Self-Care for Sports Moms | Interview with Sara Robinson

Self-Care for Sports Moms: Interview with Sara Robinson

Hi everybody.  Welcome to a special podcast episode.  Today we are going to be talking with Sara Robinson, one of the Complete Performance Coaches.  She has written multiple books, one of them is called Choose You, and it’s a journal.  Her most recent book is coming out very soon, if not already ) if you’re not listening to this right as it releases) and it’s called Self Care for Moms.  I thought, “Oh my Gosh, let’s get Sara on to teach us about self-care because I know I need help with this, and I know probably every single sport mom listening can get better at self- care.”

Getting To Know Sara

Rebecca: Hi Sara!

Sara: Hi.  Thank you for having me.

Rebecca: Thank you so much.  So tell us what you’ve been up to recently.  You’ve been doing a lot of things for moms.

Sara: Yes, I have.  So in addition to working with you and being a mental skills coach for athletes, I’m a mental skills coach for myself.  I realized when I became a mom how important these mental skills are.  I was always using them as life skills, but I had to start leaning on them very heavily when I became a mom, and then a mom of two.

Now that my son is in sports, I have to keep my cool a bit.  Along the way, I really realized how important my own self-care was.  I was always talking to my athletes about that, about how, “You’re not just an athlete, you’re a whole person, balance, self-care,” but as I became a mom, I really realized how important that is and how hard it really is to make happen.

Q: What is Self-Care?

This word, self-care.  It’s a total buzzword.  What exactly is self-care?

Answer: Yes.  It’s important to start with that because we hear it a lot.  I think so many people are like, “Oh, self-care, I don’t have time for that.”  I think it brings up this idea that it’s big and indulgent, fancy, time-consuming.  It takes a lot of money.  Yes, there is self-care that is those things, but at a very basic level, self-care is taking care of yourself and doing the things that allow you to feel your best.

So it’s not just these big, over the top, indulgent activities.  Some people don’t even really like getting massages.  I think we would all like going away for a few days, right?  But you know, it doesn’t have to be this big thing.  It’s taking care of yourself and doing what you need to do to feel your best.

6 Types of Self-Care

There’s actually six types of self-care.  There’s mental self-care, emotional self-care, physical self-care, and practical self-care.  Moms, we tend to do a lot of this but don’t really realize it’s self-care – social self-care and spiritual self-care.  Within each of those six categories, we all have those needs, and we could do different activities or tasks that help fulfill our care and our needs in those particular areas.

Q: Is self-care selfish?

Tell me what to do!  This sounds great.  One question I had for you, and I wonder if people think the same way I do, is self-care selfish?  If I have so much to do, is it okay to step out of life and do something for me?

Answer: And it’s a great question and I think it’s an important one, especially for moms, because self-care is not selfish.  There’s a quote, we don’t know who wrote it – “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”  It’s similar to when you’re in an airplane, they say put your oxygen mask on first.

Self-care is really important for everybody.  But let’s talk about our moms and our parents.  It’s important for you because if you’re not taking care of yourself, then you’re not at your best.  You can’t be the best parent that you can be.  Let’s face it, that’s hard on a good day, right?  It’s hard to be calm and impartial and support your kids and raise good humans even on a good day.  So if you’re not taking care of yourself, you can’t do the other areas of life as well as possible.

Being the Best Version of Yourself

If you have a job or other responsibilities, you’re not bringing your best to the table when you’re not taking care of yourself.  I think that we get this idea that we should feel bad or have guilt because again, we go back to the massages and the spa days and the things that feel fancy and indulgent, but there’s a lot more to self-care.

And no, there should be no guilt about self-care.  In fact, it’s great modeling for your kids that they see you take time for yourself.  It does take time to get rid of that mom or parent guilt around it and to feel, “Oh, am I being selfish?”  You’re not.  You’re putting yourself as a priority, and that’s really important.  But I know it’s hard for many people, moms especially, to feel like it’s okay to put themselves first.

Rebecca: That makes me think about a conversation I had with my husband.  When we had our second kid he said, “I just don’t feel like I get any me time anymore.”  I was like, “Me time, yeah that’s not a thing anymore.  That ship has sailed.”

