The other day my supervisor was talking about how she was looking forward to her first vacation with her family in 15 years. She tells me it’s better now that her kids are older — her youngest is a teenager and the other two are of college age. She laments about her time of early motherhood how she felt like she never had time to care for herself — maybe go out for a massage or get her nails done. It made me think about what are things I can do (or have done) to make me feel like myself. As a someone who has previously worked in senior care, it is just as important for the caregiver to take care of themselves. I’ll challenge myself to name five, so here it goes:
1. Going to an in-person exercise class – I know this is lame. A lot of people I know would prefer a massage or a facial, but I enjoy going to an in-person exercise class. I like to sweat it out. Nowadays I spend Monday to Friday exercising to videos at home. Going to an in-person exercise class was a frequent thing I enjoyed going to pre-pandemic and pre-motherhood because it is a place where I meet my friends and meet new ones and we bond over how much that exercise kicked our butts. But now with a kid, going to an in-person exercise class is nice weekend treat.
2. Shopping and window shopping too – I love walking through markets, farmer’s markets, malls, clothing stores, boutiques, etc. I don’t really shop until I drop, I just shop with my eyes. When it comes to having stuff, I try to be intentional as possible.
3. Walking around the neighborhood or a park – You see my self-care involves a lot of wandering. I like to pass by bakeries and restaurants and make lists in my head that I need to go try them out.
4. Working on creative projects – I have plenty of creative projects on the backburner. It’s ranging from re-arranging furniture in the house, doing a photo display around the house, writing on my journal and blog, working on a puzzle, trying a new recipe, etc. Pre-motherhood I would spend a good part of my weekends doing a bunch of small craft projects or trying a new cooking technique. Nowadays I would like to take on bigger (more like rather expensive) projects like working on my kid’s room so she can move out of our room…or making our patio a place to relax. You can never have too many places to lounge and read.
5. Hiring someone to assist with small tasks at home -I know this is more of a treat. I would hire the neighborhood gardener to help maintain and tidy my yard especially when there would be weeks where I can’t keep up.
Mothers, fathers, and other caregivers — what self-care activities do you do to make you feel more like yourself?