Today’s guest post is by Sharon Martin, LCSW. She is a private practice clinician in San Jose California. She focuses on “helping adults and teens manage stress in order to build peace, balance, and grow happiness in their lives”. Sharon shared with me that one of her favorite forms of self-care is a long walk with one of her girlfriends. How nice does that sound!
Trickle Down Self-Care for Moms by Sharon Martin, LCSW
Do you wish your morning was a quiet retreat of sipping coffee while reading a novel or meditation followed by a green smoothie? Instead does is look more like a crazed woman rushing around, herding kids, packing lunches, searching for lost homework?
Moms are the ultimate caretakers. For me, there is nothing as comforting as my mom when I’m sick or hurting. Now, as a mother myself, I realize just how labor intensive parenting is. Sometimes, we are so busy taking care of everyone else’s needs that we neglect ourselves. And, as you know, motherhood is more than a full-time job. There is no real time off unless we make it.
What happens when you don’t take care of your own needs? I know I get tired, cranky, resentful and burned out. We need to challenge our thoughts that self-care is selfish or a luxury. Self-care is a necessity. If we are going to practice self-care, we first have to see it as valid – as important for ourselves and our families.
I have found that the time I put into self-care not only benefits me, but also my husband and three kids. I call this “trickle down self-care”. The positive results of your self-care will trickle down to your kids and family. Let’s say you take an hour to go to the gym. Yes, this is an hour away from your kids and long to-do list. Probably no one will argue that your physical health is important and will benefit from a workout at the gym. But also remember that if you return home from the gym with endorphins flowing, more energy, and a renewed spirit, your family will immediately experience the benefits as well. In his book, The Happiness Advantage, Shawn Achor explains the scientific research showing that engaging in social activities, hobbies, and rest actually makes us more productive, happy, and energetic. This is exactly why regular self-care helps me to be a better mother.
I hope that you will put a variety of self-care activities on your calendar. They will not only benefit you, but the effects will trickle down and benefit your family too.
Sharon Martin, LCSW
Sharon Martin, a San Francisco Bay Area therapist, specializes in helping you decrease stress and anxiety in order to create a peaceful and balanced life. Sharon helps adults and teenagers heal, succeed, and grow happiness through her counseling services. She has had a private psychotherapy practice in San Jose for the past 15 years where she is available for counseling and clinical supervision.
What do you think, do you agree with this idea of self-care trickling down to your family? I know I do. I say it all the time. Taking time for self-care only makes me a better mom because I am calmer and more present.