How Jen Hatmaker Inspired Me to Think About Self-Care Differently

Jen Hatmaker, speaker, mother, and life guru, stopped me in my tracks in her recent Facebook post.

She talked about how her therapist taught her that she should treat herself like she would treat a dear friend. 

I don’t do that. Do you?

I’m actually pretty mean to myself. I call myself names, admonish myself for failing to meet expectations, and overload myself with either too much to do or too many feelings to withstand. I would never do that to my best friend! I want to build her up, show her love when she’s sick or overwhelmed, and empower her to deal with any struggles that are sent her way.

Why shouldn’t I do the same for myself? I should! And so should you.

How Jen Hatmaker Inspired Me to Think About Self-Care DifferentlyJen then talked about simple ways to treat herself better. She relates, “So I started thinking: ‘How can I be so, so sweet to myself in the morning? And so, so sweet to myself at nighttime?’”

What followed was a list of small, simple ways to take care of her various “selves” that bring joy and happiness, even in the midst of incredibly difficult struggles. (Seriously, take some time to read not just her post, but the comments for some great self-care ideas.)

So, following Jen’s example, here are some things I do for my Morning Self:

  1. My morning self loves clean countertops in the kitchen, so my Nightime self makes sure those counters are clear before bed.
  2. Morning Self loves to make the bed (with throw pillows and everything!) because channeling her inner Joanna Gaines makes her feel peaceful. Plus, Afternoon Self loves taking a break on that cozy bed to read a book while the kids have screen time.
  3. Morning Self always drinks a cup of hot cocoa before heading out the door because Iowa is freaking freezing and hot chocolate is life. (I don’t drink coffee, so….)

In return, here’s how I take care of Nighttime Self:

  1. My Nighttime self is usually exhausted and just wants to relax, so I change into these amazingly soft joggers as soon as I possibly can.
  2. Nighttime self gets a salted caramel chocolate, just because.
  3. When I wash my face, I like to use the (probably) useless but oh-so-lovely-feeling PMD Clean Facial Device to get a little facial massage before bed (and no, I did not pay full price for this thing!

Really, moms, self-care isn’t about a one-time massage or buying that sweater you’ve been dreaming about. It’s about finding daily routines that are just about you in the chaos of everyday life.

We’ve been conditioned to put everybody else’s needs first. 

But Jen Hatmaker knows, and I’m learning, that real self-care is essential if you want to not just survive, but thrive.

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Valerie grew up Naperville, Illinois, and is a Midwestern girl at heart even though she spent 16 years in Phoenix. She moved to Marion in 2016 with her husband, daughter (14), and two sons (12 and 9). Valerie graduated from BYU with a degree in Instrumental Music Education. She is a former band director, a current substitute teacher and accompanist, and an avid reader and crafter.