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Small Steps for Self-Care

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As a person, it’s easy to get run down. 

As a parent, it’s very easy to get run down. 

As a special needs parent, it’s impossible not to get run down. 

I recently ran myself into the ground. I was so overwhelmed but, instead of asking for help, I took on more and more until my body physically hurt. I was reminded by a podcast that found me at just the right time that caring for myself is vital. It’s as important to care for yourself as it is others, though we often forget.


I had an idea: I sat down and made a small list of feasible tasks for me to implement that revolve around self-care. I highly suggest you do the same. Each person’s list will be different because what’s feasible for me may not be for you, and that’s what makes it so great.


Don’t be like me; ask for help and don’t wait until it’s too late. It doesn’t make you weak. It means that you care enough to take time to yourself and come back even stronger. 

Here is my list:

  1. Take a hot shower and get ready, at least once a week. 
    As a mom, it’s very difficult for me to shower as often as I should and even then, I don’t get as much accomplished as I would like – hello, leg hair. But, goodness, don’t I feel better when I’ve had the opportunity to shave my legs, condition my hair, use my favorite coffee scrub, and enjoy the hot water! I want to set aside a time each week for a proper shower and maybe even throw on some makeup or actually do my hair. For me, this isn’t just “me” time, but things that make me feel like an actual person, not just a pile of dirty laundry with a messy bun.

  2. Once a month, plan a day to sleep in.
    Sometimes, just sometimes, a person needs to sleep. Even a machine needs a break from time to time, right? To catch up on some sleep once a month is not a lot to ask and I think a scheduled day to look forward to will be pretty amazing.

  3. Stay up to date with my favorite TV shows.
    I love to spend Tuesdays with the Pearsons – anyone else love “This Is Us” as much as I do? – but I’ve recently been so tired that the first thing to go is my favorite TV family. Also, I was three weeks behind on “Grey’s Anatomy” and that’s unacceptable. Even if I can’t manage to watch it live, I want to stay current with my shows, as silly as it sounds.

  4. Start each day with a cup of my favorite tea.
    I recently found an amazing tea that made me remember how much I love a nice cup of hot tea to start off the day. I’ve been waking up early to get some work done as I wait for my water to boil and then climbing back into bed for a few minutes before anyone else wakes up. The little things…

  5. Once a week, go to bed when the baby goes to bed.
    What can I say? My brain gets very tired and sleep is important to me.
    I promise myself to go to bed once a week when Flynn goes to bed. No TV, no phone, no worrying about my to-do list or what I have to work on the next day…just sleep.

To you, these things may sound silly or boring or not your style, but that’s why I encourage you to make your own list! I would love to see it, if you would like to share. Email me at:


Underestimated Strength is a collection of posts all about our journey through life as we navigate preemie parenting after the NICU. You can read my posts here every Tuesday! Also, feel free to follow me on Instagram, where I speak freely about our story and advocacy.

Do you have any questions, comments or topic suggestions? Contact me via email:

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