You’ve probably heard of self-care – basically, it’s any activity that we do deliberately in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Essentially, self-care means self-parenting. Going to bed at a reasonable hour and not eating junk food for dinner are just some of the ways we take care of ourselves as adults. A new twist on this concept is the idea of “self-grandparenting.”
Molly Lambert, a writer and co-host of the podcast Night Call, came up with the term after she saw her friend, Cait Raft, tweet about eating meatloaf in a restaurant all by herself.
“Climate change has made a lot of people reconsidering or deciding against procreating. Since many of us will never get to have grandchildren, the idea was to treat yourself like your own grandchild,” Lambert said, half-joking.
Self-grandparenting is a type of self-care that involves simple pleasures, slow living, and being mindful of what’s going on around you. It allows you to indulge in the little things and treat yourself gently. It can be taking up hobbies in your downtime that many of us would think to do during retirement. Instead of feeling guilty about not being productive and making money, it can be making time to learn new things, exploring your neighbourhood or cooking comfort food.
How to self-grandparent
Think retirement vibes! Retirees have a lot of time, but not an endless amount of it. Self-grandparenting involves reevaluating how you value and make use of your time, allowing you to spend, live and consume at a slower pace.
A great way to self-grandparent is by doing nice things for yourself that are cheap. It’s all about the simple pleasures. You can learn to play an instrument, watch birds, sketch scenery or practice just about any obscure hobby you can think of. Even having an early dinner and going to bed before dark can be a form of self-grandparenting.
No two people need to self-grandparent in the same way. It can vary depending on your relationship with your own grandparents and whatever you find to be sweet and indulgent.
What are the benefits? Well, being your own grandparent can give you a new way to experience life that is largely underrated. It allows you to feel relaxed and helps you live a more calm and composed life. It even teaches you to develop “empathy for people, including yourself,” according to Lambert.
With everything wrong in the world, self-grandparenting allows you to escape and take care of yourself without all of the focus being on productivity. Taking things slowly and indulging in life’s simple pleasures may improve your quality of life and be the type of self-care you really need.