We hear about self care all the time now; we see it on social media as skin care products, fizzy bath bombs, yoga poses (1), superfood powders and more, but that’s only the tip of the iceberg

Self-care started as a way to physically take care of yourself, then evolved into caring for your emotional well-being, and even more so the overall healing for women, people of color, and more marginalized communities.

Radical Self-care takes it one step further; it is the assertion that you have the responsibility to take care of yourself first before attempting to take care of others. It’s necessary to fill your cup first, then to give to others from the overflow. This is what gives you the capacity to heal and to move forward into your next chapter of life (2).

Kind of like how, on the airplane, we’re told to first put on our oxygen masks before helping those around us.

There are 8 main areas of self-care: physical, psychological, emotional, social, professional, environmental, spiritual, and financial (3)

One of the “Biggest Health & Wellness Trends For 2021”, right up there with respiratory wellness and virtual wellness, this is a topic I suspect many a mom will identify with, but by no means are moms the only ones who do.

Caregivers of any description, whether as a profession or by choice for an ailing or aging family member, volunteers who rescue dogs and cats, teachers… you name it; basically, anyone who cares for other living beings are demonstrating the selfless act of providing basic aid and assistance and in effect, bettering the lives of others.

Which is something extremely admirable, beautiful and one of the key things that creates such a beautiful energy in the world we live in.

But are the people who are caring for others remembering to care for themselves?

How many times have we heard a new mom say that she feels like she barely has time to take a shower?

Or that she’s made a lovely meal for her kids to take to school and for her husband to take to the office, but that she’s left herself with nothing to eat but a stale bag of chips she found in the cupboard?

Or that she doesn’t want to take an hour away from her baby to do a spin class at the gym?

It’s an interesting dynamic; the idea that somehow by taking care of ourselves, we’re acting in a selfish manner.

Which couldn’t be further from the truth; as humans, we only have a finite amount of resources with which to operate, so taking care of ourselves really isn’t a matter of selfishness — in fact, making sure our own need are met only makes us more well-equipped to support others.

On the contrary, a selfish person (4) is one lacking consideration for others; concerned chiefly with one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

It’s an important distinction; asking hubby for 20 minutes to meditate, in order to clear the mind and subsequently have a more grounded, focused start to the day is a far cry from opting out of mommy responsibility in order to go shopping.

(Not that there’s anything wrong with shopping, but you get the gist).

Taking the time to start to prepare healthier meals for the whole family, upping your exercise game slowly but surely or soaking in a tub with a deep cleansing mask on your face for half an hour on a Sunday afternoon are all important things to do in their own right, but perhaps most importantly, it’s allowing ourselves some grace and patience.

As a mom to a toddler, I am gifted with the opportunity to learn patience.

Not with him, or with others; fortunately, that’s a skill I honed in on long ago… but with myself.

I’m learning to stop beating myself up about the things I did not do and to be kind to myself about the things that I did, and that I did the best I could in all of the things.

To meditate each day, and to trust more each day that everything happens in its due time and to truly enjoy every single moment.

All you mamas out there, I hope you’re able to find the same grace for yourself, too!

(1) https://www.healthline.com/health/when-to-be-selfish-self-care
(2) https://www.indstate.edu/student-affairs/msp/self-care
(3) https://moderntherapy.online/blog-2/areas-of-self-care
(4) https://languages.oup.com/google-dictionary-en/