The Importance of Self-Care

Wondering what the big buzz is around self-care? Don’t think self-care is important? Think again.

I didn’t think I’d be the type of mom that struggled to maintain a sense of self after having kids. I thought I was sooooooo cool before kids that I couldn’t possibly lose sight of all my coolness. 

As it turns out, no one, not even me, is immune to it. It did indeed happen to me, and now it feels like some days I don’t have any time for myself at all. 

Onnie Michalsky is here today to help us moms in particular up our self-care game. She’s a self-care coach for busy moms who desperately need a break but refuse to take one.

She’s a mom of 6 who coaches fellow moms to hang up their Super-Women capes and break through the limiting beliefs that are keeping them from fully embracing motherhood.

It took her 10 years to discover how loving yourself changes everything and now nothing can stop her from showing other moms the power of self-care.

Below we cover some self care myths, what self care actually is, why it’s important and give you some amazing ideas for self care you can start putting into place–TODAY!

What is Self-Care?

If I were to ask you what you thought when you heard the phrase “self care”, you may immediately envision manicures and pedicures and you, know those things that are otherwise “nice” to have but certainly, as moms, we deem as “extra” and unnecessary.

Self-care as defined by the very well mind, are those conscious acts we take in order to promote our own physical, emotional and mental health.

In other words, self-care are those actions we take that essentially promote well-being and can help us avoid overwhelm in other areas of our lives.

So what is self-care if it’s not just manicures and facials?

Onnie defines self-care as the things we can do every day to fill our “buckets”. Of course, that means self-care can include massages, mani’s and pedi’s however, Onnie emphasizes that true self-care goes above and beyond those actions as well.

Being intentional about choosing activities that fill your bucket is at the heart of self-care. And while massages and mani’s might be included, they are certainly not exclusive to the entire self-care picture.

Below, Onnie and I touch on some solid ideas surrounding purposeful self-care that will help guide you towards hanging up that “cape”.

The Importance of Self Care

Behind the Mind of Mom Self-Care

Ever hear the phrase: “self care is not selfish”? Yep. I have too; many, many, many times. Turns out, however, that hearing is not believing and when it comes down to the nitty-gritty of self care, many of us moms tend to feel guilty when outrightly choosing to do something for ourselves.

In chatting away with Onnie, we identified one of the core issues with self care as it relates to moms and their mindset.

Often times moms will deem self care as an added event, or even term it as a “luxury”, as I thought of it .

So when we, as moms, term it as some type of luxury, it may seem like it’s something that you don’t have to do because it’s automatically viewed as something not needed.

Therefore, when we go to initiate “team mom self-care” we shut down. We come up with all the classics in our excuse book; usually with mom guilt taking the most coveted of prizes.

In having this conversation with Onnie, I recognized that luxury tends to equal:

  • I don’t need it
  • I shouldn’t do it
  • It’s extra
  • It’s not for my family, my kids or anyone else–so no way.

Therefore, we can put the whole thing off which herein lies the problem.
In helping moms, Onnie has found that many of us think of self care as a “luxury” rather than a necessity.

When we do this, it’s easy to put off because it’s seen as something non-essential or not important; which in fact it’s quite the opposite.

In some cases, self-care can almost seem like work. When overwhelmed, I know if someone told me I should go take some self-care time, I would be like OH MY GOD, another thing to do, another thing to remember?

It all understandable too! As Onnie says, we as moms have so many other things to do that take priority.

Being pulled in several directions at once that when we turn that focus on ourselves, it’s not something we feel is very important to do.

The Importance of Self Care

The Self-Care Time Factor:

A big part of what Onnie teaches in regards to the importance of self-care is the “time factor”.

Creating time for self-care is crucial because, as Onnie states, if we can create that time we can figure out a way to organize it better so that we’re able to focus on ourselves.

This leads to feeling less guilty about taking the time for self-care as well. Therefore it’s not something we make a priority rather than something we’re desperately trying to fit in.

What is one space where every mom can find the time? Onnie recommends simply waking up earlier. Even setting the course of your day a full 15 minutes ahead of your little ones puts you in a clearer mindset.

Not a morning person? No worries, Onnie wasn’t either. However, what she discovered was that over the course of time, the relaxation and enjoyment she discovered in her early morning time alone, had her wanting to wake up earlier and earlier.

Onnie built upon her self-care time and found that it almost served as positive reinforcement. It became beneficial not only for her but for her family as well.

The Importance of Self Care : Intentional Self Care

The Importance of (Intentional) Self-Care

So how do we shift our mindset and in really understanding the importance of self-care so that we make it a priority?

Onnie reminds us that when we think about the analogy of the bucket and choosing things that fill it, we need to be a bit more intentional.

Like really not just fitting self-care in, but being more intentional about making sure you’re including those things that are at the core of what you love to do.

