other plans.
- writing it down helped me to actually honor my commitment to myself (accountability)!
And from there, I’ve not only enjoyed a selfish Sunday for over the past year and a half, but I’ve also learned to add in all those moments for myself in between! Do yourself a favor and add your time to your schedule. I don’t care if it’s just an hour… get into the habit of seeing “Mommy time” on your calendar, and honoring that commitment to yourself!
4. Embrace the “mini moments” when things don’t go as planned!
Let’s face it, sometimes with the best of intentions, things do’t go as planned and I know firsthand just how difficult it can be to adjust when the unexpected things interfere with your time for self care.
I recently had a trip planned to spend a few days in Florida with one of my best girlfriends, and I followed my strategy to the letter! I checked the schedules. I communicated and got the support that I needed. Hubby took time off from work, and I made sure to write “mommy getaway” on my schedule every month leading up to my trip (to remind hubby that I was going to be away)! I kept myself safe, and found myself out here doing backflips in these streets and supermarkets to avoid getting COVID. Listen, I had everything prepared so that my family would survive while I was away… Like I wasn’t playing! Everything that I could control and handle… I did just that.
Well Fast forward to the day before the trip. I put my little lady to bed, and opened my phone to check the weather in Florida one last time to make sure I didn’t pack anything too heavy. And to my surprise I opened the weather app to a “Winter Storm Advisory”. I didn’t pay this alert any mind, I said “surely the Lord will hold this snow so that I can get to Florida safely. I did too much to get here, ain’t nothing stopping me from getting on my flight!
And I went to sleep, so blissfully unaware of what was about to take place!
Why, oh WHY did we get hit with over 12” of snow, that not only caused me to cancel my trip… but this storm knocked out our power for 4 days, and took our heat and cell service for good measure! Talk About hurt! The Same 4 days that I planned to get my time, turned into me at home with my family in survival mode because the main road where we live was completely back up. The roads were so bad that some drivers were stranded for almost 24 hours! LAWD, it coulda be me! Oh and did I mention our home is electric! And all of this was happening… at home… with a TODDLER! WHEW.
(I’m going somewhere, I promise)
Once the roads were safe, we made our way to a hotel nearly an hour from our home. As soon as we all were showered, fed, and settled I looked at my husband and said “I need a minute” and he understood exactly what I meant. I needed a break!!
So I grabbed my stuff, grabbed my EarPods, and found a little nook in the lounge of the hotel where I could sit unbothered in peace. I sat there for a little over an hour. And although this wasn’t the 4 days of fun-filled “me time” I had planned to enjoy that week… I embraced it nonetheless… because it was exactly what I needed in the moment! I literally chose to use the time I had to take a break, instead sitting and lamenting what was no longer available to me!
That’s the power of the “mini moments”; the moments that are often unplanned, but when you need it you know it and it’s in your best interest to take full advantage. GET YOUR TIME SIS! These mini moments are those times when you do whatever you can to slip away just to process, check-in with ourselves, and regroup in the moment. This can look different depending on the moment, situation and the person… but it’s all a form of self care.
Sitting in the car for a few extra moments, going for a walk to clear your head, listening to a playlist the will help shift your mood, taking a shower, watching your fave show, waking up to get some time in the morning before the house wakes up, maximizing nap times & lunch breaks…SITTING IN A HOTEL LOUNGE IN PEACE!
It all counts!
So ask yourself…”When things don’t go as planned, how can I still get a moment for myself”?
Listen, most of us as moms already know just how important self care is, yet many don’t feel supported enough to actually get the time they know they deserve and need! I don’t play about getting my husband on board to support me, and I don’t want you to be left in the dark. So go ahead and grab my free Mommy Support Cheat Sheet, where I share a quick overview of my proven method to help you set the stage (and create your own “D-Day”) and finally get the mommy support your crave from your husband! Yes, this is LITERALLY what I do!
Get to work momma! And as always be sure to subscribe and SHARE with a momma who needs this!!