Self Care Is Not Pampering!

When I talk about self care, I feel like many people tend to think I mean pampering.  They couldn’t be more wrong!  While pampering does fall under the self care category, not all self care is pampering.  You still with me?  To me, self care is being your own best advocate, setting boundaries, making time for hobbies – it’s simply creating time for what you need and doing what you can to make it happen.

That last part is key – doing what you can to make it happen.  Today I did a bit of self care and I’m so glad I took a small part of my day to make myself a priority.  It’s too easy in life (especially when you have the demands of family, children, a career and everything in between) to forget about what you need to do for yourself so you can thrive.  I tell myself when I’m feeling unnecessary mom guilt that if I don’t take good care of myself, I cannot take the best care of my daughter and family.  Additionally, I want to lead Gia by example and let her know that it’s important to be good to your mind, body and soul.

Forms of self care that I’m working on:

  • Unplug – Yes, I’m telling you to put the iPhone down!  It’s not that easy to do, especially with social media, e-mails, phone calls, face time sessions, etc.  I feel a sense of freedom when I take a break from my electronics, as hard as it may be in the moment.
  • Practice Meditation – Okay, this one I’m really, really bad at.  For the last few years my New Year’s Resolution has been to practice more yoga.  Want to know how much yoga I’ve done in the last few years? — that’s right, NONE!  Wait, I take that back.  I did go to a wine and yoga retreat a couple of months back with girlfriends.  Does that count for a mini meditation?  My point here is, it’s good to practice something that makes you feel that mind-body connection.  For me, I think yoga will make me more mindful and relaxed, so I’m holding myself accountable by talking about it here.  Minimally, I’d like to at least do some deep breathing and stretching once a day.  Hopefully you guys can keep tabs on me and make sure I follow through!

Photo Of The Last Time I Did Yoga:

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  • Sleep – You’d think sleep would be an easy one after chasing a busy toddler all day long.  Not so much!  I’m someone who suffers from pretty bad anxiety and have had a history of depression, which, unfortunately does not make for a sound night’s sleep.  Just because I have anxiety and have had depression do NOT mean that I don’t love my life and appreciate it.  It’s the perfectionist in me that puts me on planet crazy and keeps me from sweet dreams.

Gia Demonstrating What I Need To Get Better At:

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  • Talk To Someone – Psychologists, therapists and spiritual mentors can make some people feel a little bit uneasy, I get that.  I’m not into all that stuff either, but I see the benefit of it.  For months I’ve been putting myself on the back burner regarding my anxiety and today I finally said, enough.  As uncomfortable as it can be to talk to a total stranger about your deepest thoughts, it’s such a release.  Today that’s exactly what I did – I went and talked to a psychologist about my feelings of anxiety and feel so much better.  It doesn’t mean that all of my “problems” are gone, but it’s a big step in the right direction.  I have to say I’m kind of proud of myself!  🙂

Forms of self care that I rock at:

  • Energize Your Body – I do something to “move” every single day.  It’s not selfish, it’s good for me and good for Gia.  I go to the gym to train five days per week.  Obviously when things come up or if Gia doesn’t feel like playing in the child care for an hour then I reevaluate.  The days I don’t get a traditional workout in, I take Gia on a walk or we go on an adventure.  It makes me feel so much more awake and alive for the entire day.
  • Take A Bath Or Shower – This one sounds a little, well, gross.  You don’t always get to shower when you want to after having a child.  Sometimes you’re too damn tired and other times you literally cannot.  Maybe that’s TMI, but it’s the truth!  I make sure to use my favorite body wash and skin care products when I get cleaned up.  It makes me feel beautiful and refreshed to smell so nice and have hydrated, happy skin.

Even Our Dog Homie Needs Some Self Care:

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  • Read Something, Anything! – I’m a big book worm and I read anything I can get my hands on.  Lately my reading has been in the form of other blogs that motivate me to be the best version of myself.  I try and set aside time to read when Gia is down for a nap or after she’s gone to bed.  It’s the perfect way for me to wind down.
  • Enjoy A Piece of Chocolate, Or Glass Of Wine – Better yet, enjoy the chocolate and wine together!  I used to fret over anything “bad” that went into my body.  No more!  If your body wants a little treat, then by all means, eat the chocolate and drink the wine!  The gym and your regularly scheduled eating routine will be there tomorrow.  You won’t fall off track – it might even help you stay on track by not depriving yourself of what you want!

Gia says it’s okay to get chocolate wasted once in a while:

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I hope you guys can relate to some of that!  How do you self care?  I’d love to hear how others take care of their mind, body and soul.  Comment and let me know!

6 thoughts on “Self Care Is Not Pampering!

  1. I love this post! I tell people all day at my job that they need to take better care of themselves and sometimes I have to remind myself that I am one of those people. Thanks for the reminder (and suggestions)!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Hi Ashley!
    I have hesitated to leave any comments on your blog since I am, yes, your mother. In this case, I must applaud you for being brave and speaking your truth. I believe you have the ability to inspire others so they can do the same. It’s an important message and one that we all can learn from, no matter what age you are. Living your best life starts and ends with YOU. Take it from one who knows. It’s easy to get lost in between and never too late to get back on track. Stay mindful! Stay true! I love you!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yes lady!! Love this blog post. It’s amazing how taking care of yourself can really snowball into a overall better quality of life. I used to have a really hard time making this a priority but now it’s a absolute must for me mentally and physically.

    Liked by 1 person

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