The Relationship Between Self-Care & Family Legacy

Family legacy is something that I consider frequently.

Most people only consider generational wealth when thinking about a family legacy. I think about what we leave behind financially and what we teach our children about personal finance. But I also think about family legacy in terms of the patterns that we pass down to our children (both positive and not-so-positive). 

Family legacy patterns could include:

  • Conflict styles
  • Behavioral patterns
  • Emotional health
  • Belief systems
  • Our daily practices
  • Attitudes towards rest and self care

There is so much that impacts how we show up in our lives and everything that we are ultimately passing down to our children! 

Your Relationship with Self-Care: How to Show Up for Yourself

In order to leave the healthiest and most positive legacy for our children possible, we must first look closely at ourselves. We must ask ourselves: How do we want to show up in our lives? What is our role within our family? How do we want to be remembered? 

And perhaps most importantly, what patterns do we need to disrupt and heal from, so we don’t pass them down to our children? 

The relationship we have with ourselves is the most important. It is from the quality of our relationships with ourselves that all of our outer relationships flow – with the people with whom we interact and the decisions we make – and we must put in the work to internally align in order to really understand what will impact our children. 

In this series, I’m going to dive deep into HOW to intentionally make a positive impact on and influence our family legacy. Today we start by addressing self-care.

The Importance of Self-Care as a Parent

As a parent, self-care can feel elusive. You’re juggling a million things. Taking care of yourself is oftentimes the first thing to get cut from the bigger picture. 

Yet, it’s important that our children see us practicing self-care. When we take good care of ourselves, we teach our children that we are worthy of love, attention, and time…and they are too. 

When we take good care of ourselves, we also teach our children that self-care is something that we deserve – which is a powerful message in this increasingly busy world that values productivity above everything else. 

When you model self-care, you are legitimizing it and making it a priority–like brushing teeth, showering, or any other daily habit.  It also helps them to honor their humanity and worthiness beyond the work that they do. They are inherently deserving. And you are too!

Defining Self-Care

Self-care can look like a lot of things. It can be as simple as nourishing your body with a nutrient dense meal (which any parent knows is easier said than done) or it can be modeling personal growth through therapy or coaching. 

Our relationship with self-care will inform our children’s perspective as they grow up.  Reflect upon your biological family’s attitude toward self-care and how it has influenced the priority you place upon self-care, or not. So, how can we begin to start showing up for ourselves? If you’re not sure how to begin practicing self-care, here are a few ideas:

How to Incorporate Self-Care into Your Daily Life

Here are some simple, but powerful ways to establish your self-care routine

Breathe

Seriously. Take a moment right now to connect to your breath.  

Things around us can sometimes move so quickly that we feel compelled to keep up with a pace that is, truly, unrealistic. We barrel through from one situation to the next indifferent to our need to bring in fresh oxygen. But it is so important for thinking clearly and spending a few moments focusing inward. 

Get the work done, yes, and also remember that your breath is a powerful tool for connecting to yourself (and keeping your lungs and diaphragm working, and you alive!).

Slow It Down

I know. You have so much to do and what in the world is Lisane talking about?  Trust that I absolutely know what it means to have what feels like a million things to do all the time and to feel like there is never going to be enough time to do it all. 

I also know what it feels like to have other people chomping at the bit for you to move fast when something is of priority to them.  I’ve learned that barreling through things can have the opposite effect. It’s an inefficient use of our time and energy.  

You do not have to react to every single thing to meet others’ sense of panic and urgency. Yep. I said it. You don’t.  You have the right to gift yourself a minute to think, to decide, to respond, to ponder, if that is what you know you need.  Give it to yourself and you will find yourself making decisions from a place of internal alignment versus stress, panic, and negative emotion. Take a beat. You deserve it.

Do Something Creative

How do you practice creativity in your life? When was the last time you did something fun and creative, just for the sake of it? Creativity is so essential. It fuels us as human beings. 

Identify a way to incorporate more creativity into your life….and then go do it. Perhaps you can remember something you enjoyed immensely as a child.  Gift yourself that energizing hobby or activity. 

Know Your Limits

Hold onto your hat because I’m getting ready to use the B word…  

Where in your life do you know that you need to set clearer boundaries?  The fear and trepidation of setting a necessary boundary almost never outweighs the benefits of setting them.  Setting boundaries is a form of emotional and mental self-care, my friend. 

Take a walk 

If you are anything like me, you spend quite a bit of time in meetings.  There are days that I can easily sit at my desk for well over 8 hours on video conferences, phone calls, emails, reviewing things.  

I find that I feel so much better and have more positive energy on the days that I push myself away every once in a while to take a brisk walk outside with my headphones on (sometimes with no music playing). In less than 5 minutes I begin to feel better, think more clearly, and my creative juices begin to flow.  On really busy days, I schedule a walk in the late morning and then another mid-afternoon one. Air truly helps.

When we take the initiative and show up for ourselves with actions, we give our children tools and permission to do the same.


About the author: Lisane Basquiat is not only an entrepreneur but a community leader who leads with compassion and purpose.

Most recently, she led important conversation on social justice, mental and emotional health during crisis, and empowered action to repairing generational traumas through her platform and virtual programs via Shaping Freedom®

Shaping Freedom® With Lisane Basquiat

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