Self-Care and What it Means to You?

Self-Care and What it Means to You?

Self-care.  What does that mean to you?  Self-care comes in many different shapes and forms!  It can be whatever it is that helps you take care of you, and to me, that means being the best version of myself.  Well, it recently dawned on me that self-care while on vacation is just as important!  I may even go so far as to say self-care while on vacation is more important than at home.  WHY?  Let’s be honest, there is a lot of together time in small spaces.  There is a lot of road trip time, there is a lot of eating together.  So, unless you set aside some alone time and make a point of making it happen, your self-care YOU time may be compromised.  

Self-Care and Being a Mom

As a mom, I find myself wanting to make sure everyone is having a great time on vacation, especially.  But again, let’s be honest, there is a lot of whining!  “Are we there yet” sound familiar?  “I am bored” sound familiar?  “How much longer” sound familiar?  “My legs are tired” sound familiar?  A good family vacation may mean being together from morning till bedtime.  We move as a unit.  We go as a group!  Vacation may also mean meeting up with family and friends, some whom you want to see and perhaps some whom you are obliged to see.  Either way, it can be exhausting.  Perhaps you are staying at a relatives house or a friend’s house.  That in itself can mean less alone time and less privacy!  

As we travel through the country of Greece for the first time as a family of four, it has become very apparent that the way I have kept myself sane and smiling is a little alone time each morning.  I had not really thought about it before this trip, but that alone time is vital!   The importance of that self-care/alone time before everyone wakes up has truly made our extended European-vacation that much better as I am able to be my best self!  

A Strong Morning Routine

Over the last few years, I have instilled a strong morning routine at home which has just been transferred on the road with me.  It has become evident that my morning routine has been vital to a happy me on vacation!  Carving out a small portion of your day for yourself-especially while traveling and especially outside of the states or your home country, where things are guaranteed to be different and we are expected to “go with the flow”, boundaries are necessary!  I have found that being clear with my family and guaranteeing myself that alone time each morning, before they are even awake, allows me to greet everyone with a smile, an excited spirit, and an enthusiastic attitude. 

So what does that look like?  Naturally, I wake up earlier than everyone else but if you don’t set a very subtle alarm for yourself.  Give yourself even 20 minutes alone.  Decide what makes you happy, what gets you going.  For me, I carve out a good hour so that I can do my exercise, journaling, gratitude and work a bit too.  Once you know what it is that makes you happy (I suggest at least 15 minutes of heart-pumping exercise), work backwards and determine the time you will need.  Have your clothes and whatever you need set out the night before in a separate area (perhaps the bathroom).  Find a special spot where you will do your self-care time and make it beautiful to you in some way!  Let your family or travel buddies know what you are doing and give it a go!  

If you are looking for some guidance, try this: 

  • 5 minutes of gratitude
  • 5 minutes of journaling 
  • 15 minutes (or more) of exercise 
  • 5 minutes of cooldown

If you already have a self-care, morning routine at home, just duplicate it vacation-style!  You may be surprised at how much you enjoy it while on vacation!  Perhaps you are staying at a resort or hotel that has a yoga class, a gym, an exercise class or something you’ve been excited to try, enquire before you travel so you can schedule in that time!  Maybe you’ll be able to try something you’ve been wanting to try for a while like a HIIT class!  Perhaps you are staying on a beach, I can’t think of a better way to do all 4 of the above from the beautiful beach!  

Things to pack for your vacation-style, self-care time: 

  • Book
  • Journal
  • Exercise clothes 
  • Pre-workout drink  (aka “Mamma Juice for me) 
  • Exercise routine
  • Gratitude book
  • Meditation guide 
  • Good shoes for your activity 

Self-care for you today? What do you say?

In conclusion, it has become so obvious and apparent to me while we have just crossed over the half-way point of our 3-week vacation that the reason this mamma has stayed so happy, energetic and enthusiastic despite a few obstacles is because of that morning routine I have transferred to vacation!  Because of the morning routine, I have instilled at home that has simply become part of my day, I have been able to continue that habit and start my day with a smile and an open heart!  Thanks, Linds, for helping me see that and HAPPY SELF-CARE DAY (every day) to you, strong mamma!


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