When it comes to being a mother, self care can seem like this magical unicorn idea that more privileged moms get to enjoy.
The truth is, self care is not a luxury and, especially for mothers, self care is a necessity in order to maintain a sense of identity and good mental health.
The harder truth is that most moms feel they don’t have the time to take care of themselves. Even worse, they feel guilty for doing so.
Which is completely unfair for the women who put their heart and soul into raising their children, taking care of their family and maintaining a household.
If all of this sounds very familiar to you, it’s time to start prioritizing your self care without feeling bad about it.
Here is a breakdown of what exactly self care is, why it’s important and how to easily incorporate it into your life:
What is Self Care?
Simply put, self care is the act of taking care of yourself – your mind, body and soul.
It involves engaging in activities that induce a sense of calm and peace and alleviates stress and anxiety.
These activities look different for every mom. Some may require a vigorous run to dispel stress and clear the mind. Others may seek to curl up with a good book and a warm cup of tea.
The important thing is knowing what activities will bring about a sense of clarity and release.
There are 5 key areas of self care all mothers should consider addressing. Your existence is more than just your body and your brain – the entirety of your existence can be nurtured through self care:
- Physical. Physical self care focuses on taking care of your body, whether this means eating better, exercising or simply finding ways to relax.
- Emotional. Emotional self care involves allowing yourself to express your emotions without feeling judged.
- Psychological. Your psychological well-being encompasses not only your mental health but creative stimulation as well.
- Spiritual. Spiritual self care does not necessarily have to relate to religion in any way. It means finding inspiration and connecting with your values.
- Professional. Self care at work (or even school) involves creating a balance within your workload and creating a pleasing work environment.
Knowing these areas of self care is a great way to pinpoint the sources of stress and anxiety in your life.
If you can do this, you can begin to engage in activities that will help to restore a sense of calm and balance.
Self Care Activity Ideas
Effective self care activities are personal to each and every mom. What works for one mom may not work for another.
That being said, there’s nothing wrong with exploring different self care activities, especially if you’ve come to realize that one area of your life (physical, emotional, professional, etc.) has come out of balance.
You never know – you may discover an enjoyable and relaxing activity that you’ve never tried before!
If you’re looking to explore some self care activity ideas, here are a few based on the 5 areas of self care mentioned above:
- Try some simple stretching exercises.
- Practice deep breathing.
- Go for a short walk.
- Drink more water.
- Go to bed early.
- Get a massage.
- Follow a makeup tutorial on YouTube.
- Take a long shower or bath.
- Write your thoughts in a journal.
- Write positive affirmations on post-it notes and place them around your mirror.
- Compliment your friends and family – in person, through text or on Facebook.
- Practice mindfulness.
- Listen to music that matches your emotional state.
- Read inspirational quotes.
- Pick up a new hobby that requires you to work with your hands, such as knitting or painting.
- Write poetry – even a simple limerick or haiku.
- Read a book.
- Learn how to play a new game, such as a card game or board game.
- Color in an adult coloring book.
- Learn a new language.
- Unplug from social media for an hour.
- Make your bed in the morning.
- Practice meditation.
- Volunteer your time.
- Help a friend.
- Do a random act of kindness.
- Look around you and label 5 beautiful things you see.
- Read blogs of moms who share your journey.
- Go to church or connect with a local group that share your beliefs.
- Take short breaks at work.
- Get up and walk around.
- Don’t work during your lunch break.
- Form connections with like-minded coworkers.
- Seek out new challenges.
- Leave work at work.
These are just a handful of self care activity ideas you can begin to incorporate into your daily life.
Doing so may seem easier said than done, but there are ways (even as a busy mom) to find time for self care on a regular basis.
Finding Time for Self Care
Finding time to recharge your batteries can be a difficult challenge.
Mom life is a notoriously busy one, with little time to get things done that need to be done – let alone time to focus on oneself.
Free time can be elusive, but it’s possible to find.
Here are some tips for creating free time in your life so you can focus on your self care:
- Get up early or stay up late. There is time to be had before the kiddos get up in the morning and after they go to bed. Try to reserve these blocks of time for yourself instead of “getting things done”.
- Delegate chores and tasks. If you have children, you have extra hands that can help – no matter what their age. Start assigning age-appropriate chores to help lessen your workload.
- Start meal planning. Cooking for a family can take up a significant amount of time. Start planning your meals and batch cooking to save you some time in the kitchen.
- Ask for help. There’s no shame in asking for help, whether it be from a friend or family member. Even an hour or two to yourself once a week can make a significant difference when it comes to self care.
- Include your children. There’s no rule that says you have to engage in self care alone. Try to find self care activities your child can participate in, such as coloring, walking or even snuggling down for an evening of Netflix.
Once you start opening up those pockets of time, create a self care routine by actually scheduling in your self care activities.
An easy way to do this is to consider which activities you would like to engage in every day, once a week and even once a month.
Grab a calendar and write them in. This way, you can reach out for a babysitter when necessary or simplify your supper plans to accommodate your self care plan.
Why is Self Care So Important for Moms?
There’s a saying I always turn to when describing the importance of self care for moms:
“You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
The more you push yourself in your role as mother, the more likely you are to burnout. This can negatively change your perception of motherhood as well as how you react to and treat your children.
Everything changes when your cup runs empty and you have nothing else to give.
Engaging in self care ensures that there’s always something in your cup for your family and your children.
And there’s nothing selfish about wanting to take care of yourself so that you can take care of your children.
How do you take care of yourself? Share your self care ideas in the comments!