There has been a large focus on self care for for Moms. There are so many suggestions, blog posts, podcasts. With a good reason. A stressed, and overwhelmed, Mama can definitely make a Mama feel like she isn’t doing her best (which I promise you, you are!). I have also learned, through my mindfulness journey, how important self care is in general. So, it seems I’m about to jump on the bandwagon!
I decided the best research would be asking the Facebook Mommy Group, I actively participate in, to see how they practice self care.
The overwhelming response (as you can see) was “Self care? I don’t even know when I showered last!”
So, it’s obvious, us moms, need to work on that! “But how? I’m too busy!” you say. Don’t be your own worst enemy, by saying you don’t have time. You can find the time! So, here are some ideas, to find and make the time, to fit in self care. SELF CARE ISN’T SELFISH!
- Find a parenting hack. It can give you some extra time during the day. Even if it saves you 10 minutes, that’s 10 minutes to get some self care in!
- If you have someone, in your life, ask for help. You don’t need to carry the load all yourself. Especially when you have a partner at home. They are capable of sharing some of the load. You don’t need to buy into the “I worked all day” or the outdated traditional roles. Especially if you are working, too. Be stern. Be vocal. Get time in, for self care, by telling those in your life you need time. If you don’t have anyone, find a sitter, to help. If you aren’t comfortable leaving your kiddos, do self care at home while the sitter is there.
- Encourage independent play. This can give you some time to have a moment to yourself. You are also teaching your kiddos, how to be independent, and you are allowing them to explore.
- Break your screen time rule. It can give you time to give yourself some self care.
- Stay up after the kiddos go to bed, or get up before them. You can fit your self care moment into that time frame. It gives you time to do some of the below suggestions.
- Involve the kids. But only if it doesn’t make it more stressful. Then that defeats the purpose.
- Get the kids doing an activity, while you have self care moment.
- Use your lunch hour, or break, at work. Even if your day feels overwhelming, that time to practice self care, will help more than you can imagine. Don’t forget, you are owed it, so take it!
So, now that you have ways, to carve out time, here are some self care suggestions!
- Journal. I find doing a gratitude journal to be most successful for me. It takes my mind off the stress, and has me focus on positives. The benefit to that, is it actually is quick! And you can write it in a gratitude journal, a plain notebook, or even on your phone! I use a gratitude journal, which helps with prompts. You can also involve the kids with this one! I got my boys a gratitude journal, designed just for kids.
- Meditate. This one seems simple. But, it definitely helps to de-stress, and start fresh. You can find many ways to do this. I prefer closing my eyes, and practice breathing exercises. The one I use the most, is referred to as the “Yoga Breathing Technique”. That is taking a deep breath, pausing briefly, then slowly letting it out. Then repeat. Do research, and find what fits best for you! This can also be quick, but definitely can help clear your mind!
- Work on a Hobby. It can take your mind away from the daily stress, and clear it. For me, it’s this blog. Writing these posts, and trying to build it. Yours could be anything. Knitting, crocheting, quilting, painting, baking, cooking. If you don’t have one, find one! Even if you can only have 15 minutes a day, you can still work on a project or task.
- Spa Day. This could be at home or at an actual spa. When I say spa day, this is referring to anything you would do at a spa. Do them individually, if you don’t have a chunk of time. Give yourself a facial. Go for a pedicure (or give yourself one at home). Go for a massage. Go get your haircut. It may mean asking for help, distracting your kiddos, but it will be well worth it. You will feel refreshed!
- Do something you enjoy. Take the time you have found (using one or more of the above suggestions) to read, play games, spending time with friends, or any that will clear your mind and have you feeling refreshed!
- Binge watch a show of YOUR choosing. Just tell the others, that the tv is yours. Just say “tough, it’s my turn”. And don’t feel guilty about it! During the day, I find something that is “kid friendly”. Sometimes they will watch with me, or go do something independently. Or I make deals with my husband, saying “it’s my turn tonight. You pick something tomorrow”. Then I’ve given myself something I enjoy, and it makes me feel happier.
- Take the time to enjoy a drink. Whether it’s a warm coffee, a tea, a smoothie, a beer or a glass of wine. Those few minutes to yourself to just relax and enjoy yourself is key to self care.
- Work out. For many this is a great stress reliever. It can clear your mind. You get to rock out to an awesome playlist or give yourself time to meditate. Go for that walk, or run. Do some yoga.
- Eat your favourite food. Even if your family doesn’t want it. You can cook two different meals. Or go tough. But enjoying your favourite food can feel so relaxing.
- Give a bottle, in place of a nursing session. Pump some milk, and give a bottle. It can take your mind off of being pawed at, or needed 24/7. Even if you have to feed your little one, the bottle, just that small break from the stress nursing can cause, can do wonders! This is probably best left for when nursing is well established. But it can definitely be beneficial.
- Go out. ON YOUR OWN. Go do an activity or class. Go meet up with friends. Go for a walk on your own. Sit in a coffee shop on your own. Just being out of the house on your own, can help you forget about all the stress, enjoy yourself, and clear your mind. It can do wonders for self care.
- Take a nap. You can do this while your kiddos nap. Or make them have quiet time. But take that time, to feel rested. Feeling rested, definitely helps with self care!
- Take a REAL shower. Not a shower where you rush, don’t wash your hair, or shave your legs. Do one that allows you to do all that. One where you can just let the warm water run down your back.
- Take a bath. I hear it’s a great way to get quiet and de-stress from a long day. I can’t take baths, because of my epilepsy, so I replace it with having a real long shower.
- Running errands. For some people this may seem more stressful than self care. But for others, it gives them alone time. To not be pulled in a thousand different directions. To blast music, of their choice.
I am sure there are way more! But, just by carving out a few minutes a day, you can definitely find time for self care. Self care is so important, on the mindfulness journey. Along with just feeling better. Refreshed. Relaxed. Everything a Mama feels like she is missing out on!
What ways do you practice self care? What ways do you make time for it? What do you feel is your biggest hurdle? Comment below, so we can all know, and maybe you can help another reader!
And, remember, SELF CARE IS NOT SELFISH!