Sara: I know, it’s true.  Also, I think there are ways where you can make “me time”.  It doesn’t have to be as long as maybe we’re thinking like hours away.  I do think that we should find ways to make that happen and your season of life will definitely influence it.  If you have a newborn, there’s definitely not any me time, but my kids now are in first grade and preschool and I’ll typically use the time that they’re at school to work.  That does give me some me time.  I will try and fit in a coffee with friends once a week or every other week I’ll go for a walk with a friend.  I’ll do things to fit in that self-care.

Making Yourself a Priority

A lot of it is really about deciding you’re a priority and then time management because chances are we all have the time somewhere, we just might be using it for other things. Sometimes you have to get creative about how you fit it in, but me time should still be there.  But I totally agree.  It feels like when you become a parent you’re like, oh that’s, that’s out the window.

Rebecca: As you’re talking, I’m like, “Oh yeah, well we do this and he gets to do that and I get to do this,” etc.  We have prioritized that without even realizing it, so I think I get more of a pat on the back then.

Sara: That’s a really important point.  We have to, one, be intentional about our self-care, but I think we also need to recognize when we’re practicing self-care.  If we go back to those different types of self-care, mental self-care can be reading a book, it might be going to therapy.  It could be having a conversation with your partner.  Self-care isn’t always a solo experience.

Similarly, with your emotional self-care, it could be watching a show that you enjoy that brings up positive emotions.  Your physical self-care, we think going to the gym right? But it could also be going for a walk.  You might look at your trip to the grocery store or target as, “You know what?  I walked a lot.  There’s some physical self-care for me!”

Rebecca: I took those steps!

Sara: Exactly!  I think paying attention to what we’re doing and noticing, “You know what, this is actually taking care of myself.  This is getting me out of the house for a bit.”  Yes, it’s to do chores, but that’s practical self-care because now that you have groceries, you don’t have to stress about what to make my family.  Now that you’ve completed the laundry, you don’t have to have kids yelling, “Where are my clean socks?”

Individual Self-Care & Joint Self-Care

There are these activities that we’re probably already doing that are self-care.  I find what you described, in relationships, it’s hard to do your self-care together.  You have to trade off, especially when there are kids involved, young kids that you have to cart around still.  You can’t just drop them off and leave.

The book that I have coming out, Self-Care for Moms, has a lot of ideas that are solo but also with your partner.  One of the quicker activities is if you can drop your kids off at an activity or sports practice, go have a quick mini date with your partner or your spouse.  You don’t have to be at every single practice.  That can be the time where you go have coffee with a friend or go sit in the car and read.  You don’t have to be there all the time.

You May Be Practicing Self-Care Already

You’re rethinking the time that you have and making yourself a priority but also looking at what you’re already doing and realizing, “You know what, I’m doing some things that are self-care if I pay attention to it in that way.”

Rebecca: Great.  I loved the tips you give in your book.  I was skimming through it and looking at some of the activities.  There are things that I was thinking, “Oh yeah, that really does feel good.”  For example, calling a friend.

Sara: Yes!

Rebecca: I am not a phone call person anymore.  It’s a text world I think.

Sara: Yeah, none of us are.

Rebecca: I have so many voicemails that I haven’t listened because I’m like, “Oh just email me.”  But then I think back over a couple of phone conversations I’ve had over the last month and they are so soul nourishing.

Sara: Yes, exactly.

Rebecca: Talking to another human on the phone after bedtime, the kids have gone to bed, and just check-in.

Sara: I do a lot of my phone calls in the car in between activities when I don’t have kids.  It’s too hard when there’s a kid with me.  When I don’t have a kid with me, I know which friends will be available, what their schedules are.  I have one friend who always commutes at the same time so we know when we’re likely to catch each other in the car and that’s social self-care right there.

But it might also be your mental and your emotional self-care to talk to an adult – to unload a little bit, to connect, to have some positive emotions.  So the activities that you’re doing, chances are they meet more than one need, which is really nice.

Q: Do you have guidelines for using, not overusing, social media?

I know I love to check out on my phone.  That’s the thing I crave.  It’s like, can I just sit on the couch and look at my phone for a few minutes and not have my daughter say, “It’s time to get off the phone, mom!”  But then there’s this stress that comes from social media, too.  Do you have any guidelines for how to use it and not overuse it?

Answer: Yes.  One of the activities in the book is to use social media purposefully, but it falls under the 15-minute category.  Within the book, there are activities broken down into what you can do five minutes at a time, 15 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour, and up so you can fit in what you need.

