Self-Care for Moms: 7 Simple Ideas to Take Time for Yourself
It's easy to get caught up in the everyday. We are all pulled in multiple directions and have a variety of people and things that demand our attention. When all is said and done, women especially have a tendency of putting themselves last.
When I was a working mom, I always felt like I was missing out on those big milestone moments. I also felt like I couldn't keep up. Work was demanding and stressful. Then I would come home and have to cook, clean, and spend quality time with my family. As a stay-at-home mom, I still sometimes feel like I can't keep up, and there are days when I feel like I'm losing my sanity. One thing is for certain: taking time for yourself is essential.
Sometimes it's not about taking time so much as it is making time for you. When I was working full-time, I would leave a little early for work in order to go tanning or stop by and tan on the way home from work. Other times, I would stop and grab a hot coffee from Panera or a frappucino from Starbucks. It doesn't seem like much, but those little things meant a lot to me. It was something I could do on my own and it was a treat.
Nowadays, I get at least an hour every morning, five days a week, where I am on my own. My husband is at work and my son is still sleeping. It's early, and not exactly ideal, but it's mine. This the time for me to enjoy my coffee in silence. I usually have the local news on for a little bit before finally turning it off to focus my attention elsewhere. I express gratitude for my family and my day, and then depending on what I have planned on my to-do list, I work on or share my writing; post a good morning message on social media; catch up on social media work; hop on my mat for a yoga session; get my workout in; catch up on my favorite TV shows that I don't stay up late to watch; or some combination of a few of those.
Self-care doesn't have to be a big affair nor do you have to spend a ton of money, if any at all. It's really just about having a little time to check-in with yourself: mentally, emotionally, and physically. Taking care of yourself is not selfish. It's necessary. When you take care of yourself, you are better able to take care of others. You will be happier and better able to present the best version of yourself to the world everyday.
In addition to the activities mentioned above, below is a list of things I love to do, ranging from everyday activities to occasional fun self-care. These are great suggestions for getting in a little self-care wherever you can find the time to do so in your day.
1. Practice Yoga and Fitness
These are my every day, non-negotiable activities. I have to get my workout in or I get incredibly cranky. My body craves the movement and my mind enjoys the connection. I try to get my daily workout done in the morning before my son wakes up. This allows me to get in the zone without any interruptions. Depending on what workout I'm doing, this becomes a moving meditation for me. Once I'm done, I feel energized and ready to tackle whatever comes my way.
In addition to exercise, I like to practice yoga daily. Most of the time, I will put on a Spotify playlist, roll out my mat, and just move my body. Other times, I like to have a guided practice. I love Yoga With Adriene on YouTube. She has a variety of videos available and releases new ones every Sunday.
If I am unable to get either of these done in the morning, it's not a big deal. I will make time for it sometime during the day. My son and husband will usually engage in a different activity and I get as much time as I need to move. Sometimes, I get my son to join me which is always fun, too.
2. Sign Up for a Fitness Challenge
If you don't have a regular workout schedule or if you are looking to try something new, why not sign up for a fitness challenge? This is a great way to meet new people, tone up your body, and build confidence. The best part is that there are plenty of challenges you can sign up for that are free and don't require you to leave your house. Here are a few of my favorites:
- Tone It Up: They host several fitness challenges throughout the year.
- Tracy Campoli: She has plenty of videos available on YouTube and hosts challenges a few times a year.
- FitModel Challenge: Karina Elle is a fitness model and has a 15-day free fitness challenge that will get you in shape and have you feeling amazing.
- Yoga With Adriene: Adriene hosts a 30-day yoga challenge every January.
Another option is to search for fun yoga challenges on Instagram. This is a great way to build your yoga practice, work on your flexibility, meet new friends, and maybe even win a cool prize! I have been participating in Instagram yoga challenges for a little over a year and I love them! I have met some of the most wonderful people through these challenges. This past January, I started hosting yoga challenges which have also been a lot of fun!
3. Hop on Social Media for a Bit
Social media gets a bad rep, but I personally think the positives outweigh the negatives. It's all about taking responsibility for yourself and what you are consuming. My first tip is to go through each of your social media profiles and unfriend or unfollow anyone, any company, or page that doesn't make you feel good, doesn't inspire you, or who you don't engage with. Likewise, if you find yourself complaining or engaging in negative behavior on anyone's profile, it's time to unfollow, unlike, or unfriend. For example, many people can't stand the Kardashians, but still follow them on social media, only to leave negative comments. No one who is truly trying to live their best life has time for that. If you don't like someone or something, don't give them or it attention. This is actually an uplifting activity. You might be surprised at how good you feel after you're done. I like to do this a few times a year.
The second tip concerning social media is to seek out people who inspire you, encourage you, and uplift you. This is exactly what I've found on Instagram through joining the yoga challenges. It's such a wonderful and welcoming community. In a little over a year, I've met some of the nicest people from all over the globe.
My last tip with social media is finding a healthy balance. Spending all your time scrolling isn't real self-care and it's important to remember that what we see online isn't always a true representation of someone's real life. Have fun catching up and sharing parts of your life, but don't forget to set your phone down and enjoy what's around you. A self-care activity might actually be unplugging and enjoying a real-life activity just for you.
4. Lose Yourself in Your Favorite Story
This is one of my favorite activities, especially since I don't always have time to sit and read. When I do make time for reading, it feels so refreshing and rejuvenating. You could schedule a time where everyone in the house relaxes on the couch and enjoys their own story. Sometimes I will sit on the couch next to my husband while he plays his video game and I will enjoy my book. It's a little bit of self-care and also a way to relax with my husband. If there is a longer book I'm trying to finish, I will read a few chapters before falling asleep for the night.
5. At-Home Spa Day
Take some time to pamper yourself without even leaving the house! Soak in a bubble bath with a glass of wine, while reading a magazine. Try a face mask and give yourself a manicure/pedicure. Give your hair some love with a hair treatment. Maybe just throw on your plushest robe and enjoy some chocolates. The possibilities are endless.
6. Netflix and Chill
Sometimes it's nice to grab some snacks, relax on the couch, and binge your favorite TV show or have a movie marathon. Netflix has a variety of shows and movies available. An afternoon of comedy specials or the latest documentary is always a good idea!
7. Get All Dolled Up
On the other side of the spectrum, you could pamper yourself by getting all dolled up. Take time to do your make-up, maybe trying out something new. Style your hair and put on your favorite outfit, all while listening to your favorite music. You could take the extra time before a date or special event or you could primp just because. Either way, you'll feel amazing.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
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© 2018 Alyssa