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12 Steps for Self-Care

October 6, 2015
By Betsy Bethel - Editor ( , OVParent

Facebook can be a scary place, full of trolls, marketing monsters and "vaguebookers" who ensnare unsuspecting, caring souls in endless, pointless threads.

But for me, Facebook is more often a place of education, commiseration and inspiration. My news feed has its share of the inane and mundane - I have seen a few too many pouty-lipped selfies from 40-year-olds and graphic pictures of infected stitches. Bring on the cute animal and baby videos, though! And while I sometimes am in the mood to debate or offer advice to a friend who asks for it, mostly I enjoy passively scrolling in the hope I will come across something inspiring. ...

Like this lovely little list of steps for self-care, which I modified slightly to reflect my own discoveries. Self-care is vital for mommies. We are wired to care for others, but if you don't take care of yourself, eventually you are going to shut down, and that's not going to help anybody. Here's the list, which was shared from a Facebook page called Change Your Thoughts Today:

12 Steps for Self-Care

1. Love.

2. If it feels wrong, don't do it. (And if it feels right, but you know it's wrong, don't do it!)

3. Say what you mean.

4. Don't be a people pleaser.

5. Never speak badly about yourself.

6. Never give up on your dreams.

7. Don't be afraid to say "no."

8. Don't be afraid to say "yes."

9. Trust your instincts.

10. Be kind to yourself.

11. Let go of what you can't control.

12. Stay away from drama and negativity.

Now, you probably have seen so many of these lists you skimmed over it and didn't really take the time to think about it, much less apply it to your life. Who has time for all these platitudes and to-do lists we come across every time we turn on a screen or turn a magazine page, right?

But if there's one thing I have discovered on this parenthood journey, it's that slowing down and being - buzzword alert - mindful of my actions and decisions is a game changer.

So, may I suggest you take one item at a time and just work on that? Is there one that particularly resonates with you? Tackle that one first. Or you could focus on one each month for a year.

One of my favorites is No. 3, say what you mean. I didn't even think I was guilty of not being forthright - I noticed everyone else in my household wasn't, so I made a point for all of us to work on it. (Funny how easy it is to see others' shortcomings!) You never realize how ingrained your bad habits are until you try breaking them.

But self-care doesn't have to be difficult. It can be as simple as locking yourself in the bathroom and playing a mindless game like Candy Crush for 20 minutes. Or scrolling through Facebook and watching cute kitty videos.



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