The importance of self-care
As moms, we have trivialized the importance of self-care. Because we allow the demands and mundane tasks of work and everyday life to fill our day, we have made it impossible to have time for anything else.
Yet when we take care of ourselves, we’re well-rested, optimistic and at ease. Happy momma, happy baby, and everyone around us benefits.
Some people may think that self-care just about manicures and alone time, but it’s about filling ourselves up. In turn, we can better show up for the people in our lives.
First, define what self-care means to you at this stage of your life.
Take a few minutes to think about the things that give you energy, or the things that make you feel relaxed.
Next, think of an activity that will give you the energy or relaxation you crave.
Do you want more time to relax and read a book? Late-night cocktails with your bestie? Long baths that smell like lavender? Time to explore your artistic side? Make a self-care bucket list for the week or month.
Most importantly, find time to schedule it in!
Jot it down in your calendar like you would any other appointment, or stick a Post-It on the bathroom mirror to remind you. More importantly, make it realistic for your schedule, whether it is 15 minutes or an entire evening of self-care.
The self-care you deserve
To get you going, here is a list of 25 self-care ideas that will help you show yourself some love:
- Instead of binging on TV, pick up a book you’ve been wanting to read. If you’re looking for suggestions, we love The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah and The Circle by Dave Eggers.
- Get an adult coloring book and some colored pencils. Color in for a bit while listening to your favorite album or podcast. This coloring book makes us laugh out loud, but if you want to go a little more zen, this is lovely.
- Give yourself an in-home mani/pedi! You don’t have to book an appointment- DIY in your comfy pajamas while catching up on your favorite TV show. We are obsessed with these nail wraps!
- Create a meal plan that includes your wants and needs. When you fuel your body well, it’s self-care in one of its purest forms. No more eating scraps off your kids’ plates- plan meals that you actually enjoy.
- Declare an early bedtime one night each week. Forget the chores, ignore the to-do list and get in bed right after you tuck the kids in. Sleep makes everything better, mentally, physically and emotionally.
- Move your body and let the endorphins kick in. Go for a walk, hop on the treadmill or take a yoga class. Even if you only have 15 minutes, you can make room for movement.
- Take a relaxing bath. You can add a drop of lavender essential oil and a cup of epsom salt to your bath water. Light some candles, play some relaxing music and let the day melt away.
- You know all those Pinterest crafts you always wanted to try? Getting creative and focusing on a fun, crafty task is good for your mind and soul. We’re eyeing this DIY book vase, this painted heart bag and this bird feeder/planter for the backyard.
- Play a board game or do a puzzle with your partner instead (these escape room games are so much fun!). Rather than just sitting on the couch next to each other spacing out on TV, you can chat and connect.
- Start your day with a simple sun salutation yoga flow. It will get your body moving in a gentle, nourishing way.
- Take a nap. It’s okay to sleep while the baby sleeps and save the chores for later. The benefits of a nap far outweigh the lost minutes of productivity.
- Make a playlist of your favorite songs and listen to it when you’re feeling stressed. Even if your kids prefer their own music, remind them that Momma gets her turn too! Listening to the tunes you love can boost your mood.
- Drink more water. Grab a kid-proof, indestructible bottle like this one and bring it wherever you go. You can add a little lemon to your water for an extra boost, or take along some herbal tea for a hint of relaxation.
- Start a gratitude practice. We love the Five Minute journal, but you can use any notebook to jot down a handful of things you’re grateful for each day.
- Create a self-care vision board. Cut out images of what self-care means to you, and put the board somewhere you’ll see every day to remind yourself!
- Pamper yourself! Take time to deep condition your hair. Do a face mask. Soak your feet. Do those little things that make you feel beautiful and important.
- Make plans with a friend. Even if you have to plan way in advance to coordinate a date, make it happen. Remember, friendships are life-giving.
- Buy yourself flowers, for no reason except that you are fabulous and you deserve them!
- Plan a PJ day. Drink your coffee while it’s still hot, and stay in your pajamas all day.
- Crank up the tunes and have a dance party.
- Boost your motivation by listening to inspiring women. We love this TED Talk from Shonda Rhimes, Brene Brown’s talk on vulnerability and Glennon Doyle’s words on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday.
- Write yourself a manifesto to remind yourself of how amazing you are. (If writing your own doesn’t excite you, hang this one on your wall).
- Treat yourself, whether that means an ice cream cone, a new shade of eyeshadow, or a coffee.
- Add some positivity to your news feed. How about following uplifting pages like Positively Positive, Joy of Mom, Tiny Buddha, and Project Happiness?
- Last but not least, ignore this entire list and do the one thing that makes you feel amazing. Make it a non-negotiable on your to-do list!
To conclude, the most important part of self-care is that you do something that makes you happy. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks.
Incorporate elements of self-care into your days, weeks and months, and you’ll be one happy momma!