When it comes to taking care of myself, like many women, I’m usually my own worst enemy. My mind seems to be trained into thinking that my personal needs are at cross-purposes with my parenting. If it’s a form of self-care that needs to be purchased, I tell myself I shouldn’t spend the money when there are other family priorities. If I feel like a quiet walk or a longer meditation would be nice, my thoughts often stray to what I should be doing instead. I tell myself I should be making dinner for the boys or running an errand. It’s almost as if I’m subconsciously asking myself, what would June Cleaver do? Then I tell myself I should do that.
The word “should” of course, is inherently judgmental. And for me, it can create guilt that is so powerful, I occasionally fool myself into thinking that the time I would spend doing something just for me, isn’t worth it. Many times I make the mistake of neglecting myself in order to get to the next item on the to-do-for-everybody-else list.
As I’ve become more immersed my yoga studio's community of mostly women, self-care has become a topic that we talk a lot about. I've been encouraging we practice the skill of mindfully rejecting the societal bullshit that tells us that women should put everyone’s needs above their own. We’ve been programmed into thinking that we ought to come last and moms, it’s time to realize that the June Cleaver’s archetype is a thing of the past.
I enjoy being a nurturer. But I’m wise enough to know that a healthy body and a peaceful mind will make me much better equipped to serve those who need me. Think of it like you're on an airplane, and they tell you to slip the oxygen mask over your own face first. It’s time we divorce ourselves from the idea that self-care is selfish and remember that your time on the yoga mat or getting lost for a few hours getting a pedicure is for the benefit of everyone in your life. You are doing it for them. And Enjoy!