Self-Care is Selfish, Right?Jan 30, 2023
I can remember hearing the word self-care and wanting to scream! It was during a time in my life that I was burning the candle at both ends. I was teaching full time, running carpool to games and practices, cooking dinner, folding laundry, helping with homework and then starting the whole process all over again the next morning. It seemed like my husband and I were barely keeping our heads above water, much less adding in something extravagant like self-care.
Here is the problem, I didn’t understand what self-care really meant. I thought it referred to a quiet candlelight bath or lavish manicures at the salon. I thought it was doing something extravagant or expensive for myself. I always resisted the practice of self-care because money was tight and finding time to add one more activity to my day seemed impossible. It seemed selfish to focus on me when I had others who seemed to need me more. It’s safe to say that during this season of life I was tired, overwhelmed, stressed and most days I was running on empty.
Do you ever look back and wish you’d known then what you know now?
Now I realize that self-care is not extravagant or luxurious, but it is in fact crucial for a happy, healthy and holy life.
Self-care is nurturing your mind, body and spirit. It is connecting with yourself so that you are aware of your needs, your feelings and are being intentional with your daily actions.
Let’s be honest, there is more time for self-care as a middle-life mom, but there was time for it during the chaos too! I just didn’t realize how much I needed it or how much it could impact my life.
Here are three different types of self-care that will enhance your life.
The first is mental self-care. Your daily thoughts are so important, yet you are probably unaware of most of your thinking. Imagine your thoughts as seeds that bloom into the feelings, actions and results that you currently have in your life. Identifying your thoughts through journaling and quiet reflection will help you to get rid of the thoughts that aren’t serving you and allow you to nurture the thoughts that bring joy, peace and fulfillment to your life.
Next is physical self-care. This includes which foods you are eating to fuel your body, getting enough sleep each night, being active during the day, and caring for your physical body. This also includes yearly doctor’s appointments like mammograms or physicals to keep your body healthy and strong.
Finally, self-care includes taking care of your heart and soul. Nurturing your spirit, the core of who you are with prayer, quiet reflection, going to Mass, spiritual study and connecting with Christ's presence will strengthen all aspects of your life. Focusing on your heart and soul by getting to know Christ will give you strength, peace and comfort in difficult situations. You will find guidance and wisdom for times of uncertainty. You will discover joy in the ordinary moments of life and be filled with God’s love so that you can pour it out on those who need hope and encouragement.
Self-care isn’t selfish. It is an opportunity to take care of your mind, body and spirit so that you can become the BEST version of yourself.
Jennie is a Catholic Life Coach, Podcaster, Speaker and founder of Catholic Moms in the Middle. She equips and encourages middle-life moms to reconnect in their faith by breaking spiritual strongholds so they can finally lose the weight they've struggled with for years, to reconnect in their marriage and to discover where God is calling them in this new season of life.