Set Limits

One I think is setting good limits, which is hard to do.  If you need to, set a timer.  That can help.  Also, going on with an intentional purpose.  Maybe it’s that social self-care, like, “Oh, I wonder what Julie’s up to.  I haven’t seen her photos in a while,” because let’s face it, Facebook doesn’t give us all the people in our feed that we probably want to see, on Instagram too.  So go on and say, “Oh I wonder what she’s up to.  Did she put any new pictures of her kids?” Or, “I’m going to write a little note on someone’s wall.”  Have an idea of why you want to go on social media and make it more purposeful and intentional, and then when the alarm buzzes, be done and move on.

I think we all are guilty of mindless scrolling.  If you’re thinking, “I just need a pick me up.  I’m going to go find some cat videos, some feel-good videos,” but then you’re in the void of like, “Oh there’s another video and another and another and another.”  The timer is probably one of the best things that we can do for ourselves when it comes to social media.

Rebecca: Yes. Good idea, because it’s like, I need to pick me up, then, I’ve been on there for two hours and I’m not going to get nuts.

Check-In with Your Self-Care

Sara:  Right, right.  The other thing, too, is really being aware of these six different types, but then also, “What do I need?  What do I need to feel good about myself?”  You’re checking in on, “Have I gotten my mental self-care today?  Have I gotten my physical?”

Rather than just automatically going to the phone as the pick-me-up, is there a book that you can be reading?  Is there something you can do like a craft if you really like something creative.

By being aware of other activities that fill you up, I think then we’re not as inclined to go straight to the social media.  I always try to have a book with me when I go to my kids’ activities, that way I can read as opposed to just scrolling on my phone.

Rebecca: Oh, that makes so much sense.  If all I have in my bag of self-care is my phone, then that’s all I’m going to do and it’s not soul nourishing in a way that other things that I don’t even consider.  What could I be doing with this 10 minutes while I’m waiting for something?

Q: Can your kids be a part of your self-care?

Does it count as self-care if your kids are doing it with you? Or is that just parenting?

Answer: Well, it depends.  It depends on how your kids are behaving, if they’re respecting your time, and if you feel like it’s self-care, right.  For example, just having your kids around isn’t self-care, let’s be honest.  Now, if you’re going to put on a 15-minute yoga DVD and they’re going to follow with you and they’re going to try it, maybe they climb on you sometimes, but you still get to do your yoga – yes.  That is self-care.  If your kids are older and they can respect the quiet time that you want in the morning where you decided your routine is 15 minutes to go sit outside with a cup of coffee and they would like to join you, and they can do that quietly and respectfully – that’s self-care.

Maybe your kids are older and you drop them off at the mall and you go sit in the bookstore. There aren’t many bookstores anymore, unfortunately, but you go sit in the cafe and read and your teen is walking around the mall.

Use Your Best Judgement

So yes, kids can be involved, but I think you need to be selective about the activities.  Know the temperament of your kids and also know that it takes time to set up these habits.  If you really love to read, then maybe you work into your end-of-day routine, 15 minutes of quiet time where everyone “reads”, and I’m using air quotes for people listening.  You’re little kids look at picture books, or they color, and your older ones are actually reading, you’re not reading to them.  Because let’s face it, that’s not self-care.  If you’re reading on your own then you can all be doing self-care together.

So yes, sometimes, but make sure not all of your self-care is with your kids, because even though they’re fantastic, you do need some time for yourself.

Rebecca: Yes.  I was just imagining doing pedicures in the bathroom with my three-year-old, which is really great until she’s rubbing it on my pants or I’m yelling at her because she’s messing it up.

Sara In that case, just bring the Q tips and say, “Okay, it’s fine.  It’s going to be everywhere, I’ll just clean it up after.”  Maybe you can convince her to massage your feet a little bit or you get the foot soaking tubs and she gets her own and you do it side by side.

Kids shouldn’t be a barrier.  My kids watched probably too much TV but I’m also a fan of saying, “Go watch a show for 15 minutes because mommy’s going to do this thing over here.”  So even if your kids are home, maybe save their screen time and use it intentionally for you.  I know we feel like, “I got to get the laundry done and the cooking and the cleaning,” but maybe save a little bit for something that’s really focused on you.

Another sort of trick or hack I love is listening to a podcast, music, or an audiobook while doing your chores.  So while you’re doing your cooking, while you’re doing the laundry, while you’re doing the cleaning, make those chores, even though it’s practical self-care, make it a little bit more enjoyable and get a little bit of self-care in there while you’re doing it.

