We've already established that I've been really bad at taking care of my physical health. But I'm working on it. But there's one thing that I'm even more terrible at - taking care of myself (as in my mental health). And I've realized more and more lately, that self-care is important too. It's honestly just as important as physical health.
I spend countless hours on Pinterest. Pinning away recipes that are good for me. Saving snack ideas that are good for me.
I search and search for healthier substitutes so I can still make some of my favorite dishes.
I spend so much time in the grocery store reading labels and making sure that I know about the ingredients I'm putting into my body.
I meal plan and spend an entire afternoon once a week prepping food.
But when it comes to my mental health, I forget. I toss it aside. And, even worse, I often feel guilty if I take the time to concentrate on taking care of myself.
I think part of the problem is that there's no obvious reward with self-care. I mean, if you work out and eat right, your doc congratulates you. You don't get heart disease. You see your progress in the mirror. Everyone praises how amazing you look. You feel good. You feel healthy. You feel strong. Hell, entire businesses have been created to help your physical health.
But there's no one patting you on the back because you took a nap in the middle of the day. Or because you took a vacation. Or because you colored in your adult coloring book.
Down time. Vacations. Relaxation. Forgetting about adulthood for a few minutes. These are all things that are often seen as weaknesses. These are all things that are labeled as lazy. I'm an adult so I shouldn't need to go outside and play to have a good day.
And I think it's harder to see when you're not taking care of your mental health. Again, if you're eating terrible foods or not exercising, you can see it. You can feel it. But I think mental health often goes unnoticed or shrugged off as just a bad day.
I also find myself saying that I don't have time. Between being a wife, home owner, dog mom, business owner, friend, sister, daughter, and so on there often feels like there's not much time left for me.
And I often think that I'm being such an amazing wife. Always putting his needs before mine 100% of the time. Always worrying about the house and everything else in our life.
But the thing is, mental health is so important. It's crucial. Because if you're not mentally healthy, it’s just as hard to function. In some cases it's even harder. And I'm no good to my husband (or anyone else in my life) if I'm not taking care of myself. Because then all I do is get really stressed and go bat shit crazy for no reason at all.
So recently I've been trying hard to remind myself of that. I've been working to do little things to take care of myself. Sometimes Mr. T and I will blow off a Saturday and just play Mario. I try to take a bath or a long shower. I treat myself to lunch when I run errands. I color (adult coloring is the best, you guys). I watch a movie. I take time to eat lunch during day. I start my day later. I eat dinner with Mr. T at the table. I do something that makes me feel good.
These are all such simple, little things. Things that don't cost a lot of money or take a lot of effort. And, really, that's the funny part. They are so very simple. They're actually simpler than many of the things I'm doing for my physical health (and way more fun), but they help so much. I feel more refreshed. I don't feel so serious. I'm more productive. I think better. I'm more present in life.
I'm definitely not perfect at it. Hell, I wouldn't even say I'm good at it. But, like my physical health, I'm working at it. I'm working to be a better, healthier me.
So be sure to take care of yourself in whatever way that's possible. Do whatever works for you. Because you can be as physically healthy as humanly possible, but if you don't take care of your mental health it doesn't matter.