Why Self-Care Routines are important, and A Checklist
Do you all have a self-care routine that you follow? I do. Self-care is an incredibly important part of my life, because it’s extremely easy to get lost in the mundane routines as a mother, and I end up neglecting myself completely. Before we get to the checklist that I use to keep myself centred, I want to tell you a little story.
The Mom Mind-set
For a long time, I was in the mind-set that as long as my family was taken care of, I was happy. I left no room for my own care beyond the basics. My life revolved around making sure The Husband had everything he needed and wanted, and making sure that Punky was growing and developing like he should. I went above and beyond for my family, and for a short period of time, that gave me purpose.
Skip ahead a few years; punky started nursery school, and I had a few free hours in the day to myself. The Husband was set in his own little routine, and was doing whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted because I had enabled him to do so. I never questioned what I wanted for my life beyond being a mom and a wife, so while those two were completely fine, I felt neglected and ignored. I felt like my sole purpose was to ONLY be a wife and mom, and nobody could see me beyond those two titles. This was the wrong way of thinking for me.
Wanting More & Giving Up
You see, I forgot that I was a person too. I forgot that I was able to create my own happiness, fulfil my own needs, ask for what I wanted, and chase after my goals.
Pretty soon I began to feel restless. I knew that I needed something, but I didn’t know what it was or how to go about getting it. So, I started a cooking blog on a whim. I began writing out recipes that inspired me, and recipes that my family had passed down through generations. The biggest problem for me during that journey was the fact that I felt worthless. I didn’t think that anyone wanted to read what I had to say. I figured that hey, they’re just recipes. Anyone can figure out how to cook, so why should I try to put my voice out there and possibly get rejected? So I quit.
Then I decided to go back to school. I signed up for financial aid, and took a few classes through The Open University. While the curriculum was fine, I had decided that I really didn’t like studying finance, so I quit instead of changing my degree focus.
Do you see a pattern starting to emerge? Whenever things got tough for me, I decided it wasn’t worth it and just gave up. No matter what project I started, what goal I immediately had in mind and started to pursue, the moment it got hard and overwhelming, I quit.
Yes, part of that was because of depression and low self-esteem, but mostly because I didn’t value myself.
Let’s skip forward to now. A year or two ago, The Husband started taking Punky to work with him one night a week so I could have “Me Time”. The reason Punky is able to go to work with The Husband is because he runs his own takeaway (a takeaway is a small restaurant with no seating. You place your order and take your food to go, or have it delivered). This meant that I could do whatever I wanted, forget about the housework, routines, and just relax. The simple act of having a few minutes to breathe, to be myself, to not be mom or wife or cook or accountant… you name it, was life changing.
I started taking better care of myself. Those nights alone, I’d paint my nails, do my hair and makeup for ME, take a long bubble bath, or even just watch a non-animated film. Just by taking a few hours to myself, I began to feel like a human again. I began to think about ways to make myself happy instead of relying on my family to try to make me happy.
So, I started my consulting business. It took a lot of courage, a lot of work, and a lot of forcing myself to get out of my comfort zone. But I did it, and I’m glad I did. By forcing myself to take care of my own needs, I’ve figured out what I really want with my life.
Work: I want expand my consulting firm and have my own team of VA’s. Within me there is a deep seated need to be my own boss and start my own empire. I want to have it all. My current goals are to grow my consulting business so much so that I need actual office space. I want to have a nice little team that almost becomes like a second family.
Blogging: As you can see from my previous posts, I have quite a lot to say. Most of my posts rarely stay below 1000 words, even if I’m just recommending kids crafts, or things to eat and drink, or talking about my experiences. The current goal is to grow my blog and marketing efforts to start bringing in a full time income so I can financially support my family.
Moving: As I’ve stated several times before, the biggest goal for 2018 is to move back to the US. While I’m worried about the current political climate, I’m not factoring that into my decision to move back. It’s all about giving my family a better life, more job opportunities for The Husband and I, and better schools for Punky. We need to be able to buy a house instead of living in an apartment for the rest of our lives. I need to be closer to my family, and I can’t do that from Scotland.
What about self-care?
I still maintain my home, I care for my family just as before, and work my ass off trying to build a better future for us. Where does this all leave time for self-care? Well, that’s why I have a checklist. It forces me to do something purely for myself each and every day. Even if it’s just taking my hair down from the usual bun it’s in, shaking my hair loose, closing my eyes, and just breathing deeply for a few minutes at a time. It’s something for me.
I don’t have much time for anything beyond the schedule I’ve set for myself, as you can see from this post. I really don’t sleep enough, but I’m happier than I have been in a very long time. You see, I’m working toward my goals, even if it means sacrificing a few things in the process.
Today’s self-care item was watching a movie instead of immediately launching into work mode after dropping Punky off at school. I gave myself a glorious two hour break by sitting down, turning on a movie, and zoning out. Another load of laundry didn’t need to be started right that second, or the toys that are scattered all over the floor tidied. I didn’t need to scrub the bathtub in that very moment. What I needed in that moment was to care for my own well-being.
On the days I’m really struggling, I spend the extra time in the mornings to clear my head and just zone out for a while.
The reason I created a checklist, is because in my whirlwind schedule sometimes I forget things. I routinely opt for coffee for breakfast, and skip lunch which leads to me bingeing later at night. I put meals on the list to keep myself on track. This list shown is tailored to my specific needs, but you can download it here. The worksheet is blank for your own use.
The checklist download comes in four different colors bundled together, Standard black and white, Grey, Pink, and Blue. Please do not claim this worksheet as your own product or remove my watermark from the bottom of the page.
I hope that my words have inspired you to get out of your self-sabotaging mind-set. I urge you to create clear goals for yourself, and to make self-care a priority in your life too. If you’ve found my checklist helpful, please feel free to print off as many copies as you need.
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful day!