I recently witnessed what happens when you don't take care of yourself and it wasn't pretty, people.
In today's blog post, I'm going to share that one time recently when I thought I would be just fine without any self-care for a month. Here's what changed for me.
Why is it important to take care of yourself?
Because like cars that can't run on fumes, neither can you.
I am a huge self-care proponent. Not the kind of self-care most people think of, like getting a massage every six months or getting a manicure. I mean the kind of self-care that is done daily, the kind where you fall in love with yourself, treat yourself with the same kind of respect you show to your family and friends, and connect spiritually with whatever you believe in.
Regular self-care is deeply healing, restorative, invigorating, relieving, and soul-inspiring.
Recently, because of a temporary schedule change, I decided that I would simply put my usual self-care routine on the back burner until things got back to normal.
I thought "Pffff...I got this. I am so connected, so in tune, feeling so amazing...I'll be fine without it."
A month later, after what has felt like endless days, relentless needs, never-ending dishes, responsibilities and engagements that had me collapsing on my sofa at night with a huge glass of wine, I thought it would be enlightening to share the major changes in my life that I noticed with just ONE MONTH of not doing any self-care.
I did start out doing my daily morning self-care routine, but as the month progressed, my morning time got sloppier and I wasn't making use of that time.
Those of us with a regular self-care routine forget that the reason we're handling life so well is because we're filling the well consistently, and those of us who don't have a self-care routine don't realize that life could be SO much better. These are the emotions that came up for me this past month when I put self-care last on my list.
Dip into your own soul. Find your own truth...what calls to your heart...what moves your spirit. Make your life dance to the song of your own essence. - Unknown
I'm a professional blogger, yes, but this blog is truly my passion. Writing about self-care and the law of attraction light me up. It's what I read about daily before I go to sleep, it's what I talk about with whoever is interested in talking about these topics, it's what I'm constantly trying to implement into my life...and this blog is where I get to share all of that.
During this past month, I felt like a spectator and watched my passion slip further and further away from me, until I felt extremely uninspired and almost confused as to what I would even want to do or write about.
I realized that if I didn't have a self-care routine, I wouldn't know what lights me up. When you're just trying to keep your head above water and floating through your days more or less, letting life happen TO you, it takes your focus away from things you love to do.
So many women feel like they have no idea what their passion is; to this I would now inquire if she has a daily self-care routine and if not, I would highly suggest starting one. It will cause you to get to know yourself so intimately, and will from that place lead you towards what you love and what fills you up.
Commune with your soul. - Panache Desai
As I mentioned above, after about a week of doing everything on my own and not taking any real quality time for myself, the days started feeling never-ending and the kids' needs felt relentless.
I felt myself getting smaller and smaller in the mix of it all. I was even dreading waking up in the morning! I didn't want to start another day full of feeding kids, breaking up fights, listening to tantrums, making meals, washing dishes, running errands, and picking up the house a million times only to do it all over again the next day.
I felt very overwhelmed and started dreading my days.
Because of the overwhelment, I began to feel resentful. I was resenting my kids for their seemingly incessant demands and needs. Resentful of my husband for not having to deal with hand washing dishes after our washer broke, not having to deal with dinner and bedtime every night.
Yes, he was working extra, but he got to do it childless and take his breaks in peace. I became like a seething kettle on the stove!
My husband and I started arguing more and I lost my patience with the kids much more often, and the real reason was because I felt like I was giving to everyone except myself.
And thus, I was highly irritable this past month. All month I kept wondering how and why I was losing my cool so much.
It's not like my life drastically changed; my kids weren't eating more than they did in the past, the house wasn't anymore messy than usual...it made me wonder how I always had such a good attitude before about it all.
But it made sense. I was giving and giving and giving to others, without giving to myself. Of course I was going to be irritated at life in general.
