I distinctly remember when I first realized I was completely drowning in motherhood. I was in the thick of it with quarantine, self-care was non-existent, routine and boundaries weren’t happening, and I was left overwhelmed, irritable and exhausted. At the time I figured “this is just motherhood”, especially as I chatted with so many clients and moms who were also struggling. But then I realized that that feeling burnt out isn’t just an expected byproduct of motherhood. That we deserve to feel calm, confident and centered as women and moms. And that while I couldn’t control the pandemic or the phases my kids were in I could control how I took care of myself and making changes to ensure I had a self-care strategy that works.
Having unmet physical, emotional and psychological needs is one of the biggest factors in moms feeling stress and alone. Taking a holistic approach to self-care and ensuring you know how to create a sustainable self-care strategy that works for you can help you feel more patient, present and positive in motherhood. So today we are discussing 5 reasons your self-care strategy isn’t working and how to create a self-care strategy that works for you.
5 Reasons Your Self-Care Strategy Isn’t Working:
- You’re using strategies that aren’t really tailored to you.
Sarah from work LOVES waking up at 4am for yoga flow and your neighbor Hanna SWEARS by her journal prompts and affirmations. So you give them a try and despite your best efforts, it’s just not working. These might be good tools to add to the toolbox for later, but the reality is, just because it works for someone else doesn’t mean it will work for you. A self-care strategy that works should be personalized, and you’re not failing if someone else’s plan doesn’t work for you.
- You’re not actually meeting a need.
You know what no one teaches us? The difference between self-comfort and self-care. The spa days and bubble baths? They feel nice but they don’t always meet a personal need for you. The goal of REAL self-care is helping you improve your mental and physical health, and finally meeting your own needs again.
- You’re holding too tightly to old strategies.
Before kids you loved hitting the gym at 5am. Before your 3rdwas born you always had time to pack lunches and watch Netflix before bed. But now, not matter how hard you try to bring those things back it’s just not happening, and you’re left confused and frustrated. The reason? Life looks different then when these strategies worked in the past, and you need to create a gameplan that works for you right now. The most effective self-care strategies need to start where you are (not where you once were). Start small, start with what actually feels good, and build from there for a self-care strategy that works.
- You have a strategy but don’t know how to be strategic.
Having tools in the toolbox is great, but if you don’t know how or when to implement them (or have the right mindset to believe you deserve them) then they won’t be as effective. Getting a massage when money is tight won’t be real self-care. Telling yourself you need to make time to workout when you already have too much on you schedule wouldn’t be effective self-care. Instead we must know what tool to pull from the toolbox and when, and have the skills to check mindset blocks like mom guilt and all or nothing thinking as they pop up.
- You’re not present during self-care.
Getting outdoors for some alone time is great, but it’s not as powerful if the time is spent with a racing mind of to-do items and guilt over needing a break. Self-care doesn’t require a lot of effort, but it does become more impactful when it’s done with intention, and celebrated in the moment.
When creating your own strategies for self-care it’s important to make a plan that is personalized and tailored to you. Need a little help? Coaching can help you create a tailored plan.