They are simple tools, pretty tools, but I didn’t intentionally put together this collection of favorites. Rather, the rhythms of my life did.
Nightly I find myself reaching for every item on this tray. And it’s a sweet reminder when I stretch my arm to turn off my bedside lamp: I enjoy taking care of myself. In fact, it’s almost a comfort just to see these items. I’ve found them to be stepping stones to a greater level of self-care.
Having a self-care rhythm has been a work in progress for me. Instead of desiring (demanding?) long stretches of time alone, having a few favorites, or personal rhythms, has been most helpful. Tools I can use right now, when I’m in the thick of it, with hardly any planning or waiting to implement. This has been especially profound as I’m a mother of four young children.
Tell me, what are you thinking right now.
Do you enjoy taking care of yourself? (Do you take care of yourself?)
Motherhood: it’s an all-consuming role. And we as mothers must be all-consuming with how we notice ourselves, view ourselves, care for ourselves.
We will surely burn out without the practice of self-care.
We will surely learn to thrive when we prioritize rest, give thanks, play, PRAY, exercise, eat well. And no skipping or cheating! Give yourself true care.
When my responsibilities feel like too much, I head outside. I bundle my children, tie laces and pack water bottles, and leave my phone on the table. And then I walk behind a stroller. Sometimes we lace up twice in a day.
Fresh air is quite the pain reliever. When my heart feels burdened, the fresh air softens the ache. When my mind feels discombobulated, the fresh air blows out my cruddy thoughts. When my body feels too exhausted to make another meal or finish a puzzle or separate fighting children, the fresh air awakens me so I can finish my work.
It’s not just, “I should take care of myself,” but rather, “I must take care of myself.”
For me, it’s having simple and pretty tools in my life. Handy tools to help me out. Simple, like eye glasses or a favorite pen for journaling. Pretty, like a bobby pin or perfume oil to roll behind my ear. Not shown: stacks and stacks of books, lush plants to admire and care for, meeting with a friend. Like I wrote earlier, they are stepping stones to something greater.
Perhaps it looks like an evening walk alone, or 30 minutes of reading behind a locked door. Other times it’s putting myself to bed early (a personal favorite) or meeting with a friend to discuss a book. Some nights I go for a run. Some times, and perhaps the most tender form of self-care, it’s reaching for my husband’s hand once we’ve turned off the bedside lamps. A companion to share the stress.
What do your tools look like?
To all the women reading, I’m really curious how you are prioritizing caring for yourself. What is your rhythm? What is your go-to routine? If you don’t have a rhythm or routine, how are you coping?
Write me back and share your heart (and/or hurts).
PS. here’s a reading list to help you find your next book…