The days felt monotonous and unexciting. Yes, I definitely had a sour attitude this past month, even when I tried so hard in the mornings to think of what I was grateful for. I couldn't feel it. It's like I was too emotionally and physically drained.
After weeks of no truly productive self-care time, I was feeling bored and what could borderline be described as slight depression. Even when I would get some time to myself, I did nothing but scroll through my phone while lying on the couch.
My perspective of all things just got more bleak. It reminded me of times in the past when I had been diagnosed as depressed and bipolar, except this time I knew why I was feeling like that.
I was living life day by day with no real goals or intentions beyond taking care of my kids, keeping the house picked up, and doing it all over again the next day. It made me realize how crucial self-care time is for me. It's not selfish or a luxury; it's as important as exercising. It maintains my mental, emotional, and spiritual health.
It's not selfish to love yourself, take care of yourself, and to make your happiness a priority. It's necessary. - Mandy Hale
The reason I felt so good and ready to tackle several months of "doing it all" was BECAUSE I was so mentally healthy and emotionally fulfilled from my self-care routine. I was so in touch with myself. You don't realize what an impact your self-care routine makes on you until you go without it.
It's like the warning label on antibiotic medications that says just because you're feeling better doesn't mean you should stop taking the medication. That's how I felt this past month. It helped me to see how truly effective and needed my self-care routine is for my mental health and happiness.
Implementing Self-Care with Limited Time
I still have another month and half of my husband working long hours. I know there are single moms out there, and moms whose husbands always work long hours.
What I noticed this past month is that when I did finally have some time to myself, I squandered it. And it's mainly because I have a vision of how my self-care time should look, so when my days are long like they are now, I was just thinking "Meh, there's no point in trying to do it now, it's too late."
But if you've ever read my nightly self-care routine, you'll notice that it mostly consists of a shower with low lighting while listening to inspiring audio, and then however much time I have to do something like journal, or blog, or read a book.
I really could've made better use of what time I had this past month. Yes, I was more tired. Yes, I had less time. Which made it all the more crucial that I should've used at least 30 minutes after my kids were in bed to really connect with myself and take spending time with ME a priority.
Make Yourself a Priority
If you relate to any of the feelings above on a pretty consistent basis, definitely try a self-care routine and see what happens. You will be amazed at the healing and transformation that will take place after connecting with yourself on a daily basis.
After this past month, I am that much more passionate and a proponent for quality, daily self-care. I needed the experiment of this past month to remind me how important it is, how much more magical my life is with it, and much easier everything flows when I'm truly connected to myself.
Do you have a self-care routine and what do you find most crucial about it? How do you recharge your soul? I'd love to know in the comments below.
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If you’d like more real life examples of daily spiritual self-care, you can connect with me on Instagram.
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Lots of love,
Jessica Dimas is the author of Self-Care for Moms Guide + Worksheet Bundle.
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This is so absolutely on point. I have such limited time in my day for any part of my life other than work and commute. The little there is, is partly time shared by my son, who is 10. For the past two weeks, life has overwhelmed me, and I can feel the difference because I haven't had the self care time I need. Thank you for the reminder of what is missing, and blessings for finding the time in your own schedule to keep this a priority.
It's hard when you feel like there isn't much time. This past month definitely reminded me how important it is to take time for me, even if it's just 30 minutes before bed. Makes such a difference, doesn't it?! Thank you for your comment <3
Every word your written describes my past month as well. ..the last time i accomplished anything i consider to be productive for me was October 4. After that my own self care went out the window. ..I'm not exactly sure why, life took over and my window of time turned into endless couch and phone time. My yoga stopped, my meditation speed, my water drinking fell short, reading was non existent.
I slowly experienced everything you've mentioned, my patience was at zero tolerance, i dragged through my workday begrudgingly, every thing my daughter said or did irritated me and she was having ludacris tantrums and disobeying me at every turn (she's 4). I slipped into place that i could only call mild depression, and having been diagnosed and medicated in the past i didn't want to walk down that road again. I lost my gratitude to the universe and the beauty and miracles that surround me everyday disappeared into a bleak abyss.