They should leave you feeling whole and recharged.

In chatting with Onnie, she reminds us that as moms, we’re natural people, pleasers.

We’re always working to give our families all of us and we give and give and give often to the point where we end up feeling depleted and basically running straight towards burnout.

As a self-care coach, Onnie helps moms identify how important this definition of “self-care” is and emphasizes the importance that self-care is truly different for each mom.

In Onnie’s course, she focuses on the five pillars of self-care:

  • the physical
  • the emotional
  • the spiritual
  • the social
  • the intellectual

Onnie’s course dives deep into the importance of self-care, making it easy and accessible for moms with all types of schedules.

Each of the pillars,(or buckets), while different, work together as a whole and gives us moms the time, energy, and mindset to take on our other day to day activities.

Intentionally including self-care in each day and developing those rhythms so that it becomes easier for us to do =will ensure that we include it into our daily routines.

To understand self-care on another level, Onnie shares with us her five pillars below

The importance of Self Care and Self Care Pillars

Perfect Your Self-Care Pillars

To give us a better picture of the importance of self-care, Onnie outlines 5 self-care pillars (or buckets) that moms need to be aware of every day: physical, emotional, spiritual, social, and intellectual.

Here’s how you can quickly access your buckets to ensure you’re filling them each day:

The physical pillar is not only confined to those sacred mani’s and pedis. Rather, they are simple things such as taking showers, making sure that you move your body, and taking vitamins to name a few.

The emotional bucket are those things that touch in the area of mental and emotional health, which could include:

  • Making a dreams list
  • Personal goals
  • Where you want to be in 10 years
  • Positive affirmations

Onnie shared that she started her own bucket list. These included those things that she wanted to accomplish as a woman and not necessarily with family.

Although this may seem obvious and simple, it is an important step in self-care as it helps moms recognize those desires and aspirations as individual women, outside of motherhood.

The spiritual bucket includes things like meditation or sitting in nature.

Your social bucket is those things related to your engagement with others. Think all things social such as calling or texting a friend, maybe engaging in a Facebook group.

The last bucket, the intellectual bucket, refers to anything that challenges you. Think of activities that may challenge you such as completing a puzzle, taking an online course, or signing up for a race.

Self-care fills our bucket in such a way that allows us to actually have more to give. In working with many moms over time, Onnie has recognized how it’s even important to fill our bucket to the point where it’s overflowing so that we have plenty to give to our families.

These buckets, allow us as moms to visualize each part of what makes us move, and to help us take easy, actionable steps toward genuine self-care.

The Impotance of Self Care: Define Your Self Care

DEFINE Yo’ Self (Care)

Remembering our “pre-mom” selves and recalling those things we love at our core is important when engaging in genuine self-care.

When teaching moms about the importance of self-care, Onnie focuses on what fills their buckets. Turning the focus on what you value will make self-care more of a priority.

As you carve out time you need to recharge, try asking yourself:

  1. Do I value this?
  2. Does it satisfy me in a way that’s going to help me feel good?

Other things to think about when looking to fill your self-care bucket are will this help me to be more patient, caring, more genuinely ME?

Onnie points out our conversation that all of those things that you need to be as a mom and as a person does nothing if it doesn’t “fill you up”.

Self-Care Doesn’t Mean”Doing Something”

There are days where self-care can look different than what we’ve envisioned…Housewives of Seattle anyone? And this is ok too! As moms, it’s important that we don’t make our self-care “wrong” but rather look at what we value and need.

Sometimes doing NOTHING is doing something.

Going back to the bucket analogy that Onnie uses, start by asking: “what fills your bucket”?

There’s great value in simply sitting in silence. Being in nature and meditating and also inner reflection are all a part of the self-care piece for many moms.

These are all forms of self-care and are huge components of the bigger picture.

So, as individuals, it’s time to ask ourselves: what do we constitute as self-care?

Watching Netflix, Housewives, or sitting and meditating can all be defined as your self-care.

As Onnie points out, it’s different for everyone and your self-care needs to be about you, after all.

Your next step:

If you feel like you wanna start with baby steps, grab Onnie’s worksheet with 50 ideas you can do that don’t take too much time or money.

Like Onnie said, start small and build from there. Get the momentum and some flow in your self-care routine.

BUT if you’re not willing to do it for yourself, do it for your family because I really do think it’ll make us all a little happier, a little more patient, and more fulfilled in the long run.

And that sounds like the kind of mom I wanna be! 

More from Onnie Michalsky…

Oh-you bet there’s MORE! We talk mommy-popsicles, the little things I love to do (and what I don’t do for self-care) plus what I’m doing now to get some more “me time” back in my day. Go ahead and push play on the episode above to get the full scoop and DON’T forget to check out more from Onnie! WEBSITE | FB GROUP | INSTAGRAM | LINKEDIN

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