Self-care, not to be confused with self-optimization, is popping up more and more as a term, at least in my circle. Taking care of oneself. And that is as a mother, a time when women actually spend more time caring for others than themselves.
It took me quite some time to understand that I am damn important, too. And not only that: I am the most important person in my life. That doesn’t mean I’ve suddenly mutated into a total egomaniac, it’s just that I do sometimes see other issues as less important than before. For example, my cup of coffee in the morning is important to me, along with an adult conversation with another adult. After that conversation, I don’t mind building Lego towers. I do it with more energy and joy. If there’s a need in the children’s room, I happily interrupt my coffee break to look after things, before returning to my coffee.
The “need-to-know” incidents are less frequent than I had feared.
One discovery I long thought was not for me is meditating. I found I don’t need incense sticks and ginger tea or whatever other such notions might be. You just dive in, just “be”. It doesn’t take much time at all: my favorite meditation is just 8 minutes long and helped me to stay calm during a rather unpleasant appointment.
Food is also such an issue. In the past, I often ate out of boredom or frustration. I do that less often, and I am more concerned with what I eat. I try new things.
This may be related to exercise. I once found the interesting correlation that when I weighed less and got more exercise, unhealthy food suddenly became much less appealing. To be precise, I found the smell at the relevant fast-food chains disgusting.
By the way, I don’t really participate in “sports” in that sense, but I walk a lot. I also know from experience that even 10 minutes of dancing a day, for example, can have a positive effect.
Being in nature is also healing for me. Being near or in forests or lakes helps me greatly. It almost doesn’t matter whether I’m there alone or frolicking with the children. I can be more aware of the time alone, but there are moments together when I can consciously enjoy nature and sometimes directly feel how nervousness or tension becomes significantly less.
I also had to learn to actively plan breaks and to use those times for breaks.
What do you do for yourself?