Be Balanced: Take A Moment for Your Face
I am lazy. Not about my work, or about getting things done around the house. But when it comes to my “beauty routine,” I am about as lazy as they come. My hair is long and dries relatively straight, so there’s no need to blow-dry or style it. And, because my skin has never been terrible (except for one unfortunate year in high school), I fall asleep without washing my face far more often than I’d like to admit. For most of my 20s, I wore makeup only occasionally, because in the battle of 10 extra minutes of sleep vs. makeup, sleep wins every time.
However, during the last few weeks of my pregnancy, I got really into skin care. My skin looked dull, and I just felt gross. I had been wearing the same three pairs of pants and five shirts on repeat for months, and I wanted to do something nice for myself before Baby Keegan arrived. So I did my research (turns out there are an awful lot of skincare products that are off limits when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding) and (Amazon) Prime-d myself a lovely new skin care regimen.
I thought this new routine would last one week, two weeks max. Cleanse, tone, serum, eye cream, and moisturize? No way would I have the attention span to keep up that charade. But four months after my daughter’s birth, I am still going strong with everything except the eye cream – and that’s only because I don’t particularly like the one I ordered. Even in those hazy, messy first few weeks postpartum, I diligently performed my little routine after every shower, because it made me feel like a normal person.
What I am learning as a mom is how important it is to carve out just a little time for yourself. As moms, we pour as much of ourselves into our children as we possibly can – and when they are so tiny and so needy, that sometimes means forgetting to eat a square meal, drink enough water, or take 10 seconds just to breathe. But when we fail to practice basic self-care, we become worn out and overtired, and less capable of being patient, present, and engaged than we would have been if we had taken just a few minutes for ourselves.
Self-care can also be practiced in ways that don’t require any extra time. I have always believed in the power of an outfit to make or break my mood, and while I was between sizes after my daughter was born, I discovered just how important it was to me to buy clothes that I genuinely liked and felt good in. As I rebuild my wardrobe post-baby, I’m planning to slowly fill my closet with pieces I really like, rather than mindlessly grab half the rack next time I spot a big sale. I like to think this will make me feel like a super mom and career woman who has it all together – and I have been told ‘faking it until you make it’ can be good for the psyche.
Maybe it’s not clothes or a skin routine for you. Maybe it’s getting your favorite brand of coffee instead of the one that’s on sale, or maybe it’s putting a little extra effort into decorating your office so that you genuinely enjoy spending time there. Maybe it’s straightening up your family room before you go to bed each night. However you practice it, in ways big or small, in the craziness that is trying to balance work, life, and relationships, self-care will help you present the best version of yourself, no matter what the day may hold.