Between the lunch-making, snack-dealing, and school drop-offs — the to-do list in your brain feels never-ending. And, guess what else gets thrown on that to-do list (probably somewhere towards the bottom)? That’s right — self-care!
You forget to brush your teeth, your diet consists of scraps from your kiddo’s meals, and if you’re anything like me, you’re nearing day five of using dry shampoo.
As moms, we spend all day caring for others while pushing our own needs to the backburner.
So, let’s make a change and prioritize ourselves too, but not the kind of “prioritizing” where we put on a facemask, sip a yummy drink, and call it good. Let’s do something different this time and actually take care of ourselves — physically, mentally, and emotionally! Here are five easy and realistic ways you can practice self-care:
1. Date Yourself
Remember that time your husband surprised you with flowers? You were filled with pure happiness! It was such a small act, but it made your entire day!
Sweet little gifts don’t always have to be from someone else; they can be from you!
How to show yourself some love:
- Grab a bouquet of your favorite flowers during your grocery run.
- Keep a stash of your favorite sweet treats on-hand (for those extra-tough days).
- Have some alone time. It can be hard to sneak in some “me time” when you have kiddos, but try to find a few pockets of peace where you can decompress.
- Buy yourself an extra special gift. Have you been eyeing a new perfume? Get it!
- Splurge on something sexy. Is your bra and underwear collection not making you feel like the goddess you are? Time to splurge on some that make you feel amazing!
Wash Away the Day
Do you ever end the day feeling downright filthy? You know... those days when you can feel a grease layer on your face, and your shirt has an unknown crusty substance on it — yeah, those days.
No matter what happened today, always give yourself a clean slate for sleep.
Get in the shower and scrub, exfoliate, and wash your hair — literally and figuratively scrub the day away. Before you get into bed, put on a creamy lotion and fresh clothes, and roll on some lavender essential oil. Now, relax and prepare for a restful night.
2. Move Your Body
Getting active is my favorite tip because it’s self-care that you can do with your kiddos!
While your schedule may not allow for a full gym session or a Zumba class, that’s okay! We’re moms — we adapt and make things work!
Activities that get your body moving:
- Go for a bike ride.
- Take your kiddos on a walk.
- Play tag in the backyard.
- Have a dance party in the living room and wiggle out all of that built up stress!
- Not feeling a dance party or bike ride today? Try a few minutes of early morning yoga or stretching before your littles wake up.
3. Get Some Fresh Air
Did you know that fresh air can lower your stress levels? It’s true! Studies show that time spent outdoors can improve anxiety, depression, self-esteem, and instantly boost your mood!
Easy ways to get fresh air today:
- Sit outside while your kids draw with sidewalk chalk.
- Have your morning cup of coffee on the porch.
- Take lunch outside and have a picnic (your kids will love this one too!)
- Head outside for baby’s next feeding
- Can’t get outside today? Open the windows in your house or in your car on your way to work!
4. Tend to Your Mental Health
One of the most critical and often overlooked aspects of self-care is caring for your mind. We’re physically exhausted, but mentally... We’re completely drained. The invisible workload of the constant to-dos, grocery lists, and appointment reminders can quickly take its toll on you.
Simple ways to heal your mind:
- Invest in a journal: Grab a simple journal, like this one, and just write. There are no rules for journaling! Whatever comes to your mind and brings you peace, write about it!
- Have a brain dump: When you’re feeling overwhelmed, just dump everything in your brain out onto paper. Sometimes thoughts get jumbled, and this can help sort things out.
- Know your limits: If you notice that you’re getting worked up during your toddler’s tantrum, step away for a minute.
- Take time off when you need it: Don’t feel like cooking tonight? No biggie, give yourself a break, and order takeout (takeout is always a good idea)!
- Ask for help: Delegating the workload is nothing to be ashamed of. Remember: you cannot do everything on your own. You’re only one person!
5. Give Yourself Grace
Even if you can’t get to every tip each time you practice self-care, that’s okay.
It’s important to be gentle with yourself. Self-care shouldn’t feel like another task you have to complete — it should be fun! Find the little things that breathe magic back into your days, and then do them as often as possible!
Remember: You’re doing great, mama. Keep loving those babies and loving yourself!