The Value of Self Care ~ make yourself a priority

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Becoming a mom can be such a rewarding experience, but it also brings with it a good number of challenges. Learning to let some things go can be beneficial as long as you also include some self care in the process.

If you have read my story and why I started this blog you know that for a time I really didn't focus on myself or my self care as I parented my children.

I'm pretty simple by nature and never really did much in the way of a beauty routine or pampering, but once I became the mother of small children I took this to a whole other level. That's not to say that I would go out in my PJ's (often), but most days I didn't think too much about how I looked beyond being clean and brushing my hair.

Over time, I would tell myself that I didn't care. I mean, my husband loved me just the way I was, and I was happy with my life so what did it matter. Then I would see myself in the mirror and not like what I saw or notice someone who looked 'put-together' and wish I could do that too. Deep down I really did care, and it affected my overall self-esteem.

Let's be honest though, just trying to get my kids fed, dressed, and out the door on time was a feat unto itself. However, looking back I realize that I could have found the time to put just a little more effort into taking better care of myself on a day-to-day basis.

Changes don't have to be dramatic

I think the key lesson that I have learned in the last few years is that changes do not have to be big to be important. It is tempting to look at self care as an all or nothing choice, but it absolutely is not!

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Making small changes over time is so much more effective and can have just as big an impact on our self-esteem as big, dramatic changes. In fact, they are BETTER because they are easier to maintain and keep up with.

Maybe you feel a bit more 'put-together' on the days you wear mascara. So, make it a point to get in the habit of applying mascara every day. Or, perhaps you get re-energized when you have the chance to sit and read a book uninterrupted for a while. Then I encourage you to make it a priority and look for a way to find that time within your schedule.

Make yourself a priority

I think it is fair to say that most people have busy lives whether they have small children or not. Now that my kids have gotten older (my youngest is 15) I still find that my time can be limited. However, it is because things have slowed down a bit in the last few years that I have taken the time to reprioritize myself.

It has been this process that has made me realize that I wish I had done it sooner. I kind of 'gave up' on myself to some extent. It feels really empowering to make yourself a priority again. I'm not saying you have to disregard your other priorities and become selfish, just that you make sure to include yourself in your priorities.

For me, the first thing that I started to do for myself was to paint my nails again. I have always liked having painted nails but had not done it consistently in years because I felt like it took too long, or I tended to smudge it right away or chip it within a day or two, so I stopped doing it.

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I also love that painting your nails is one of the few beauty routines that you get to enjoy right along with everyone else. Makeup, hair, and even clothes are viewed mostly by others. Nail polish, on the other hand, is something that you can admire throughout the day as well.

Every time I see my nails painted with a pretty color, decked out with gorgeous glitter, or displaying a fun design I smile a little. Once I found nail polish strips where I didn't have to wait for the polish to dry, and I could have even more detailed designs, I was in heaven!

Start small and layer on

After a while of having my nails painted consistently, I began to think more about what I wore. Now this is still a work in progress because I prefer to be comfortable over fashionable, but I have been making small changes over time to improve the choices that I make.

I highly encourage you to find your starting point towards better self care and to get consistent with it. Once you do, you may find that you are ready to add on another layer of self-love, and then another, until you are in a place where you truly are confident and comfortable.

For some, this journey will be short as you may not have gone so far off track or may have very simple needs to feel pretty and confident. For others, such as myself, this journey of self-reflection and finding our value will take longer.

I just hope that I can encourage more women to start this journey sooner than I did. You truly are important and deserve to prioritize yourself!

Come on over and join me on the journey on Facebook and Instagram!

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