Sometimes it happens when we meet for the first time, after I say I’m a self-care teacher. Other times, it’s when we’re three months into private sessions, right in the middle of the one-to-two baby transition or creating a postpartum anxiety game plan.
Whenever it happens, there is this one very common question that moms always ask me:
How do you keep going (much less take care of yourself) when everything sucks… and keeps sucking?
The magic answer is so simple, we’re just gonna cut right to it:
Your resilience build – and the self-care foundation for it – happens one baby step at a time. One foot in front of the other. One moment of mindfulness. One deep breath. Over and over and over again.
As I write this, I’m living it, right along with you all. Need proof? Here’s what my self-caring looked like just the other day:
- Let my kids read in their room a little longer than usual, so I could rest for an extra 10 minutes in the morning.
- Put down my work for a few moments and watched them play outside in the grass. Just watched.
- Talked with an amazing mama about her self-care struggles, which bursts my heart with community and compassion.
- Leisurely sipped from a hot thermos of coffee for four hours.
- Made a big, fresh salad bowl for lunch, even though I really just wanted a bowl full of Doritos.
- Breathed steadily while saving my near-2-year old from nearly choking.
- Cried afterward, and called a friend who listened.
- Took immune-boosting herbs all day for my cold.
- Broke open the new season of Queer Eye while doing the mindless part of last night’s work.
- Scooped up my sleeping 4-year old from her room at 3 am, and brought her to bed with me (as I sometimes promise her I’ll do, once I finish working).
None of this is glamorous. Or costly. None of these acts include any of those cliche amazing-smelling skin lotions or potions or must-have products or private islands. And guess what else? None of these involved childcare either!
That’s because the building blocks of your self-care are in the smallest, everyday actions.
You’ve heard me say this eight billion times. And I’ll keep repeating it because it’s so true.
The big secret to self-care isn’t complicated, hard, or expensive – it’s taking baby steps.
It’s “the 1% Rule”: doing the one thing that helps you feel 1% better today.
And doing it again tomorrow. And again the day after that. And knowing that it’s not only enough – it’s the only way resilience ever happens.
For you, maybe that means handing off the kiddos to someone else for a few hours, stocking up on baby food jars instead of freezing the organic cubes, going to the park for sunshine, or staying inside for solitude(ish, of course). It might mean calling the friend you need, or being the friend someone else needs, or getting the hell off of Instagram if it feels like too much right now and you need a reset.
Whatever it means for you, look for those small things. Find them. Do them. Today. All this week. And start feeling better one percent – and one baby step – at a time.
Looking for more quick and easy self-care ideas? Our Free Library is fully stocked for your reading pleasure.