Rebecca: Yep.  Get groovy with the music, maybe a little bootie shaking while you’re cleaning.  I like it.

Q: How do you fit it all in?

That’s the thing I hear the most, especially with parents with teenage athletes, is there is no time.  So how do you create that time?

Answer: So this tip I can’t take credit for.  It’s from Laura Vanderkam.  She does a lot with time management and she has a book called 168 hours: You Have More Time Than You ThinkBasically what she suggests is look at your week as 168 hours as opposed to 24 hours in a day.  If you look at the week, you’ll see you have 168 hours.  If you spend 49 hours sleeping, you’re at work 45 hours, maybe you’re commuting 10, you’re driving kids 10 to 20 hours, whatever it might be, you probably still have time.

It’s a way to realize, “Okay, there’s time in there.  I just have to figure out where it is.  Am I wasting too much time on social media?  Am I laying in bed doing nothing when I should get up, or could get up, and do some journaling or some stretching or just sit quietly?”

Time is There

So I would challenge that.  Most of us do have time, and especially for sports parents.  I mean my son is only in his second year of tee ball and he’s doing little kids sports.  So it’s not that much yet, but I remember being a gymnast and I remember how much time it required of my parents.  But also, you don’t need to watch every minute of the three-hour practice, right?  So bring a book, listen to something, run an errand, grab a coffee with another mom or parent.

It’s okay to use that time in other ways.  If you have multiple kids, you might be dropping off, picking up, grabbing dinner, but even five minutes at a time can be meaningful.  You know, five minutes at the start of your day.  Five minutes if things pick up and start to get stressful in between the pickups and the dropoffs.  Maybe 15 minutes of writing letters to your friends who you haven’t written to in a while and you love, sending mail.  Maybe you have your address book and your paper and your envelopes and stamps and the car.  So you do have to get creative, but chances are it’s there.

Setting a Good Example for Your Kids

I also think that, again, I said this earlier, but it sets a good example for your kids.  I know our kids are busy and a lot of times they’re just really overscheduled.  Sometimes we do that to them, sometimes it’s just a function of their sport overscheduled especially when they’re in season, and they feel like they don’t have time for other things.  But I’ve talked to so many kids who are burnt out on their sport, and when I talk about, “Well, what’s going on?  Like why are you no longer happy?”

A lot of it goes back to, “I don’t have time for other things.  I’m not doing anything else.  It’s not fun.”  They’re basically not giving themselves enough self-care and filling up the other parts of them besides the athlete part.  I think we need to get away from using time as an excuse and really prioritize it, not just for us, but encourage our kids to do that too, especially if they’re junior high and high school age.  I think that we should be making self-care a priority for them and helping them understand why that’s so important.

Rebecca: I have a little exercise with that reminds me of where kids will draw a big heart on a piece of paper and write things in it – what fills my heart, what makes me happy?  Petting the dog, going to this place, grandma, grandpa.  Do you have any exercises that work for grownups in a similar way?

Planning Ahead

Sara: Yeah, so I think it’s important to, and you can do this as a heart on a piece of paper if you want to, but start by thinking about what stresses you out.  Self-care ideally is going to help us not feel as stressed in certain situations because we’re feeling well rested, well nourished, well taken care of, spiritually we feel good.  It’s also important to know what sorts of things trigger us and cause us stress as parents.  I think there’s potentially a lot of them, from certain kid’s actions to that week at school where teachers are asking you to do something every single day.  Maybe it’s spring break.  Whatever it is, there are things that stress us out, certain periods of time at work, so know when those times are so that you can be prepared to do more self-care.

It sounds counterintuitive usually because it’s like, “Well, I’m more stressed and busier and have less time.  I didn’t have time before, I certainly don’t have time now for self-care.”  Well, this is when it becomes more important, because then you can handle all of those times and those potential stressors from a much better place where you’re better taken care of.

Thinking about what stresses you out is important.  You can just do this as columns if you want it to be like something you really write down.  What do you already do for self-care? And again, I think a lot of us go, “I don’t think I’m doing anything right.  I don’t do any self-care,” but we have to think in these kinds of categories, what do you do that mentally helps you?  Is it talking to your spouse at the end of the day?  Maybe it’s connecting with a friend or doing some journaling?  What are the things that you already do in each of these categories that help you feel good?

