6 Tips for Prioritizing Self Care
Life as a mom requires constant investment. Life as a homeschool mom, even more so. It’s easy for any mom to lose track of her own health, but for the mom who has a task-oriented personality, it’s especially easy to let days, weeks, and even months go by without any conscious focus on self care and personal needs.
Here’s the truth: You might love and be energized by completing tasks. But in the long run, you can end up losing connection with other important parts of life, including your health and your relationships, if you don’t take time to meet your own needs. Bottom line for a task-oriented mom: lack of self care can lead to workaholism, even for a stay-at-home/work-at-home homeschool mom.
How to Prioritize Self Care
As you process through weekly progress and complete regular evaluations, you’ll probably find that you make the most progress when your own physical, mental, and emotional health is in good shape. But it’s also very easy to let self care slide as we get caught up in the rest of life.
One way to avoid neglecting self care by by setting up benchmarks and evaluate progress in the areas of physical, mental, and emotional health, just like we set up benchmarks for homeschool lesson planning.
Here are some simple, unselfish ways to engage in self-care and avoid that workaholism.
Prioritizing Self Care by Checking In
Stop on a daily basis and check in on your emotions. Ask yourself what you are feeling, how you are feeling, and what your perspective on life is today. Positive responses to these questions mean you’re on a good track. But, be honest with yourself! It doesn’t do any good to lie to yourself, only to break down because you haven’t acknowledged negative emotional strain.
It might take some time to build in the habit of this inner reflection. So, for the first month, your benchmark might be to write in a self care journal 15 times over the course of the month. You can increase that goal each month until you are in the habit of checking in every day.
Prioritizing Self Care with an Intentional Break
Small five- to fifteen-minute breaks throughout the day are a wonderful way to keep yourself energized. Read a chapter. Go for a walk. Play a quick game with your kids. Sit down at the piano just for the fun of it.
But, don’t limit your breaks to those small daily options. Do something weekly as well. If you can’t give a whole day, give a morning or an afternoon in which you walk away from the “must” and focus on the “can.” Play with the family. Go for a drive. Work on that relaxing project that you never have time for. Learn what helps you feel rested and do it.
As with anything else, though, it’s important to make a plan for intentional break times. So, work this aspect of self care into your daily schedule and routine. You’re much more likely to prioritize it if it’s on the to-do list!
Prioritizing Self Care by Re-evaluating
Sometimes we have tasks that aren’t necessarily the most important, but they do consume our thoughts, making it hard to focus on the more important priorities. If that’s the case, then acknowledge that freeing up your focus is actually your most important task! Take care of that nagging responsibility so that you will then have the mental and emotional focus needed to tackle the priority responsibilities.
Again, this is a place where a habit of planning plays a very critical role. Without planning, it’s hard to know what responsibilities are truly critical and which ones are just nagging at you because you haven’t written them down. Good self care involves keeping things organized in a way that will allow you to easily re-evaluate and prioritize responsibilities.
Prioritizing Self Care by Re-thinking Methodology
Sometimes it’s the methodology that’s just not working. How are you accomplishing your tasks? Is there a better way to walk through each day that will lessen the stress? Are you doing things in a way that would work for you alone but that don’t mesh with the unique personalities that make up your family?
If you’re continually feeling stressed, behind, or at odds with the way life is rolling, step back and rethink what does and does not work. And remember, you’re not just doing this for your own self care. When you are healthy, odds are your family will be too.
Prioritizing Self Care by Asking for Help
If you’ve walked through all of this and are still struggling to prioritize self care, it might be time to call in reinforcements.
When I had five kids under the age of seven, there just wasn’t anything that could be removed from my responsibility list or any additional changes I could make to my methodology. I simply needed help. You’re not a failure if you share the burden. Quite the contrary! There is a strong beauty in knowing when to ask for help!
Are you inclined toward becoming a workaholic mom? What are some of your other personality markers? Take our Planner Personality Quiz to find out!