This is the first in our series of posts taken from guest speakers within our Facebook Community, and I am so excited to share them with a broader audience through my blog. My mission is inspiring and empowering mothers by sharing simple and practical ways they can incorporate more joys into their daily lives.
I invited one of my friends and peers from a local women’s entrepreneur mastermind group, Sara Martinez, to share her best tips for how we busy, ambitious, and sometimes over-scheduled moms can still take time out for ourselves. Sara is a talented yoga instructor and founder of River of Wellness Yoga and the “Moms on Fire” retreats held in Tucson, Arizona each year. Sara and I are kindred spirits in that we are both passionate about working with moms to recognize their self-worth and take the time they deserve for themselves because we all know you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Recognize You Matter
Sara shared in the group a powerful exercise she said she often uses during her mothers’ retreats. We all wrote down our top five priorities in life, and as we shared them within the group it wasn’t surprising to learn, oftentimes we didn’t make the list. Often once we become a mom, our children become our top priorities along with making sure we take care of our partners or households or perform well at work or perhaps we take care of parents.
Sara explained to the group this is due to our social conditioning as we are almost groomed to be caregivers for others, but not often for ourselves. She encouraged us to remember that we are still important as well and if we can’t put ourselves in the top space on the list, to at least make sure we are in the top five. Of all the roles we fill in life - mom, wife, daughter, employee, friend - we would be able to be none of those things if we weren’t ourselves first.
To illustrate her point way, Sara asked us to imagine our children as adults. For some, picturing our littles running around all day on little sleep, no food, barely any water to drink, and running themselves ragged all day kind of makes us cringe! So Sara reminded us to be the model you want them to have and don’t have your children wait some twenty years to have their own personal growth journey until they learn to take care of themselves.
Who Were You Before You Were A Mom?
According to Sara, as moms and as women so many times in our life we go through such a huge time not knowing who we are, what we like, what we want to do, what our purpose is. We grow up subject to lots of outside influences telling us how to live our lives whether from television, advertising, social media, retail brands, or more. Sometimes it’s even family or friends who place their own values and expectations on us as far as how we should look, act, think, or dress. As a result, many of us never take the time to connect on a really deep inner level to their own guidance system.
What Is Self Care, Anyway?
These days, the term self-care has become such a buzz word it almost seems as if it evokes Instagram worthy pictures of sleeping in late, wine glasses, novels to get lost in, bubble baths, girl getaways, and spa days. But we all know that’s not the reality for most of us, and so often we figure self-care just isn’t for us. Our lives are filled with kiddos, partners, households, work, social lives, #allthethings - so when are we sleeping in and taking tub soaks and who is splurging on a weekend away?
Sara encouraged us not to have a preconceived idea of what self-care looks like, and assured us that for most people it does not include being at the spa for an hour, or at a retreat for a weekend. Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated so we should find ways to carve out small moments starting with a minute, building to five minutes, and gradually increasing as we are able.
Make It a Habit
Another point Sara made was to remember that self-care encompasses the whole person and as such we should find ways to nurture each part of ourselves - physical, mental, emotional, social, and spiritual. She suggested making a chart of each topic and jotting some notes under each section of something you can do daily in under 15 minutes. So, for example, for spiritual it might be pray, mental might be read an article, for physical, you might do three sun salutations or 15 jumping jacks, and for social you might reach out to one friend. The key thing to remember was not to overthink your rituals, but instead to tune in to your intuition and do what feels right and to seek out little ways to round out the needs you have as a human being to nurture yourself and feel fulfilled on a daily basis.
As you participate in the habits, Sara cautioned us to be mindful and purposeful in our actions. Being present in the element of self-care we have chosen is critical in nurturing ourselves and getting to tune into our intuition on a deeper level; it’s part of how our bodies recognize we are making time for ourselves and not just ticking another thing off the list.
Check in with yourself often once you are incorporating regular self-care into your routine. Are you finding you are feeling more nurtured? Responding with less irritability? Having more energy? Feeling happier?
Being the best version of you and sharing that person with your family and the world is the best gift you can give!
To learn more about Sara Martinez and her teachings, you can find her online at www.RiverofWellnessYoga.com.
To join my Facebook Community and hear more interactive teachings for moms like Sara's please visit us at Linc and Cole Minimalist Kids Clothes to Spark Joy in Your Closet. We offer community, conversation, and inspiration for moms to live their best life.