You can also think, “What would I like to try?  I am fairly spiritual, but I really have not been connecting with myself spiritually lately.  Maybe I want to start adding in some time to read the Bible or read a book I connect with spiritually, or doing a prayer journal,” something like that.  What are the activities that you could do, not judging, “Do I have enough time?  Do I have the resources, but what, what are those things that I could be doing?”

Now, with this idea of 168 hours, look at where you can fit those activities in and toss out that idea that you need lots of time for self-care, because sitting and breathing, you only need a few minutes.  You can come away from that feeling more focused, more grounded, calmer.  Lighting candles at home (don’t do this when you have little kids so they can get to them), but creating some ambiance in your house, opening up the windows, getting some fresh air in can change the energy and the mood.  There are some simple tasks that you can do or activities that are quick and easy and are self-care.

Scheduling Self-Care

But then you can also schedule it.  Plan dates with yourself!  You can schedule 15 minutes if you feel like you’re not going to get done unless you plan it.  “Well, between Joey’s dropoff and Suzie’s pickup, I’m going to read for 15 minutes and commit to that.” Again, as you said, you’ll probably pull out your phone, right?  So decide what you’re going to do.  Plan when you can do these things.

We’ve talked a lot about these brief activities, but longer times are really important to, especially if you’re a mom who either isn’t working.  I mean, I work from home a lot, so I feel like I fall into the category sometimes of the stay at home mom.  And this is not to at all say that one category of mom needs more self-care than others.  But I think those moms that stay home a lot and that are very involved in all the dropoffs and pickups, there are different stressors.  When you’re with kids what feels like all the time, it can just feel like there’s not as much time for yourself.

Again, it’s not to say they need more self-care, but I would say you might need to be more deliberate about your self- care when you’re sort of in charge of kids most hours of the day.

So, really planning, what are those longer periods of time?  “Maybe I want to do a monthly dinner with my friends, my spouse and I haven’t been going on dates.  What’s realistic for us?  I want to do an overnight with a friend.”  Maybe it can’t be for six months because you’re nursing or someone’s graduating so you might have to look ahead and plan it.  But plan it!

Big Plans

A year and a half ago, I went to New York for eight days with a girlfriend.  We were like, “Are we gonna be able to get away with this?  This is crazy.  How can we make this happen?” And we just decided, we committed, we figured it out.  We bought plane tickets so we couldn’t back out.  We made the plans, we did it.  The whole time there we were like, “How did we get away with this?  This is amazing!”  It probably won’t happen for another five years, but we made it happen by getting it on the calendar.  Start planning now.

Rebecca: Amazing.  I want to do that.  I’m getting ready to fill my whole family calendar up with self-care.  My husband will ask me, “What is all this stuff?”

Sara: Also, with your spouse or your partner, it’s important to say, “These are the things that are important for me.”  In the book I talk about having a self-care family meeting where you sit down (and if your kids are little, they don’t necessarily need to be as involved), but especially if you have older elementary, junior high, high school age kids, sit them down and be say, “This is what self-care is.  This is why it’s important.  We’re all going to be doing it.”  You don’t have to say, “Here’s exactly what I want to do,” but you can ask them, “What do you want to be doing?”  Plan in out in everyone’s calendar.  With your spouse or your partner, trade-off if need be.  That’s usually the way it has to be done, but also find time for yourself.  Date nights are really important, self-care to reconnect.

If you’re a single parent, it obviously gets a lot harder because you don’t have that consistent person there with you.  But even finding a friend who wants to get more self-care in, can you trade off pickups?  Can you watch each other’s kids once a month so that you get a couple of hours to yourself and they get a couple of hours to themselves?

Childcare is usually the trickiest part in this, but get creative with that and get your friends involved.  If you have a partner, hopefully they’re very supportive and trade-off.  “You can go golfing for eight hours, but then I’m going to go do my thing for eight hours.”

Rebecca: We’re doing that this weekend.  I said, “I’m going snowboarding all day.  You can go fishing or go find some big activities.  He’s like, “Yeah, I want to cash out on something good.”  He’s willing to do it and not because he knows he’s going to get in return, but because we’re both committed to making sure self-care care is happening.  I didn’t even realize I was doing this, Sara!

Sara: I know.  That’s the thing – I think we don’t realize, and not to say, “Oh, I’m doing all this self-care so I should feel fantastic,” because we’re still like fizzy and frenzied and, but we’re usually doing more than we think we are.  When you realize, “Oh, I have this snowboarding day, ” how can you make it really pleasant?  You know, like having good music on the way, pick up your coffee, plan for a really good lunch while you’re there.  If anyone’s nearby, can they come and meet you?