3 days ago i was exhausted, irritated, at a loss on how to deal with my child who seemed hell bent on driving me to the edge of tolerance. I had zero energy, no passion or desire. I haven't written anything in a month, i haven't painted or crafted any new items for my home.
I lost myself.
2 days ago i did an intense yoga routine and experienced an equally intense meditation. ..i drank water, i read a book that centered me back into my inspiration, i took time to really see the leaves and the fall colors. Yesterday was more of the same. I took the time to do the things that ground me and that bring me serenity.
For 2 days I've felt lighter, the veil of grey is lifting, my daughter has been nothing short of a dream child, my evening energy is back, my art inspiration has been soaked once again.
There is something to be said about taking time for yourself. ..solely for yourself. ..everyday; however that looks to the individual. Gather up a small list of things/actions that bring you back to you and just do them.
Thank you jessica for this post. ..it truly mirrored my own experience and solidifies my reason for doing what i do everyday.
Oh my gosh, yes. Exactly how I felt and what I've done this past month, the endless couch and phone time. Reading the emotions you went through sounded just like how I felt this past month. The days felt so long and my boys (3 and 5) seemed to push my buttons so easily. Like you, I was diagnosed with depression in the past and medicated for it for a few years, and to experience the same feelings I had in the past but to know what I know now...to know that it's possible to lift myself out of that with self-care...it was kind of crazy to think about. Because I for sure in the past didn't have a self-care routine and I didn't know why I felt so miserable. And ahhh...the actions you took a few days ago to bring yourself back into alignment with yourself felt like a breath of fresh air just reading it. That all sounded amazing. Yes, reading your experience too solidified the reflection of my experience as well. Self-care really is SO important. Life can be so much better when we're intentional and taking care of ourselves. Thank you for your awesome comment <3
Thank you so much for this post! I have ten month old twins and everything you stated about feeling resentful, etc., I have felt! We need to give ourselves permission to take the time to care for ourselves - no one else will give it to us!
Oh goodness, twins! You definitely deserve some self-care time! It's so true though, if we wait for others to give us the green light, we'll be waiting forever. It's something we have to take into our own hands for sure.
Chelsea @ Life With My Littles
Oh man, that sounds so rough! I'm sorry you haven't been feeling as great! I can definitely tell a difference in how my day goes when I wake up earlier and take care of myself before my kids. Self-care is so important, and I'm glad you realized what was going on before it got worse! There's always enough time to take care of yourself! Good luck the next month and a half and I hope you start feeling better!!
Yes, it makes such a difference doesn't it? Crazy how much smoother the day can go when you're intentional about it from the very beginning. Thank you, I've already cut myself off from checking my phone during the day so hopefully I'm on the road to recovery ;P
Jessica!! This was such a good read and I don't know how many times I have to read something like this before I ACTUALLY implement some self care and maybe a morning routine. I think this might be it though, I woke up earlier a couple of times last week and it was really nice to have time to myself and to just plan my day and manifest exactly how it was going to go. Anyway, I don't comment much anymore because I feel like I'm so busy all the time but I'm always reading and I always love what you have to say. The passion behind your posts is clearly evident and I love that. It's hard to find a genuine blogger these days, you my friend are still one of the best! XO
I always love your comments Tawnya cause I know we both have a similar passion for this stuff! And I feel you, I go in and out of phases where I can be really intentional and then I'm super sloppy about it for a few weeks. It's good though, I think the contrast helps us narrow down what we want or at least makes our intentional periods that much sweeter!
I talk about Self-Care a LOT on my Facebook Community, Toxic Mom Toolkit. I can't wait to share your blog post there. Thank you! Rayne Wolfe, Author, Toxic Mom Toolkit "It's not you. It's her."
Your group sounds awesome, Rayne!! Thank you for sharing my article!
