I believe in something radical. Something with benefits so monumental, you might not believe you could achieve such a feat.
What am I talking about? Mechanical self-care. And yes, it's as simple as it sounds.
The idea of making self-care mechanical simply means to schedule it into your daily routine. It is the practice of treating yourself with gentleness and respect regularly, and with full intention. Much like taking your prescribed medicine, or eating nutritious food, self care is something that needs to be included in your daily routine in order to maintain a healthy mind and body. It means allowing yourself to feel good, and actually scheduling it into your life.
Many people, including myself, struggle with feeling deserving of "me time". Maybe you think your time is better spent cleaning the house, or working overtime. Maybe you focus all your energy on your children and have nothing left for yourself at the end of the day. Here is where mechanical self care comes in.
Plan your self care ahead of time, and start small. Even setting aside 5 minutes in the morning to meditate before the children wake up is enough to start your day on a positive note. Or allowing yourself to take a bubble bath, even when you don’t feel like you’ve “earned” it. Because self care is not meant to be a reward — it is meant to be medicine. Care. Basic maintenance of your emotional well-being.
Do one small thing today to take care of yourself, that is above and beyond your basic physical needs. Then do it again tomorrow. Set a reminder on your phone, if you need to.
I promise, you deserve it.