I was at a conference last month and it was in San Jose.  I’m in the bay area, so it was a 45-minute drive, but they were willing to pay for my hotel.  So I decided to stay the night. I left early so I didn’t hit traffic, checked in and found a place to get a manicure.  Then, I walked there, and I just took care of myself, which was great because I was talking about self-care at the conference.  I was really able to practice what I preach.

I think when you have these things going on to really make sure that you’re doing as much as you can for yourself.

Q: What about self-care for athletes?

Athletes are probably the one human who’s busier than the sport parent.  What can you recommend to any athletes who might be listening in?  They probably tuned out way long ago, but how do we help our athletes to take care of both?

Sara: I think part of how we help our athletes is as parents, we need to recognize that they are people who are not just athletes, and that just like us, when we don’t take the best care of ourselves, we can’t do our best in everything.  It’s the same thing with our athletes. If they are not taking care of their needs and all of these areas too, they can’t be their best in school, in sports, in life.  So yes, they are busy, but by taking some of that time for self-care, it helps them in the other areas of life.

Finding the Time

It may be that while they’re in season, there isn’t a lot of time, but maybe there is time. Some of my gymnasts went to states and regionals and some of the things that they’ve talked about that they loved the most was, “Oh when I got to go to this meet, I got to go to this restaurant that I really love.”

Sometimes it’s around the sports activities.  If you know that you have to eat out, let your kid pick, or go somewhere that feels a little bit special.  Or when you’re in the car on the way to practice, ask them what type of music they want to listen to, or maybe you find a podcast together or audiobooks.  If they get carsick, this won’t work, but maybe you get them a journal that they can journal in on the way.  If they like to draw, get them a new drawing book and pencils just for the car rides, it always lives in the car with them.

I think just find ways to fit that in because athletes and their parents spend a lot of time in the car and as parents were driving, so our self-care options or audio, but your kids in the backseat, they might be doing homework, but you know what, maybe it shouldn’t always be homework.  Maybe that’s a time when they can fit in the fun stuff.

Set Boundaries & Make PLans

If they’re always on their phone, maybe make the car a phone free zone.  Find some other activities that they can be doing.  Also, make sure, maybe they can’t see their friends every weekend, but make sure once a month, even in season, they’ve got something going on with their friends.  Get that on the calendar, plan it out, and talk to them about what they want to do.  Prioritizing self-care for athletes is really important too, and as parents, supporting that – not feeling like they always have to be doing sport or there’s only time for sport and homework.  Family can be a part of self-care too, but there are other parts of themselves that they want to explore.

Putting Childhood First

Rebecca: And that is such a big piece of confidence.  Kids who struggle with mental blocks.  I think of one, in particular, she started losing her skills.  When we dug in, we realized she was torn.  All of her friends went to Starbucks after school and she went to practice.  Her joy and confidence were dropping because she was being left out.  She felt excluded.  I mean it doesn’t seem like it would tie in directly, like how does going to make me a better gymnast?

Sara: But it does, it does.  Parents will say, “Oh, you can’t miss the practice,” but guess what?  15 years from now when your athlete isn’t a gymnast anymore anyway, they’re done with their sport and they’ve been done for a while, how nice would it be to look back and say, “You know what, they went to Starbucks.  Once a month, I told the coach she’s going to be an hour late,” and she goes to Starbucks with her friends.  Now, she knows, “Okay, every Wednesday they go and I can’t go, but in three weeks I get to go again.”

I think we need to be a little bit flexible on the rules of what sport is because guess what?  You are your athlete’s parent so you can make the rules.  I know that some coaches are very serious about things, but you pay the bills, right?  You keep them in business so you can set boundaries for your kids time.  I’d encourage you to think about maybe adjusting the boundaries a little bit to give them some of that time.

I love that Starbucks example probably because Starbucks is one of my favorite places for self-care too.

Rebecca: I like when you said that she’s going to be an hour late for Starbucks.  I heard every coach listening went, “She’s an hour late!  How dare you miss practice for Starbucks!

Sara: But guess what?  If your athlete shows up and she’s happy and fulfilled and confident and she’s doing her skills now – isn’t it better to give up the hour once a month to go to Starbucks?  If the gymnast that walks in the door after that versus the one that’s bummed because she’s missing out on time with her friends, she’s now questioning if she wants to do gymnastics.  There’s so much power in something that’s seemingly so small and I think we tend to feel like it’s not that big of a deal because it’s so small, but it really can be a big deal.