Thank you so much for this post. Everything you described feeling is the way I feel everyday. I have 3 kids and my husband travels for work. I have a hard time getting inspired and motivated. And most days I feel so tired that I don't get done what I want to get done which adds to the stress. It's so nice to know I'm not alone in those feelings with being a mom. Also I signed up for your newsletter and noticed we only live about 30 min away from each other. I'm in Casa Grande, I just thought wow I what a coincidence!!
Yes, I know that rut you're talking about! The feeling overwhelmed and then in that place not feeling inspired or motivated. It's like a vicious cycle sometimes. And that sounds tough with 3 kiddos and a traveling husband, I tip my hat to you. It wasn't easy with 2 kids and my husband working long hours. Wow, yes we're close! Another mom just commented on here that she's from Chandler. Such a small world! 🙂
After a year of having my fourth child, I didn't realize how much I neglected myself until stress took a troll on me and was diagnosed with hypertension. I was on medication which of course made me depressed and sleepless. After a month of struggle I started to connect to my soul through religion and meditation. That has helped me so much. Now I'm taking care of myself through good food,exercise to lose the baby weight, relaxation as much as I can and I feel like the fog is clearing away. Your post on self care really inspired me to keep up with this routine. Thank you so much.
I'm so happy to hear that Haafi, self-care really is so crucial and I think too many moms don't realize just how crucial it is. I certainly didn't until I let it go for a few months and I just couldn't believe how I basically found myself back at square one. It made me realize just what a difference in the quality of life it gives. Life doesn't have to feel stressful and overwhelming. All of the circumstances can be the same but if you're connecting with yourself on a deeper level every day, everything just flows so much more smoothly. Thank you for your comment, I enjoyed reading it xo
This article is a great reminder for me on why I need to remain as protective of my morning self care as I am even on the days when I may be dragging out of bed. I have a history of depression and as a mom want to be as far away as possible from that as possible. Although I haven't had a day when I don't do any self care, I definitely have days when my self care is shorter then normal depending on what I have going on. What I have experienced is that the days that I complete my full self care routine, the days actually seem more spacious and flowing as you said. I think it's because I start my day with more clarity and focus after having filled my cup.
Thank you again for this helpful article
Yes, isn't it amazing that when you take more time for self-care, it's like your whole day feels longer and more open? And when you neglect or shorten your self-care time, the day just gets away from you. Definitely remain protective of your morning self-care. I really had no idea what a difference it was making in my life until I let it fall by the wayside. Made me realize that in the past I didn't need pills for my depression, I needed intentional alone time loving myself! Aka self-care time. Truly amazing how transformational it is. Thank you for your comment, I enjoyed reading it! <3
I loved this post! I'm still dabbling in what fulfilling self care actually is to me because they typical stereotypical mom self-care I've tried seems like a chore and doesn't do much for me. The area I'm still struggling with is giving up time with my husband to make time for myself. I think I've come up with a million reasons why self-care isn't doable or sustainable, and I'm working through that. I also live in the Chandler area and wondered if you do meetup groups or something similar.
Wow we're really close, about 20-30 mins from each other! Yeah, it is definitely a struggle at first when you're trying to start a self-care routine but you kind of feel like you're using up precious time that could be spent with your husband or you feel guilty that you're not taking care of your kids, etc. All different kinds of feelings come up for women because we're so accustomed to putting others first that it just doesn't even feel logical to take time for ourselves. And yes, the stereotypical self-care is so empty. I didn't even realize that what I was doing was self-care until I realized how much better I was feeling and how much better I was treating my family. Your own version of self-care will surface when you spend enough time alone! Several friends have mentioned to me that I should start a local meetup group but I haven't yet. Still pondering on that one! 🙂
<3! I always come here when I need a swift kick in the ass..I MEAN when I need a reminder to get connected with myself.
