I work in crisis services at a domestic violence shelter, so it goes without saying that self-care is vital to my job.
However, when I first started in social services, I didn’t even know what self-care was, and when I started working with survivors, it became obvious that as a society, we lack even the most basic education on self-care.
It’s not just advocates and victims of violence who need to be regularly practicing self-care. All of us can reap the many benefits of making time for ourselves, and as military spouses, we might need a little extra self-love and nurturing as we face the many stresses of deployments, moves, and general uncertainty that comes with the lifestyle.
Unfortunately, most military spouses I know rarely put their needs ahead of others. We search for ways to make our spouses time at home less stressful, like washing their uniforms or picking up extra duties around the house, we keep our families as our first priority, worrying about our children who may notice one parent isn’t around, and we reassure concerned family members and friends. We’re experts on offering help, but never think about asking for it.
But by never putting ourselves first, burning-out becomes easy. How can we really nurture others, when we aren’t taking care of ourselves? It may seem daunting to start taking a look within, to start thinking about what we really need (and want!) to make ourselves happy, but self-care can be more simple than you think.