Rebecca:  Such a big deal.  And any athlete in the 10 to 14 age range, oh my gosh, it’s such a big deal.

Sara: I know and a lot of them are done by about 14, 15, because they feel not just burnt doubt, but they feel like they’re missing so much.  If we can help that age stay, especially with the social self-care, staying socially connected to the other people, we would likely see fewer kids wanting to leave when they get to high school because they would understand that they still can see their friends and still get that non-gym social self-care, even when I am a gymnast or whatever sport they do.

Rebecca: I think it all boils down to what are we raising?  Are we raising Olympic champions who are miserable, or are we raising good athletes who can feel really great about their contribution to their sport and be good humans?  Everybody has different priorities, but it’s important to know within your family, what’s really important here?  I know in my family I want my kid to get out of her comfort zone.   Also, I want her to work hard for things, to not feel like she’s riding on talent.  I want her to have a growth mindset, but at the same time, want us to be happy,

Sara: Right.  I think even the most well-intentioned parents, it’s easy to lose sight of that and to feel, “Well, everyone else is going to all the practices and if she misses one, she’s going to be behind.”  It will be okay.  It will be okay.  And isn’t it better that you have an athlete who goes into the gym and feels happy and focused and fulfilled and wants to do the skills versus one that’s distracted and upset?  And guess what?  They’re more likely to be injured, they’re more likely to get sick.  Their immune system is lower, they’re more likely to want to leave.  So yeah, I think even the most well-intentioned parents, it’s easy to shift the focus to something else.  Kids need self-care to let them get it!

Just Say “NO”

Rebecca: To the mom who’s wondering if she’s going to take that extra volunteer position – just say no.

Sar: No is okay.

Final Thoughts

Rebecca: No is ok.  No is self-care. Yes.  All right, so anything, anything else that you want to make sure that these moms know?

Sara: Oh my gosh, you’re worth it.  To go back to one of your earlier questions feeling selfish or guilty, you are worth it.  You’re worth the time, you’re worth making this time for and doing these activities that are self-care.  Be intentional about it.  We go back to scrolling the phone.  I know I’m guilty of it, but look where you have the time.  Use it for something that really helps you feel good about yourself.

Amazing.  Thank you so much, Sara.  I feel like I feel all filled up.  This is my self-care for the day.

Sara: Right?  It’s a social experience.  Mentally we’re thinking about things like positive emotions.  Self-care comes in lots of different places in different ways.

Rebecca: Great.  You can find Sara’s book on Amazon, it is called Self-Care for Moms.  She also has Choose You.  Tell us a little bit about that one.

Sara: It’s a journal, actually.  It’s a great way to track what you’re doing.  You don’t have to have a specific journal.  Journaling isn’t for everybody, but this is nice because it has some information on what self-care is, why it’s important.  It gives some different ideas for activities.  It’s not for moms.  If you have a tween, I actually had a friend who gave this to her niece who was like a 12, 13, 14 and she really liked it.  It’s not “too adult”.  If you have a teenage girl who you think would benefit from this, it could be great for her too.  It gives you inspiration, quotes, and ways to see, “What activities am I liking that are good for me?”

And then the book Self-Care for Moms, I love because it’s just so many different activities.  If you’re sitting going, “Well, okay, I could find 15 minutes or 30, but what would I do?”  That book is going to help you.  It has 150, actually a few more than that, that can fit into those different frames.  Also, it has information on what self-care is and why it’s important.  It has more information on time management and how to actually fit it in because let’s face it, that is hard.

There’s information in both of those for you.

Rebecca: It also comes in an audiobook if you don’t have time to read a book about self-care.

Sara: Yeah, exactly.  That can be your self-care –  listening to the audiobook and then you’ll be inspired to do the self-care hopefully.  There’s an audiobook, which is great because I don’t really read.  I just listen to audiobooks.  I’m glad they decided to do that.  It’s not me on the audiobook, but it’s still good.

Rebecca: Yes.  So, everybody, this is Sara Robinson, she’s the author of Self-Care for Moms and Choose YouGo check it out here on Amazon and make a commitment right now to do some self-care this week.  Schedule it in and just notice how it makes other things a little bit easier.

Thank you so much for your time, Sara, and we will see you around on the complete performance coaching world.


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