Self-care isn’t just a trendy topic, it is a necessary life skill. Without self-care, our bodies and mental states would deteriorate and leave us in a state of disarray. We know that self-care is important, but why is it so hard to maintain a self-care routine? Life. We live incredibly busy, demanding, occasionally frustrating lives. We have people to care for, jobs to accomplish, and goals to meet. It can feel like a never-ending cycle of running very fast to gain very little ground. It isn’t an easy spot to be in. Because of that, many of us sacrifice self-care in favor of productivity. We long for the day when we will be “caught up” enough to take some much needed time for ourselves.
Spoiler alert: the perfect time to care for yourself never comes, and you wind up exhausted, irritable, and mean. This is the mad rush, the terrible cycle that our children are watching us go through, year after year. If you can’t become serious about self-care for yourself, surely you can do it for them? It is important to teach our children the importance of self-care in order to raise successful adults.
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Self Care Tip #1: Teach Your Children it is ok to say no.
There are no shortages of people in this life who feel guilty about saying no, much to their detriment. Saying no to people makes us feel guilty of disappointing them, and leaves us stuck in situations that we would rather not be in. Now that isn’t to say that sometimes you shouldn’t say yes, but routinely saying it out of obligation leads you to a place where you’re stuck with people constantly asking you for things because they know you will agree, and before you know it you are overwhelmed and under-rested. Teach your children that if someone is disappointed by you saying yes, you can feel empathetic for them, but still not change your stance. They will grow confident and much less likely to fall into peer pressure and overwhelm later in life.
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Self Care Tip #2: Don’t allow them to value being busy over everything else.
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So many of us spend a great deal of time glorifying being busy. We accept invitations we don’t want to go places we don’t want to be. We join committees for projects we aren’t passionate about. We even add too much work onto our own projects so that we are so busy we resent our own projects. Where does the madness end? Teach your children they don’t need to be “busy” in order to feel important. Teach them that being overly busy is likely to lead to a lack of health and encourages other bad habits like eating junk, and not sleeping enough. In order to maintain your health, you have to get some shut-eye.
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Self Care Tip #3: There’s always time for a little pampering
Even the most diligent about managing their schedules get a little busy from time to time. That’s completely normal. Teach your children that no matter how busy they get, there is always time for a little self-care. Show them the importance of getting an occasional mani/pedi, or getting a new outfit, or springing for a pair of new shoes that make you feel incredible. Self-care isn’t all about spa days and masks, but that part sure does make it wonderful.
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We teach our children to care for their bodies, brushing their teeth, washing their hair, and putting good food in it. What we often neglect to teach them is the importance of self-care, and fighting back against the parts of life that are going to make it hard for us to take care of ourselves. Modeling good self-care will show them just as much as tell them what you are going to need in order to be a well rounded, well cared for person.