And I appreciate you linking all the other posts that I need to read through little sprinkles. I'm going to fall down the rabbit hole that is your inspiring blog! LOVE YOU!
Swift kick in the ass hahahaha. I'm actually doing my own mini manifesting boot camp again cause I also need a swift kick in the ass. And please do fall down the rabbit hole, reading all of your comments was the highlight of my day, I miss you! xo
Just found your blog recently and i feel so inspired to get my routines together and kick them off in the new year. Been procrastinating simply starting now, for some reason seems better to just start fresh in the new year haha. You are definitely inspiring though! Any advice on how to get back on track when you've fallen off routines?
Also, will you ever do any posts related to homeschooling?
I am right there with you! I'm actually doing my own 7 Day Mini Manifesting Boot Camp because I have definitely fallen off track once again with my whole self-care and mindset routine. The best things that help me get back on track is turning off the outside noise of the world (for me it's limiting myself with my phone because when I'm in ruts, I will just mindlessly scroll through my phone and be on there way too much) and setting some time aside just for myself. Then I'll either journal or read something inspiring, anything to get myself feeling more calm and at peace. Yoga also helps me!
And I don't think I'll ever do any homeschooling related posts here on this site, although I started to do them over on my blog piganddac.com. I do plan to document our homeschooling over there periodically.
Thank you for your comment 🙂 Hope you have a great weekend xo
Ah your other blog is exactly what i was looking for! Thank you!
You seriously are so inspiring lol you got it all together (i know you probably don't think so haha but sure seems like it) kepp it up! Love your work 🙂
Aw thank you for saying that Bri! I really don't have it all together but it does make me happy if I'm able to inspire other moms to take care of themselves 🙂 Thank you for your sweet comments! Hope you have an amazing 2017!
This post is amazing. I felt exactly the same way about a week ago before I came to my parents house on vacation. I felt I was drowning at work, at home, and in my personal life. I was doing everything for everyone else except me. My never ending to-do list kept growing and I just didn't care about myself or life. Getting up every morning seem like a chore and some days, I was upset for having the opportunity to see another day. Taking time out of our never ending routine I realize is the most important thing a person can ever do for themselves. Since I've been home, I literally did nothing aside from doing what I wanted to do rather than what I have to do. At this point, I feel ready to take on the world in strides again. I don't typically comment on posts let alone write essays on someone else's post, however, I find this post very inspiring and very close to home. Thanks for sharing.
Thank you so much for leaving that comment, I really enjoyed reading it and knowing another person could relate to my experience as well. It's truly amazing what taking time for ourselves can do. I never understood what an impact it had until I went right back to where I used to be in a short few weeks of neglecting myself. Made me realize how much better life can be and that we don't have to succumb ourselves to that poor quality of a life if we just get intentional about self-care. Thanks for sharing your thoughts!
Thanks for this inspirational post. I let my self care routine go after my sister passed away and 3 years later am just starting to get it back. I had a lot of takers in my life who I had to let go of to make this happen. I'm a rescuer, so it's very difficult for me to not help people. But my well was so depleted I couldn't even help myself. 51 years old and I was frozen. It's articles & post like this that keep me on track.
Thank you for the inspiration!
