Over the last two years I have seen many “Take care of yourself” and “Do what fills your cup and eases your mind” signs and social media posts. While I think the prompts to care for yourself can be beneficial, sometimes it is not second nature or habitual for someone to do and sometimes we need reminders of ways to practice self-care and reassurance that it is okay to do. It is important to have a positive relationship with yourself and self-care is one thing that fuels that relationship.
There are many types of self-care, but let’s focus on the mental as I think that is sometimes the hardest to pinpoint. You hear the phrase, “Do what fills your cup” but trying to find what that is can be a challenge. Self-care should be something that re-energizes you to complete other tasks.
Start by listening to, and being aware of how you feel when you do certain things. Do you feel proud when you complete a challenging task? Do you feel accomplished when you do something physical? Do you feel rejuvenated when you give time for your mind to slow during meditation or let it wander when reading a book? Is this act of self-care going to re-energize you for a task you have later? The answer to questions like these can help guide you to a clearer understanding of what your self-care needs are.
There can be roadblocks to learning what your self-care is. Some that I hear (and admittedly have myself) are guilt and feeling like there is no time. An example is feeling like you do not have the time to read a book that you have been looking forward to because there is a pile of laundry that needs to be put away. Self-care is not something you just do if you have time, it is not casual. It has dedicated time and purpose.
“The practice of self-care also reminds both you and others that your needs are valid and a priority.”- Active minds
It was not until I was on leave from work after having my first child that I learned that I needed self-care to remind myself that I still was a person and I still had needs outside of showering and brushing my teeth. I started a cross-stitch project and I enjoyed every minute I worked on it. My completed projects made me feel good and I was proud of them. Being proud of something I had created motivated me and made me feel good. This was my self-care. Over time I was able to pinpoint that this was one way I can take care of my mind and myself. Now I know that being creative and creating new things fills my cup, fuels me up and gives me mental energy.
Setting aside time for self-care is important to your overall well being. I hope you allow yourself the time and space to practice self-care, because you are worth it.
I grew up in Flagstaff, AZ — a place in Arizona where it snows! I spent the later part of my childhood with my dad, who always made us spend time outside, eat our vegetables, and drink tea whenever we were sick. We drank so much tea!
After several years of working in healthcare in multiple roles, I decided to go to nursing school. After school my husband and I moved to Albuquerque with a five-year plan; it has now been six years, and we aren’t going anywhere! While I loved working as a nurse, I felt like I didn’t have a “why” for what I was doing, and I felt myself losing passion for the work. Flash forward… I had my first child at Dar a Luz, and suddenly, I knew that birth work is what I wanted to do as a nurse. I wanted to be there for families in the same way that the Dar a Luz community and team was there for me during pregnancy and birth. I wanted to be in a setting where pregnancy and birth were viewed as a normal process, and where people are empowered and supported. I joined the team in 2021, and I am elated to be here! I look forward to being part of such an amazing community, and many beautiful birth stories.
My husband and I have two boys who continue to teach us things about ourselves and the world, and who make us laugh so much! When I’m not working, you can find me playing garbage trucks with the boys (because there is nothing cooler than a garbage truck), working on hand embroidery, playing board games with friends, and being outside.