It was a crisp autumn morning when, at around 5:30am, I threw a dustbuster across my kitchen because there were crumbs on the floor from the night before. Was this a rational, balanced way of handling a situation of this nature? Absolutely not. The irony is, I’ve been engaging in yoga and meditation for over a decade, even taking advanced certification courses, yet, here I was, with a cracked dustbuster which, of course, got more dust and crumbs all over the floor in its shattered state.
This was a clear signal that I needed to reflect on routines or actions that supported my well-being. Pre-motherhood, I probably spent 30 minutes to two hours on self-care a DAY. I went to the gym, meditated, journaled, and went to yoga classes.
The day of the “dustbuster incident” as I now coin it, my daughter was 8 months old. I was working full-time as a teacher and recently found out my baby girl had several food allergies.
The days of my luxurious self-care rituals were a distant memory and replaced with robotic evenings, getting lessons ready for the next day and trying to make sure the dishes got done, my daughter bathed, fed, and put in her crib for the night.
That incident showed me that I had to do a serious time audit, and dedicate 5-10 minutes to myself, by myself, every day, and do something for me or I was going to end up breaking every other appliance in our apartment! Unless you have limitless help for every aspect of your life and household management, I’m going to assume you’ve been there too.
Paige Bellenbaum, LMSW, the Founding Director and Chief External Relations Officer of The Motherhood Center struggles with the term self-careand thinks we should replace it with self-preservation. “Self-care is glamorized, what this is really all about is putting on your own oxygen mask,” Bellenbaum said.
She encourages us to reflect on how motherhood is perceived. Bellenbaum comments, “Motherhood is often thought of as altruism and putting everybody ahead of you, and by the time 8 p.m. or 9 p.m. rolls around you just want to go to bed or lock yourself in a room. We do not prioritize ourselves which leads to exhaustion.”
Bellenbaum persuades mothers to view self-preservation time as sacred. “It is important to incorporate self- preservation in our day, setting aside time, doing light yoga, taking a bath, reading a book, and consider them sacred acts. We have to carve this time out. Put it on the calendar. It has to be a priority.”
Full transparency, there are days when I fall off the self-care or preservation wagon and collapse and fall asleep when the day is over. However, there is something about taking the time to be mindful, to engage your senses while in solitude that can completely change the course of your day or evening. Bellenbaum reminds us that, “we have to take breaks and pauses to refuel.”
BELLA Family found the best Self-Care and Self-Preservation items to make your solo time the necessary treasure that it is:
Early risers can create a morning ritual with the aroma of this delicious coffee candle. My coffee candle is ready and waiting for me on our kitchen table. If you have a journal practice, this is a wonderful and peaceful start to the day.
I love using this deck. It’s reminiscent of a “choose your own adventure” book, but for wellness. I pick a few cards, flip my sand timer, and focus on me. The deck is separated into three sections – FLOW (yoga poses), SLOW (simple meditations) and GROW (inspiring quotes). Simply pull 7 yoga cards, 2 meditation cards and 1 quote and your morning ritual is set all in 10 cards.
Show your face some love with this special set which includes Aloisia Beauty’s signature 7-Day System, DEEP Hydration Aloe Gel Mist, Rose Quartz Facial Roller and 30 Self-Care Rituals cards set.
When life throws you off balance, the harmonizing curation of essential oil botanicals in Reset Everything Mist, featuring bergamot mint, ylang ylang and cedarwood, helps you return to homeostasis. Spritz this on when you just need a moment!
Put the phone away and use these classic sand timers to remind you that self-preservation time is non-negotiable.
This candle for me is instant calm. I keep one at my desk and bedside table. Chrissy Fichtl, the CEO of Apotheke and a full-time mother of 2 little girls, prioritizes self-care but is realistic about finding the time. “It can be hard to find a moment for myself. That’s why even just a few minutes of self-care each day is extremely important,” says Fichtl. “Candles are essential to help keep me calm, of course- and an evening stroll around my favorite neighborhood, Red Hook, or a quick peloton class is my favorite sort of me-time.”
Natural lava stones gradually release your preferred essential oils. Calming, neutral and richly hued colors pair amazingly with relaxing essential oils. Select your favorite scent and always keep it with you.
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