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Self-Care Tips When You Don't Have a Village

Self-Care Tips When You Don't Have a Village

They say it takes a village. And when it comes to finding a window of time to take care of yourself, a village would certainly come in handy. But what if you don’t have a village? Our Mommy’s Bliss 360 expert and Full Spectrum Doula, Sabia Wade is here to define what self-care truly is and offer tips to help you easily claim those much deserved moments of self-care and relaxation. Spoiler alert - it may not involve a spa day at all, aka, be your own village.  

Self-care is the practice of caring for oneself. That sounds simple enough, but many of us don’t have enough time for self-care or feel we don’t have the resources or community available to make self-care a reality.

Before we build a self-care practice, it’s important to redefine self-care for ourselves because self-care is often marketed in inaccessible ways. For example, having a day at the spa (a commonly marketed self-care activity) can cost hundreds of dollars. For many parents, a spa day would also include needing a babysitter, which bumps up the price tag even more. Self-care is often also talked about as if it’s a short period that happens occasionally, but self-care is something we all need regularly to flush out the stress we all endure daily from our body, mind, and soul.

Therefore, self-care has to be a personalized practice of caring for oneself that is holistic and accessible every day.

You deserve to have accessible and straightforward practices to fill you up daily. These practices will help to move you through the ups and downs of the day by reminding you of the love and care you can provide for yourself.

As a somatic practitioner, I love teaching others how to return to their body as a starting place for self-care. Somatics is a healing practice of learning how to repair our nervous system by focusing on the body and how emotions appear within the body. Many of us spend our day paying attention to external factors, such as focusing on getting our children dressed, bathed, fed, how many dishes need to be washed, or what work projects and deadlines are coming up. Often, it’s not until the end of the day that we notice we haven’t eaten since breakfast or our back has been sending signals of pain for hours. I invite you to set an alarm on your phone three times a day to take a breath and pause - even for just a minute, taking slow, deep breaths and tuning back into your body. You may notice sensations like the grumbling of your stomach, the tightness of your chest, or even the fullness of your bladder. These sensations act as messengers from our body, indicating a need or desire that can be met. A minute of breath and connection to your body can be a profound way of providing self-care daily.

Another great tip I live by is caring for my senses. We have five senses: taste, smell, sight, touch and hearing. When we take time to feed each of our senses, we send subconscious signals of care to ourselves. On days that I genuinely don’t feel like working, but I know the work is needed, I do a few things to care for my senses throughout the day. My office space is filled with earth tones, and my desk faces the window because I love to look at the elements of nature passing by. I also light some incense, put on lo-fi music, grab a tasty drink, and put a soft throw around my shoulders. Pleasuring my senses feels like a daily hug, especially when not feeling it. So I invite you to consider some accessible ways to provide care for your senses in your environment, such as turning on some calming music while you make breakfast for the kids, or having a cup of chamomile tea after putting the kids to bed while snuggling a soft blanket.

Did you know that, according to a study done in 2022, adults in the U.S. spend an average of 13 hours and 11 minutes surrounded by media, daily? That is quite a bit. And each second of media can pull you away from your internal messaging, which leads me to our next self-care tip. Our minds are being sent conscious and subconscious messages from all the media consumption. Of course, media can be a positive experience, but it can also create anxiety and worry. It’s essential to be in control of how much media we consume for our wellness. Creating boundaries for what and how much we consume is an accessible way of providing care for ourselves. Freeing up some of our mental space to instead, put our feet in the grass and play with our children, spend time in spiritual practice, or read a romantic novel, can have a huge impact on your self-care practice.

Community is essential for our social and wellness needs. Parenting can be more isolating than expected, and not everyone has a village to help pull them away from feelings of isolation. As part of your self-care practice, I invite you to consider where your people are. When I say your people, do you want to connect to other parents in your community? Or do you want to communicate with people with similar hobbies and interests? Look into local resources such as your local library or even ask your care providers for resources they may be familiar with. Remember, being in person is one way to connect to others, but virtual communities are often an accessible and available resource for those looking for connection. Your next best friend could live across the world!

Lastly, create a daily routine that includes your chosen methods of self-care. That could look like putting candles around the spaces you often spend time in throughout your home as a reminder to care for your senses, or putting a reminder on your phone a few times a day to remind you to take a minute to tune into your body and listen to what it tells you. You could even create a daily time block where you check in with yourself each morning to participate in a body movement practice or any daily habit to fill your body, mind, and soul. However, routines and schedules can vary, and pay attention to what feels good for you, allowing your routine to be as flexible or as specific and consistent as you need it to be. Nothing is one size fits all - make it your own! Self-care is your personalized, accessible, holistic practice of daily connection to YOU. You do not have to earn this care or even wait for others to provide you with this care. You are more than deserving of this practice.

The more you care for yourself, the better you will be for yourself and those you care for.

This site is intended for informational purposes only and does not provide medical advice. Please consult your physician or other health-care professional.

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