For the month of July, our team at The WOMB challenged our community to start putting ourselves first. Each day we asked people to share one of their self-care activities using #WOMBSelfCare and it was amazing to see the results! I participated as well, and learned a ton!
Here’s what I took away from the challenge:
Self care can be easy: Some days I found myself doing a lot of self-care activities without putting in much effort. Majority of these included spending time with my family or friends, putting away my computer or phone and doing healthy things for myself such as eating well, exercising or getting treatments that I normally would anyway (massage & osteopathy).
But, it can also be hard: Some days I barely took a moment to pause. Between busy days at work and other obligations, I often found there were days that I flew through the day without even thinking about myself. I am very much a “do-er”, so the challenge was a great way to remind myself that hey – you haven’t even taken a moment today to just BE. I can’t even imagine how my busy mama patients feel on those types of days!
It can be simple things: I used to think of self care as very luxurious - having a long bath or relaxing at the beach for the day (both of which I did, by the way!). But I realized it could also be super simple! Drinking enough water, choosing a healthy meal, snuggling with my hubby or pets at the end of a busy day, or just chatting and laughing with a friend were some of the simple things I did too!
It can also be identifying day-to-day things I already do: Sometimes my self-care was just realizing all the great things in my day and being grateful. For example, I love to cook, so I realized that by trying out new recipes and spending some time in the kitchen was sometimes all I needed for self care. The bonus: I had healthy meals (more self care!) and the fridge was stocked for busy days (that counts too!) to cut down on stress.
How we talk to ourselves is self care: We all have bad days or insecurities, so by being kind and patient with myself on the days where I was frustrated or not feeling good enough was the best kind of self care.
Unplugging is key: enough said!
It’s not selfish at all! It can seem indulgent to be selfish and put ourselves first, but it’s completely the opposite! I found that when I had time to decompress and do things for myself, it benefitted everyone around me. I was much more present, much more patient, much more energetic and felt happier and healthier. If your husband/wife/mom/dad/friend/colleague/etc. felt all of those things, wouldn’t they be great to be around? By taking care of myself, it benefitted those around me too!
Even though the challenge is over, I plan to keep incorporating daily self care activities into my day to day. I challenge you to do the same and see how much of a difference it can make for you!