Over the past year, I have come to learn and appreciate the importance of self-care. Self-care is a popular topic these days, and I thought I’d share some of my own personal realizations I’ve had lately.
1.) Realizing when I need to be around people
A lot of the time when I see people talking about self-care, it’s about activities or practices that one does by themselves. Time alone is important. I’m a homebody, and an introvert by nature, so I completely understand these concepts. However, I’m more of a “social” introvert, meaning sometimes I need human interactions to help recharge my batteries.
I’ve been on leave since last July, and my maternity leave isn’t scheduled to end until late September which means most of my time lately has been at home by myself. Well, not entirely by myself, Egon’s here, and often my husband or my brother will be home, but I’m left without contact with the outside world frequently. Being on leave has really made me appreciate spending time with friends. I remember the day that concept clicked for me. It was a night that two of my coworkers came to visit me and the baby. We spent a couple of hours just chatting, and I felt completely refreshed once they had left. After I thought back on it, I hadn’t realized that it’d been a while since anyone had come to visit and that I had been lacking that interaction.
2.) Realizing when I need time alone
Opposite to the point above, I’ve come to realize how much I value being completely by myself. Like I said, I spend day in, day out with an adorable, yet highly opinionated 8 month old. He’s adorable, but draining.
This, like my realization about socializing, came as an “a-ha!” moment a couple of months back. I started to feel suffocated out of nowhere. The more I thought about it, I realized that the last time I had been out of the apartment, completely by myself, was over a month ago. I texted my husband and told him I needed to get out that night. He said no problem, and after we ate supper, he put Egon to bed while I went to the mall by myself. I got a (decaf) latte, put my headphones in, listened to my Podcast, and walked around completely alone. It was such a freeing feeling not having to worry about anyone, but myself.
I do get alone time when I practice other self-care such as having a long bubble bath, but I’ve learned that sometimes I need to do activities completely by myself, without my family on the other side of a thin bathroom door.
3.) Realizing I need to take care of myself and my body
When I saw my OB for my 6 week appointment and was asking about things like resuming exercise and how much I can do, she told me that I should start slow, but at the end of the day, I know my body better than anyone else. That last part really resonated with me.
Since being pregnant, I find I’m more in tune with what my body is asking me for, and I’m learning to be better in giving it what it wants. Around when Egon was turned two months old, I was finding my pain wasn’t easing off and I was still having a hard time sleeping. It turned out I had issues with my pelvic floor, and required physiotherapy.
Was it fun? No. Was it necessary? Yes. In the past, I would’ve put it off, and just dealt with what I was feeling. Now I want to be my best self for my family, and myself, so listening to what my body is asking for is incredibly important to my self-care.
So often, new moms will brush themselves to the side in order to take care of their family. Ironically, it’s in having a family that I have discovered just how important caring for myself truly is. Like I said before, I don’t want to be my best self just for my family, but also for myself. It’s something everyone deserves. What are some things you do for self-care? Please leave a comment with what you do. Somethings I do are the aforementioned long baths, my running training, and baking.