P. S. I love you

Apr 30, 2024

Celebrating Valentine’s Day yesterday reminded me of the importance of self-love. I encourage people to practice it, but it’s often challenging for me to embody the “fill your own cup first” mentality. Like many mothers my age, I was raised to see productivity as my purpose.  I was taught to judge my days, in large part, by what I accomplish.  Spending time attending to my own personal needs (especially emotional ones) can often feel indulgent, if not altogether wrong.

Thankfully, before returning to college last month, our daughter schooled me on what a poor student I’ve been regarding this important subject. I preach about the value of self-care, but I don’t practice it enough.  I recognize that mindfulness matters.  And I know good nutrition and physical activity contribute greatly to emotional well-being.  Still, I find it hard to juggle what I should do with what I generally feel must get done.  It’s a never-ending story that does not end happily, especially for those of us encumbered by other caregiving responsibilities.

Research clearly points to the benefits of self-care.  One study of U.S. medical school students found those who engaged in self-care practices reported less stress and higher quality of life.  Another showed that regular exercise can lead to increases in healthy eating, emotional control and keeping of commitments.  If nothing else, taking care of yourself just feels good.  And who doesn’t need a little more of that after all we’ve been through this past year?  

As we’ve been told repeatedly during these long, hard pandemic-filled months, “you can’t pour from an empty cup.”  So, in addition to researching vaccine distribution, shoveling snow, caring for our adult son with cerebral palsy and a myriad of other responsibilities, I’m happily incorporating some important new self-care strategies into my weekly routine.  They are gleaned from the wise woman I gave birth to 21 years ago, who has truly taught me by example. I couldn’t be more grateful, which is why I’m committed to getting good self-care grades starting now.  I still showered my family with love last weekend, but I exercised some much-needed self-love, too.  Here are a few suggestions for how to do so in fun and freeing ways.  Practice with those you love – including yourself!

Eat dessert for breakfast.   

It’s a delicious way to start the day.  Plus research shows it can help stave off cravings for sweets later on.  As Mikey says, “Try it, you’ll like it.”

Prioritize sleep.  

According to the American Society for Nutrition, one-third of Americans sleep less than seven hours per night, which can have health consequences like weight gain, hypertension and cardiovascular disease. As we all know (and our daughter’s habits will confirm!), sleeping long and/or late can help you feel rested and ready to conquer the world.  Pick a time to hit the hay early or hit the snooze button often, then bring on the power pose.  Your body will thank you.

Allow the dog up on the sofa.

We all need more snuggle time, especially since human contact is greatly reduced due to Covid19.  And experts agree there’s no reason a well-mannered dog with no behavior problems can’t join you on the couch to binge watch TV or curl up with your favorite book.  After years of “down” and “stay,” we recently taught our pooch the ever-important “Up! Up!” command.  I couldn’t be happier! His warmth and affection are the gift that keeps on giving, even if there’s a little extra hair on the pillows. (Put a sheet down and stop fretting.)

Experiment with flavor.  

As someone who follows recipes exactly, I have long been reluctant to add unlisted ingredients to my cooking.  Our daughter convinced me that I’m allowed to break the rules.  Cooking “around the recipe” often results in rave reviews.  Plus, being creative in the kitchen is a great way to produce joy and laughter.  Remember, when all else fails, you can always order pizza.  

Rock your mom jeans. 

They’re stylish now, and they allow for a few extra slices.  Nothing says self-care better. (Who needs skinny jeans, anyway?) 

Love yourself first and everything else falls into line. You really have to love yourself to get anything done in this world.

Lucille Ball

Interested in learning more about one-to-one coaching? Contact Kris for information on what this might look like for you, including outcomes, availability, fees and more.

Contact Kris

Stay connected with news and updates!

Join our mailing list to receive the latest news and updates from our team.
Don't worry, your information will not be shared.

We hate SPAM. We will never sell your information, for any reason.