Hi Cheryl, I'm sorry to hear about your sister. My cousin lost her sister several years ago and it hit her really hard as well. I'm so glad you stumbled across my blog and were able to find some inspiration, that inspires me to keep writing. Wishing you a healing and magical 2017 xo
Thank you for your wonderful article! I am in this stage at the moment and can feel myself struggling and slipping into a depressive state. I am very aware that I am feeling like this because of my lack of self-care in recent months and I frustrate myself that I squander the time I do have to myself on my phone or watching tv. I know what is needed to turn it around and yet I am finding it extremely difficult to get motivated to change it. My morning routine has completely slipped, especially with the cold dark mornings in the UK (I'm from Aus) and I am desperately looking for some inspiration. If anyone has any tips I'd greatly appreciate it! xo
Hey Jemma! How's your self-care routine going, I know it's been about 2.5 weeks since you wrote this post and I'm sorry I didn't get to respond sooner. I totally know what you mean, that rut you get in where you KNOW and are aware of how you're feeling and what could pull you out of it, but you continue staying in the rut. Sometimes we need the rut for the contrast that it causes, because with contrast brings clarity and motivation if you keep those things as intentions. When I'm in a rut like this with no motivation to come out of it, I try to do very small things, like read a page out of an inspiring book or magazine in the morning, or when I shower I'll listen to Abraham Hicks on YouTube. I just try to keep some stream going of positivity and motivation to get back on track, even if I'm not feeling it yet. I hope that helps some! Thank you for commenting, xo Jessica
I could really relate to your post...boy could I. I think I have pretty much lived my whole life like that and other than getting up in the morning having a shower when I feel like it( I am bipolar too) and eating I have no self-care routine. I honestly don't even know what one looks like. At bedtime I get into bed and say my prayers providing I don't fall asleep first.
Jessica can you show me what a self-care routine looks like...please.?
Sincerly Shelley Collison
Love this! I can totally relate to this. I went a long time without self care, and it had me in my car, in parking lots crying outside of my job. I was always mad, irritated, and thinking i needed to move to the other side of the country for my "happiness". I'm in MI currently, and i thought , when I live in CA, THEN I'll be happy. NO! Happiness is within, and I was really unhappy because I was in a position where I took a job that was not for me. It was a job that was for extroverted, and "high leader" people. Anywho, long story short, I'm in the right place at the right time. I journal, read my bible morning and night, got my blog up and running, and I have vision boards, and goal boards up. I focus my energy on where I want it. I could go on and on about how I changed my life, and how God changed me and my inner self and my outer life, but I want to say thank you for your post. Your work is noticed, you are a light, and you are doing great. Keep up your work , your blog, everything! I support you, I encourage you, i understand you, and I connect with you! Keep it up my sista! Sending you lots of positive energy, blessings, and bliss your way!
Wow, what a beautiful comment to find on my blog! Thank you! I loved reading about your experience and I'm so happy to hear that everything has turned around for you! It's amazing what self-care, mind-set and Source can do for us. Thank you again for such inspiring, encouraging and thoughtful feedback! xo
This came at the perfect time for me. The past month I have been very lacking in my self care and meditation practice. Because of this all of the above has happened. As well as a few major appliances kicking the bucket, feeling sorry for myself, wondering where the money is going to come from...It's been a hell month I must say. Today I was just thinking "I need to get myself back on track" and this popped into my feed. Thank you for the reminder. I just printed off "hit the reset button" worksheet.
I'm so glad this post popped up in your newsfeed right when you needed it. I have those months too, just got over the hump of one actually, so I feel you! Here's to resetting and getting back on track! xo
Self care is selfish
I know this is old, but it just popped up today. So from what I read it's not so much you stopped self-caring (whatever nonsense you call it) but more you stopped caring about everything. You got selfish and lazy because your husband was working long hours and that was hard for you. Instead of stepping up and taking care of things you got lazy. That's awful. I'm a single mom, and I don't this "self-care" nonsense, but I care about my children and we're doing great!! I hope you eventually got you priorates straight (hint it's not you) and became a halfway decent person.
Ah, I see not brave enough to use your name, just here to make people feel crappy. Awesome that you got your shit together, and obviously it make you feel good about yourself to make others feel bad about how they are feeling. Maybe you shouldn't be on this page with such strong feelings about self care and how people feel. I see you are a martyr, and the rest of us are selfish. Please stay off pages where people express their feelings about how difficult life can be at times, or maybe start your own Martyr page. Your comment was very uncalled for.
Your accusations of who I am are so far off from the truth that I'm not even offended, but I hope leaving that comment helped to soothe you in some way. Lots of love to you.