Self-care is an essential component for maintaining your overall physical, emotional, and mental health. However, when your life consists of multiple children, accumulating dishes and laundry, and stress from work or commitments for your kids, how can a mom ever take time for her?
But guess what ladies?!
You are allowed to be selfish. You are worth it to yourself and those precious babies you created to take the time to unwind. Self-care creates a balance in your life to keep YOU happy, focused, and healthy. If you aren't taking the time to acknowledge your own values and happiness, how will you manage to give all of those needs to your kids? Take that 10 to 15 minutes a day to model healthy behavior for your children, feel good about yourself, and be present.
If you are feeling depleted, having trouble sleeping (maybe from a baby who still wakes up at night), feeling unfulfilled, experiencing low self-esteem, or often feeling tense, these are 10 ways to practice self-care while being a busy mom.
The idea of being able to relax may be humorous to some moms because, when her children are awake, it's always chaos, noise, spills on the floor, or the constant inquiry from her kids for a snack. Nonetheless, we need to put ourselves on a time-out and replenish our body's natural “feel good” hormones: oxytocin and serotonin.
Relaxing can be taking a nap with your child, taking a long hot bath while the kids watch a movie, or reading a book while they play in the backyard. The mess will still be there for you to clean up after you take those few minutes anyway, so you might as well put your feet up.
9 Pamper Yourself
Let's face it, momma: you are a badass! You grew a life inside your body, gave birth to a baby, and survived sleep deprivation and toddler meltdowns. Every single day you are a counselor, nurse, chef, chauffeur, maid, cheerleader, advocate, and more. It may seem a bit indulgent to pamper yourself but think of it as an investment for your physical and mental health.
It doesn't have to be an expensive day at the spa to be an attainable task to do. It can be painting your own nails on a Saturday morning, walking around with a face mask while you are tidying up or buying a cute top every once and a while, even though it's not really in the budget. Write a list of different ways that you like to pamper yourself and do it when you need that pick-me-up.
8 Do Things That Make You Feel Good About Yourself
Some days it may feel next to impossible to get out of your pajamas and brush out the rat's nest in your hair. Whether you don't have the time, energy, or effort, it can be so easy to let go of your appearance. However, it's not just physical appearances moms seem to let go of. They also end up forgetting about who they were before becoming a mother. After all, when you bring a life into the world, it is no longer just about you.
However, self-esteem plays a major role in our interactions with others. Self-care activities that make you feel good about yourself will make you feel grounded, connected, and less anxious. Wear your favorite outfit, get prettied up with makeup, and post those gym selfies. Doing something that boosts your self-esteem can be whatever makes you feel like the incredible woman you are!
7 Get Outside
It can be easier to just stay inside at home because you have so many chores that need to be tended to. Or what about the weather conditions, the bugs, or someone seeing you look like a hot mess? On the other hand, fresh air helps to reduce blood pressure, stress, fatigue, and overcome symptoms of depression and burnout. Plus, if you are physically active while outside when it comes time to relax you'll be able to unwind faster.
Take a walk, go on a bike ride with your kids, garden and plant some colorful flowers, or just sit down at the park while your kids play. Besides, we could all use the extra Vitamin D, right?
6 Be Silly
Being a care provider doesn't mean you need to be serious all the time. We all know the cliché: laughter is the best medicine. When you laugh, endorphins, the body's other feel-good hormone, are increased, which promotes an overall sense of well-being and can temporarily alleviate pain. Laughter decreases stress levels and increases immune cell and infection-fighting antibodies, keeping you healthy!
Laughing can even reduce frustration and promote patience, which all moms know we could benefit from. Besides, our kids are the experts in silliness, and sharing a laugh with them will only help strengthen the maternal bond we have.
5 Eat Your Favorite Food
This is a bit contradictory since self-care, regarding food, is to eat healthily and drink lots of water, but we need to consider the little things that make us happy. Granted, you don't want to overindulge in foods high in sugar, salt, or fat as a way to avoid problems or coping. Those negative eating styles can lead to health complications such as high blood pressure and cholesterol, diabetes, and obesity.
Food is one of life's greatest pleasures. It brings people together, satisfies our senses, and we need to eat anyways, right? On days where your kids are making you want to tear your hair out or you just don't have the energy to cook a bountiful nutritious meal, call it self-care and order some takeout...you can eat that kale salad tomorrow.
4 Socialize With Adult Friends
It's incredibly lonely when you only have children to talk to all day. Of course, each moment you spend with your child is precious, but moms deserve to have intelligent conversations other than talking about what Ryder did on Paw Patrol.
Did you know that socializing and connecting with friends can improve memory and cognitive skills? Studies show that those who have active social lives are less likely to develop dementia than those who live in isolation. Getting a babysitter for an hour to have lunch with your girlfriends can boost your mood and self-esteem. So follow through on those plans with your friends! Your kids and spouse's world won't be turned upside-down without you for a little bit.
Many mothers joke they need a one-week vacation away from their kids to get their sanity back... but that may not be as big of an exaggeration as one might think. Breaking away from everyday monotonous routine is healthy and challenges us to learn about new surroundings and interact with various types of people.
Self-care trips don't have to be costly tropical vacations or for a week at a time. It could be arranging to head out of town and visit family, go camping for the weekend, or even drive to the grocery store without kids. Whether traveling alone, with your partner, or with the whole gang of kids, getting out of the house for a change of scenery can do you a lot of good.
2 Be Creative
If you've ever heard of the theory of cognition, you may know that being creative is very important for human life. Even if you may not be the most artistic individual, being creative gives you an outlet to help regulate emotions and reduce stress. Not only does being creative increase happiness (thank you, dopamine) but creativity uses both sides of your brain.
For instance, those moms who play an instrument are actually using the left side (responsible for motor function) and right side (responsible for melody) of their brain. Using both hemispheres simultaneously improves the brain's function. Creativity can also encourage coping with trauma or upsetting situations more effectively, especially if you aren't able to verbalize how you feel with words. There are so many ways to be artistic: sing, dance, write, make something crafty, or spend time coloring with your kids.
1 Ask For Affection
This may be one of the most crucial self-care activities that are commonly overlooked. Have you ever been hugged before while you were upset and then almost instantly felt better? Receiving unconditional love from your spouse, your children, your pet, or your friends can be the breakthrough needed to get out of a funk.
Asking for affection is a way to practice self-love and to feel appreciated. Find time to be intimate with your spouse, cuddle with your pet, or snuggle up to your kids. The occasional foot rub is a bonus, too!