For a long time, in my early years as a mother, I thought self-care was going out with other moms.
Moms Nights Out.
This has such an appeal to it.
But, as it turned out, those nights out were also the only time I was taking time for myself.
And, as a highly sensitive mom, large group outings with other moms in noisy restaurants can often leave me feeling anything but refreshed and nurtured.
And while I always enjoyed some aspects of those nights out, the truth is that afterward I also felt a lot more …
- Unheard and unseen.
Large group settings in noisy locations like restaurants and other happening scenes is actually not the best self-care for Highly Sensitive Moms.
A group where my introverted voice doesn’t stand out in a crowd made me feel like I wasn’t really connecting with anyone at the table or in the room.
It took a long time for me to figure this out about myself. I wanted to be that mom with a gang of girlfriends. I wanted to do things and go places. I wanted to be a part of the action.
Because that’s what I thought self-care was for moms. That’s what the glossy magazines and movies make you think.
After a few years of this, I realized that the self-care practices for highly sensitive moms like me shouldn’t be about surrounding myself with lots of people or noisy places. So I began to find more appropriate self-care practices that helped me feel the way I wanted to feel — calm, strong and nourished.
In other words, I wasn’t going out on the town anymore only to return home exhausted and overwhelmed and dissatisfied.
Now my self-care is purely SELF. I still enjoy going out with friends but I choose one-on-one kind of experiences. Let’s meet at the coffee shop or at a park and walk.
In fact, it’s really about staying in with friends.
But, the truth is that my self-care is sitting at home journaling, reading or working on my own Abundant Mama toolbox practices.
Here are the words I would use to describe what I need from my own self-care practices: solitude, time to just be still and think through my thoughts, serene and natural and meaningful.
Meaningful conversation and meaningful work is really, really important to me.
Once you understand what works best for you, it makes self-care so much easier to do and fit into your busy life.
We don’t have to force ourselves into a box that someone else has created for us to fit in.
We can make up the rules ourselves on how to be a happy mother.
We get to make the self-care box, decorate it and decide what goes inside.
And my box includes a lot of self-reflection, journaling and time in nature.