I think one of the trickiest things about engaging in self-care as a woman is that it feels selfish. At least, I hope I’m not the only one here having this experience. But, of course, we’re all really smart people and we all know that taking care of our own physical and mental needs is important. It’s just the doing that gets to be a challenge. That’s why I think it’s super important to come together and encourage the people in our lives to engage in self-care.
In a long-term relationship, and I think especially if you are parenting small children, it can be so easy to feel invisible. You feel like you are doing all the things and your partner is doing none of the things. Is that true? Probably not, but your feelings are still valid. But as I’ve recently discussed you can only change yourself. Making sure your partner feels seen, that you appreciate how he takes baskets and baskets of laundry downstairs, washes and dries them, and then carries them back upstairs so your pregnant butt doesn’t have to do it, and then encouraging him to take a load off is encouraging him to engage in self-care.
In a working environment, it can be as simple as asking your coworker how her workout during the lunch hour was. It sounds corny but showing that you care she’s engaging in self-care can encourage her to keep going with her fitness goals.
With your children it can be giving them, and reminding them, that they have power in their lives. It can be doing deep breathing with them or saying “Hey, you know what to do when you feel angry.” In our house the latter is a call back to Daniel Tiger.
I find when I do these things, self-care in my own life becomes a higher priority. Part of that is because I’m thinking about it more, but a bigger reason (in my opinion) is because others are also aware of it. We’re all talking about, and modeling, what self-care looks like for us. That, ultimately, is what can make all our relationships stronger.
A version of this appeared on my own website, I retain all rights.