Have you ever asked yourself any of the following questions:
- Why am I so tired?
- Where did my energy go?
- Why do I always put others needs before mine?
- Why don’t I find time to care for ME?
As a mom of a six-month old, I have personally asked myself these questions. As a therapist, I know all these questions are common for moms.
As time passes, motherhood can consume so much of your life that you begin to neglect your needs to ensure that everyone else is taken care of. Sound familiar?
To decrease the likelihood of motherhood burnout, I started following the “REST” model. It lays out four simple ways you can level up your self-care:
(1) R– RESET your mindset
(2) E — Become EXCITED about putting yourself first
(3) S — STRENGTHEN your boundaries
(4) T — TREAT yourself
RESET- To successfully implement self-care, you need to have a desire to understand how important self-care is to your lifestyle. Your mindset is the #1 key factor that plays a role in meeting your self-care goal. To reset your mindset, you first must reassess your current level of energy, the goals of how you envision motherhood, and then take action.
TAKE FAST ACTION NOW:
Take out a sheet of paper and write down a minimum of two positive self-statements or affirmations. Repeat them approximately 3 to 5 times per day. The statements should reflect action towards your vision, such as “ I am very productive today, I have set excellent boundaries today, I will treat myself today.”
EXCITED- Now that you have a better understanding of how to reset your mindset, you can become excited about taking action. There is nothing better than waking up in the morning, full of energy and telling yourself “today will be a great day.” According to the law of attraction, in order to ensure that others are excited for you, you must put yourself first. Hence, show others how you should be treated by modeling how you are excited to implement change for YOU. They will follow!
STRENGTHEN — One of the most difficult things that mothers face is learning how to say “no.” At times you may find yourself wanting to detach from others, go into a corner, and just hibernate. However, that will not stop others from asking you for favors or advice. These areas are not harmful until you begin to put others needs in front of yours. Therefore, the best strategy is to implement boundaries and learn to say no. Always ask yourself, “After I say yes, how will I feel afterward?”
TREAT YOURSELF– YES! Now the fun part. What better way to level up your self-love during and after birth? Learn how to do things for yourself. You deserve it! Let’s not wait any longer. You can use the free self-care activity below.
Self-Care Log Activity:
This self-care log helps you list free or cost-efficient activities that you can engage in around your home or in your community. You can also jot down activities that are huge rewards, which would occur 1 to 2 times a year. The free and cost-efficient sections are an ongoing list that you develop over time. Initially, you can make a list for yourself. If you are in a relationship, you can use the same log and create a self-care list for you and your partner to engage in intimate moments with one another.
I hope that the “REST” framework, along with the activities, can help you implement self-care activities that will boost your energy and confidence.
Food for thought: Would you prefer for your vehicle (a.k.a. your mindset and body) to break down or would you prefer for it to get multiple tune-ups throughout its lifetime. Self-care is your life’s tune-up.
Dr. Tekesia Jackson-Rudd is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist, author, and professor. Her specialties include helping families develop healthy dynamics, premarital coaching, and personal health, as well as programs focused on millennial youth. Aside from her professional practices, Dr. Jackson-Rudd is also a wife, mother, and active participant within her community — particularly focusing on issues related to education and strategies for success. Tekesia has worked for more than 13 years in the human services field with high school and college students, public servants, community clinics, correctional facilities, community field-based programs, and employee training programs. Additionally, Dr. Jackson-Rudd has supervised and taught psychology students at the undergraduate and graduate level, focusing on how to provide high quality services within their community.
Originally published at blog.mothersquad.com on October 3, 2018.