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Labor of Love

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How self-care can challenge you, drive you, and inspire you to be a better version of yourself

Another mom recently told me, "The best kind of love you can give is to yourself because it allows you to love everyone else in your life." Of course, that's the idea behind self-care. The concept is simple enough to understand but as a habit, self-care tends to be a challenge for most of us. The problem is the practice of self-care has been all wrong.

The best self-care helps you reconnect with what inspires you, challenges you, and drives you to be better. There's a misconception that self-care is all about relaxing and unwinding—think spa day, bubble bath, or a glass of wine. Maybe self-care should be more about venturing outside our comfort zone: confronting a challenge and basking in the lasting glow of personal growth.

I was a meditation skeptic for the longest time. For some reason, the idea of it made me so uncomfortable. That changed when I was pregnant with my second daughter and someone suggested I try a meditation app as a means of coping with my anxiety and insecurity. I figured I didn't have much to lose. My fears and worries only seemed to be growing along with our family. It had an instant calming effect. Meditation encourages you to understand what you're feeling and why. It encourages mindfulness. It's not much but I find ten minutes of this mental exercise a day helps quiet the noise in my mind. My meditation habit is also good for my husband and girls. On days when I meditate, my fuse isn't so short. I live present in moments good and bad. Gratitude is a big part of meditation that encourages others-first thinking. I'm a better mom, wife, and coworker when I meditate.

Self-care for you may look different. Maybe it's reading a book that challenges your thinking, advocating for a cause close to your heart. Maybe it's setting a new goal like running a marathon or just working out more. Physical or intellectual, whatever it is that moves you—try it.

Not much about self-care is selfish. What you gain is always given back to others in your life. And listen: If you get the chance to have that spa day, bubble bath, or glass of wine, take it. Enjoy those moments, too. Momma, you've earned it.

Labor of Love app

Truman Medical Centers/University Health's Labor of Love app offers anytime, anywhere education powered by YoMingo®, a program designed to give you convenient access to valuable information. It includes the tools and support you need at every stage of your healthcare journey and beyond.

Download the app