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Health Matters

Moms Matter: Self Love & Care

March 1st, 2015

By Sheena Johnson

Healthy living isn’t a fad, it’s a necessity. I’m a true believer in taking control of our family’s health, and making informed decisions every day on what to expose our bodies and minds to. Emotional health is just as important as physical health. In fact you can research the heck out of articles and documents proving emotional health can actually control the overall wellness of a person. And as women, we burden ourselves by carrying an overload of stress around every day. To counter that, have you scheduled in some self-care?

What did you have for breakfast today? I know the three cups of coffee I had is not even a close attempt at breakfast. But guess what my kids had? Homemade whole wheat blueberry muffins, a banana, and almond chocolate milk. I did grab a few of the larger crumbs before they were thrown on the floor. Does that count? It’s easy to make your kids a priority, but it’s very hard giving yourself the same gift.

After the death of our mom as young teenagers, I remember being suddenly terrified that we hadn’t learned enough from her. I remember thinking how important it was to write EVERYTHING (…I have the journals to prove it) down that I could think of so I didn’t forget the little things she did that I recognized to be so vital to our everyday life. When she was suddenly no longer there, the value in all her efforts became perfectly clear. But I was only 16. Would I remember when I had my own children?

Fast forward 18 years and yes, I actually see even more clearly now. I see all she gave to us, but now that I’m a mom, I see all that she neglected to give herself. She gave 100 per cent to her job, 100 per cent to her home, and 100 per cent to her family. But in her hurry to accommodate all these people, she was left unaccommodated. Being the oldest, I remember coming into her room to find her sobbing in exhaustion and frustration. Another day had come and gone and she had done nothing to care for herself; but she was going to wear a smile and face another day doing exactly the same thing, despite how it left her feeling.

We didn’t know then that she had only a short amount of time to teach us how important it was to look after YOU first. Incredibly and without knowing, she had been doing it all along. And it all came together in one devastating moment when she was rushing from one obligation to another, and in her haste collided her car with a train. Her life ended. And ours would never be the same.


YOU are far too important, and you are far too vulnerable to put yourself last on the list.

It breaks my heart to think of the many women out there living the same non-stop life that our mom did, without anyone, including themselves, making them a priority too. We moms have to change our expectations. We have to start putting some importance on our own self love and care. Modelling positive choices for yourself will show your family you are committed to making YOU a priority, and in the end, this helps the whole family dynamic. When your emotional and physical needs are met, you are better able to meet the needs of those who depend on you. Your children will grow to see that as your normal, and as they grow into adults they will also make it theirs.

I wish to God I could go back and comfort that 16-year-old girl who cried herself to sleep at night in overwhelming regret that she had not asked more questions, had not learned enough, and who was consumed with worry that she would not be a good mom someday. Now, with a husband who works out of the country for weeks at a time, a demanding business to keep up with, and two busy little girls, there is no doubt my self-care routine could be better. (Let it be known however, I refuse to give up coffee at this stage of my game.) I’m getting better at booking myself in with the chiropractor or for a massage, relaxing in the tub after the kids are in bed instead of putting away laundry, or an early tuck into bed with tea and Netflix. These are the things I have started to long for, so I work them into my day (ha, ok into my week… sometimes my month…). And I am learning how to do this without feeling pressure from anything or anyone, including myself.

Funny enough, bras and underwear come into play under the heading of “self-care”. Because of our mom’s life, and because of her death, The Bra Lounge was founded on the idea of helping women put a priority on their everyday comfort. Investing in yourself helps to nurture your emotional health. When you talk to someone already taking care of their everyday comfort, they will tell you the proper fitting undergarments can greatly impact emotional health. These are not “wants”, these are necessities and they will impact your overall health. Achieving this balance can help you face your daily challenges head on, with confidence and flare. And even more importantly, if and when life takes a drastic turn and you are faced with a seriously devastating event, such as a death, a diagnosis, or other trauma, you are better prepared to handle it.

Take care of yourself. Treat yourself this month in whatever big or small way you can. Taking care of you is top priority; we really truly know how much it matters.

Sheena Johnson is part owner of The Bra Lounge in Red Deer, and is in charge of marketing and promotions. The Bra Lounge has expanded its lines to include many teen-friendly styles and colours which are beautiful and affordable. Visit for more information.   

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