There is no job more exhausting than being a mom. Don’t get me wrong, it’s extremely rewarding but it’s also downright exhausting. All of our energy goes into caring for our families and making sure everyone is healthy and happy. As mom’s it’s natural we’re always doing for everyone else that so often our own self care takes the back burner. But it’s like they say when you board the plane “put on your own oxygen mask first before helping others”. What good are you to everyone else if you’re not at 100% yourself?
If you go on the internet, you’ll see the term “self-care” all over. But self-care is more than just massages and bubble baths. (I love those things as much as the next woman trust me.) Self care is anything that re-fuels or re-charges you, mentally, physically or spiritually so that you can continue to give your best self. I’m sharing some simple ways you can add self care to your day to day routine.
Here are 10 ways I practice self care daily since becoming a mom:
1.) Enjoy a cup of hot coffee or tea by yourself – That first morning cup of coffee, alone and in silence, it’s sacred. That’s my me-time. My husband knows that if he or my son happen to wake up early, to stay in bed and give me my time alone.
2.) Get dressed in the morning – I don’t get all fancy, but putting on jeans and a top, doing my hair and throwing on some concealer and mascara makes me feel like a decent human. Think of when you were on maternity leave, hadn’t showered in a week and wore that same pair of leggings for the 5th day in a row how you felt. The power of a hot shower, real clothes and a little makeup does wonders for your mental health.
3.) Clean or organize something – For me, having a clean home is like my xanax. Now, don’t get confused, my house is in no way spotless. I’m not on my hands and knees scrubbing or vacuuming every day (that’s why I have a Roomba). But daily I go through our common living spaces and put things away to get rid of the clutter and keep it organized. Looking at things scattered around my house makes my brain feel scattered and anxious vs when things are orderly bringing a sense of calm.
4.) Cook or bake something – For some people this may seem like more work so if that’s you, then don’t do it. I love being in my kitchen. On my days off I love to either bake a yummy treat to have in the house (try my version of Joanna Gaines’ lemon poppyseed bread) or try a new recipe for dinner. It’s fun for me and makes me feel like I accomplished something.
5.) Practice gratitude – Each morning, usually during my morning coffee, I think about the things that I am grateful for and everything I have. When things start to go a little sideways, I bring myself back to that mental list and remind myself of all I have to be thankful for.
6.) Read a book or listen to a podcast – Reading is one of my absolute favorite things to do. I love to lay down with a good book and flip through the pages, getting lost in the story. It doesn’t have to be a book. You can read a magazine or a few articles from a favorite blog. I love The EveryMom and Nesting With Grace. You can also listen to a favorite podcast.
7.) Do some goal setting or daydream – I do this during my morning coffee (see why that time is so sacred?). Sometimes it’s just daydreaming about a nice vacation or thinking about projects I want to do around the house to make our home my dream home. Other mornings it’s literally writing down things that I want to accomplish that day.
8.) Laugh – whether it’s laughing at myself or something my son said or did, I try to find the humor in daily situations.
9.) Say No – This was something I was lucky to learn a few years ago at a time when I felt like I was being stretched too thin. I’m a natural people pleaser and I like to make people happy. But if it doesn’t make you happy or stresses you out, it’s ok to say no to things.
10.) Go to bed early – Nothing recharges you like a good night’s sleep which since entering motherhood is few and far between. A couple night’s a week, I go to bed early before anyone else, leaving my hubby to do bedtime duty. I’ve been doing this since I was in college. When I was home from school it was a little joke with my parents that “I was retreating for the night”. But that’s just what it is, my retreat. Some nights I read or meditate or doing nothing at all and just let my mind veg out. It’s a nice way to end the day and quiet the mind from all the constant thinking and worrying.
What are some of your favorite ways to practice self care?