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Why is it so difficult for homesteaders to look after themselves with self-care? Why is self-care important and how can we get started? Here’s “9 Reasons Why the Homesteader Needs Self-Care”.
Homesteading is one of the most wonderful and exciting things I’ve found to do on this earth! However, homesteading is also a very demanding endeavor: physically and emotionally!
Our bodies and minds are stretched to the max most days, and without careful consideration, we can find ourselves worn out and demotivated.
I know what you’re thinking.
Life is busy. We’re busting our tails trying to make this homesteading thing work! There’s no time for “me”.
As a “recovering overachiever”, I get it.
Deep down, you know “you matter” in theory, but you can’t find a good enough reason to act on it.
But here’s the thing.
If you don’t live each day believing that how you feel is important and a priority, you slowly erode. Sure you can “push through” and keeping doing it, maybe even for years like I have.
But the day will come that real burnout can set in. Self-care isn’t optional…it’s critical.
Burnout Presents Itself in 5 Different Stages:
- The Honeymoon Phase: When everything is new and fresh, you’re full of hopes, dreams and expectations. You’re productive, excited and optimistic!
- Early Stages of Stress: You get tired more easily, grumpy more often and headaches happen far too often.
- Chronic Stress: The stress starts to takes it’s toll with chronic symptoms. Maybe you start to drink a little too much. Pressure, cynicism and resentment start to set in.
- Burnout: Chronic feelings of self-doubt and pessimism become more frequent. You begin to “medicate” more and just want to drop out of life.
- Habitual Burnout: The burnout becomes chronic and more serious. Sadness and depression are your closest friends.
Taking Care of Yourself isn’t Bad, Wrong or Selfish
Moms are particularly guilty of thinking this way.
Even today, I still hate spending money on myself. I don’t like to “take time away from the family” by doing something alone that I would enjoy.
When I take care of “me”, I feel bad, wrong and selfish.
Why is this?
I’m not sure.
But self-care is not, I repeat, NOT selfish! You can’t take care of others if you don’t feel taken care of! You can’t give what you don’t have.
You know when you’re on an airplane and the flight attendants tell you that in case of pressure loss in the cabin, you should put your oxygen mask on before you try to help anyone else?
Yeah. Self-care matters.
Being Reasonably Happy is Important
You alone are responsible for your happiness.
But it’s true. No one can make you happy, you have to make yourself happy.
Happiness comes when we feel at peace with ourselves and others. When we accept life on life’s terms and still look for the good in people.
If you are chronically unhappy, your mind is sending you a warning! Your body/mind needs something more than it’s getting from you.
No one is happy with their life and circumstances every single day. But true happiness comes when we have inner peace.
Taking the time to take care of yourself can help get you “centered” and see your situation more clearly.
- Maybe you need to say “no” more often.
- Maybe that toxic person needs to be put on hold for a while.
- Maybe the kids are playing too many sports.
- Maybe you have too many commitments outside of the homestead.
- Maybe you need to talk to a professional.
Take control of your happiness and do what needs to be done…for you! Happy and whole homesteaders are just better homesteaders.
Ideas and creativity flow more in a relaxed and happy brain.
Injuries Aren’t Fun
When we don’t take care of ourselves, we risk injury.
I can’t tell you how many muscles I’ve pulled, and how many contusions I’ve created, simply because I didn’t take 5 or 10 minutes to stretch before I started my chores.
Some days I abuse my body, by overworking, to the extent of having serious pain for the next few days. (Picture me lifting #100 hives, straight up, full of honey and placing them on the truck!)
This isn’t necessary. This also isn’t productive long term.
I know a horse-trainer who works her body to the point of exhaustion most days. But, she takes care of herself and her body by spending some time in their hot tub every evening. She knows that she needs that kind of therapy in order to do it all again tomorrow.
Now, I don’t have a hot tub.
However, I do have a bath tub that I could fill with hot water and Epsom salts. All I have to do is take the time to do it.
Perhaps yoga or Pilate is good for you, so make time to do it! You’re important!
Further, your body is your greatest asset as a homesteader!
If your body can’t perform, homesteading isn’t going to happen to the extent you want it to.
Eating a Healthy Diet Makes You a Better Homesteader
I’m pretty good at making sure my kiddos eat a balanced and healthy diet. But do I take as good of care of myself?
When I’m busy working on the farm, I cut corners when it comes to taking care of my dietary needs.
Nourishment is the fuel we need to perform optimally on these homesteads of ours!
We grow the most nutritious food there is! Why aren’t we eating it and helping our bodies to perform as well as possible!?
Homesteading is one of the most demanding lifestyles where our bodies are concerned. Take the time to plan realistic and healthy meals, your body needs it.
Then, sit down and eat.
Sanity is a Valued Asset
Taking the time to restore your sanity on a daily basis is critical.
I find that my hobbies keep me grounded and help me to stay sane.
Quilting is my therapy most of the time. Even if I can just spend a few minutes working on a project, it helps me to clear my head.
Crafting and it’s affects on the brain have been studied extensively. Evidence shows that doing some sort of crafting consistently produces a phenomenon called “Flow” in the brain.
When “Flow” is allowed to take place, calm follows.
Reducing Your Stress Helps You to Make Better Decisions
Practicing ways to keep your stress at a minimum will go a long way to help you in decision making.
The stressed brain doesn’t reason well. The frontal cortex, the part of the brain that controls memory and learning, is greatly impacted by stress.
Consistently reducing your stress levels through self-care is important! So what does that look like?
Here’s a few ideas:
- Take a hot bath with Epsom salts and/or essential oils that calm.
- Pet your animals and really look at them, without cleaning or servicing them. Connection!
- Get your hair done.
- Spend time with an emotionally healthy friend.
- Take a walk.
More on reducing stress here.
People who look after themselves and practice self-care will have better cognitive skills.
They will be able to focus and concentrate more!
Productivity is Enhanced thru Self-Care
People who take care of themselves and practice self-care are going to be more productive.
Ever notice when you get back from a vacation how refreshed you feel??
We all need time away. Rest. Care. Love.
YOU are the most important part of making a homestead work in your life. Take care of you!