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Hi there! I’m Christina, a mom of two littles, a licensed mental health therapist, and a soon-to-be children’s book author! Thanks for checking out my site. Look around! I’m sure there’s something here for you! This post is about making time for self-care.

This year’s Mothers’ Day is fast approaching so I wanted to touch on a topic that is near and dear to my heart: self-care. The word gets thrown around a whole lot, and often it conjures up images of massages and mani/pedis.

Those types of self-care are fabulous, and I highly recommend them, but not so often do we think more deeply about what self-care can mean. Wait, what does it mean, really?

Self-care: /,selfˈker/ noun –
the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health, well-being, and happiness

Let’s break that down a bit:

  • “Taking action” means that self-care is not passive.
    No wonder it can be so hard for a lot of us to engage in the practice. We have to intentionally and mindfully choose to do things that help to counterbalance the weight of all the obstacles, stresses, and struggles that we live with on a daily basis. Who has time for that on top of an already really long to-do list of chores and duties? That’s how it can feel at times, can’t it?
  • “To preserve or improve” means drop the #momguilt if you aren’t where you envision yourself!
    You can start yesterday, today, tomorrow; you can pick up where you left off. It doesn’t matter what your specific starting point is — It just matters that you start!
  • “Health, well-being, and happiness” means self-care is not just about your appearance.
    Self-care is about your whole self, inside and out. What would make you feel more satisfied with who you are and the life you are living? Getting those moles looked at? Taking a daily walk to breathe in the fresh air? Shutting down your phone and social media at a certain time each day? You know yourself and what you need better than anybody else, which is convenient because you are just the person who can make changes, big or small.

Integrating self-care back into my life:

When I had my first child, I was caught up in the downward spiral of postpartum depression and anxiety. I did not know how to fit in self-care because I felt my every waking hour (and, really, every sleeping hour) was consumed by caring for my baby.

I knew I needed to take action, and after thinking long and hard, and talking with my husband and my mom, I decided what I needed to do.

Through self-reflection I acknowledged that some of my struggles were related to being overwhelmed by my new identity, not getting time to myself, and not exercising (I have always been athletic, so feeling too tired from the sleep deprivation to workout was getting me even more down).

Enter: my self-care path.

When my daughter was about four months old, my husband and I joined our neighborhood gym that has childcare. The goal was to put our daughter in the safe, supervised, childcare room on the premises while I got time to myself to workout.

Intentionally upping my self-care was one of the best things I have done for myself as a mom.

I got to feel like a person outside of my Mom title, I got to workout which flooded me with all the feel-good hormones, I released stress, I socialized with other moms doing the same thing, I even watched TV shows while I worked out.

I am going to make a plea to you, mama.

Choose to do some self-reflection and let that lead the way to a decision about self-care. Recognize that self-care should not be at the bottom of your checklist or at the back of your mind. Make a move towards your health and wellness.

You deserve it!

My path involved the gym, and yours may too, but it also may be the smaller self-care acts, like wearing your favorite socks, cooking your favorite meal, starting a conversation (phone call, text, whatever) with a few of your best friends, drinking that extra cup of coffee, choosing to not do all the things, saying no to something, saying yes to something.

You are important, and you are worthwhile. It’s time to start believing that, and treating yourself like you do.

Christina Furnival

Christina is a mom to two wild and wonderful kiddos, a licensed psychotherapist (LPCC), the founder of her website and therapeutic motherhood blog Real Life Mama, and a children's book author of a social/emotional wellbeing series, Capable Kiddos! She and her Scottish husband are raising their family in San Diego, where they love to hike, play soccer, cook, walk around the lake, and go to the beach.

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