It’s Time Make Time to Start Taking Better Care of Yourself, Mama
If you follow anyone remotely interested in wellness on Social Media these days, chances are good that you’ve seen at least one of their posts show off their latest self-care routine, and you’re left thinking “wouldn’t that be nice if I had time in my day to lounge around?”
As busy moms, finding time for your own wellness routine can be a major challenge!
It can feel like you don’t have a second left in your day for yourself, and when you finally do, it’s unexpected, or it’s too late or your too tired to do anything about it.
Trust me, you’re not alone. This is a common dilemma with moms, and I can tell you exactly why.
Why Do I Always Feel Run Down?
I joke and tell people I used to be much more of an extrovert before I had kids. But, when I really dig into it, I actually think I’m equally as much of an introvert back then as I am now. The difference? I had alone time, time to myself, and “self-care” time, but it was all unintentional time. If I was tired, I could go home and crash on the couch and go to bed early. Or, on the weekends, I could wake up at my own pace, quietly, and plan a day of activities for myself, which usually included a favorite hobby.
Now, my time looks a heck of a lot different. My kids get up e.a.r.l.y., so I’m usually greeted in the morning with someone asking for something or whining about something. My day is immediately immersed into taking care of other people, and then promptly repeats in the evening until those little cuties finally go to sleep.
Maybe you can relate to this feeling.
So, if you’ve ever asked yourself, “Why do I suddenly need self-care when I didn’t need it before?” The answer is two-fold. First, you’re putting a heck of a lot more emotional energy caring for something that needs your full emotional support, and that’s tiring in itself. Second, you did get self-care before, it just wasn’t called that. It was folded into your lifestyle naturally and felt like negotiable time.
So, when we have kids, we often allow those seemingly insignificant activities to get taken over by other priorities. Time to read a book is now helping with homework and packing lunches, and hobbies get replaced with a new much more time-consuming activity, known as raising children.
Being Intentional about Self-Care
Before we move on, it’s so important that we get two things straight:
- Self-Care is absolutely necessary as a mom (or caregiver)
- You MUST make it a non-negotiable, and it has to be scheduled
In order to feel your best as a mom, you have to accept these two things as fact. Think of it as part of the job description of being a mom: “Daily, Weekly, and Monthly Self-Care Activities Required.” If you work in a job, you might have a requirement to do a certain amount of training hours or continuing education credits in order to succeed in your role. Think of self-care as a mom in the same way.
It’s NOT a vacation – It’s not optional – It’s Required.
Taking Care of Yourself is Part of Taking Care of Your Family
That brings us back to the original problem. When the heck do I make time for self-care?
The hard answer,- you have to make time. That means saying “no” to something else, so you can say “yes” to yourself. It means asking for help and having someone else watch the kids, or drive them somewhere, it means not feeling bad for taking time away from your family to do something for yourself.
If this feels overwhelming right now, and you’re not sure how to get started, I have a great step-by-self self-care workbook that will walk you through getting started. And it’s free, so why not check it out?
And, if you need some simple, quick, and easy ideas to get started with self-care, I have 15 of them for you right here:
1. Finish a project
You know that thing you keep thinking about when you’re driving, in the shower, or about to go to sleep? It’s that thing you keep putting off, but you know you need to do it. Go ahead and check it off your list, or decide that you’re going to move on and stop worrying about it.
2. Read a book
This sounds like an obvious answer but stay with me. Grab a book you’ve been looking forward to reading and make a goal to read 3-5 pages per day. That’s only a few minutes, and once you finish the book, you’ll feel so accomplished.
No time? No problem. There’s a reason why there are simple apps that will stop you throughout your day to remind you to breathe. It has a lot of benefits for only taking a minute out of your day.
4. Go Outside
Even if it’s just for a minute and it’s -15 out (like it is here), take a minute to get some fresh air and see how it energizes you.
5. Eat something that makes you feel good
Multitasking at its finest! You need to eat, so why not make it a self-care activity while you’re at it. Bonus points for taking some time to reflect on how you’re feeling emotionally before and after you eat. What does that tell you about your habits?
6. Give Yourself a Compliment
As cheesy as it sounds, it just takes a minute, and as moms, we need to get all the compliments we can get!
7. Phone a friend
Choose a friend that you know will make you feel great! Bonus if you FaceTime!
8. Forgive yourself
As moms, we tend to be really hard on ourselves for so many things. Take a minute and dig into something you’ve been critical to yourself for. Yelling at the kids? Eating too big of a meal portion? Downing a bag of chips? No one is perfect, and you are not an exception. It’s okay to make mistakes, so forgive yourself and move on.
9. Pay it Forward
Ever notice how making someone else smile just energizes you? What is something small you can do to pay it forward today?
Quick? Check. Easy? Check. Makes you Feel Good? Check.
11. Give Yourself Credit
If there’s one thing that kids are awesome at, it’s taking all the amazing things you do as a mom for granted. Take some time and make a list of all the things you’re doing awesome. If this is hard to do, that means it’s a good activity for you. I promise it gets easier over time.
12. Find Perspective
There is someone out there dreaming of your life, whether you love it or not. Take a second to think about how fortunate you are for what you have in your life. Bonus points if you write it down so you can review it later.
13. Get Active
Give yourself a quick energy boost with some jumping jacks, plank, or a quick dance party to get things moving.
14. Go on a Digital Detox
This feels like weird advice coming from a blog, but more and more studies are coming out about the negative effects of social media for our mental health. Take a day to detox yourself from your phone. As a bonus, you can repurpose all your unused scrolling time to do #7!
15. Mail a note to someone you love
You don’t have to make it a novel. Sometimes a little note can make someone’s day (and you’ll feel great about it too!)
I’m sure you have some quick and easy self-care activities in your back pocket! Comment below and let us know what you love to do when you just have a few minutes of time!
About the Author - Jen Wright
Jen Wright is a Mayo Clinic trained Wellness Coach, Certified Cycle Instructor, mom, and wife living in Minneapolis, MN. With over 10 years of experience in Marketing, Project Management and Leadership for corporations, Jen became passionate about helping others through their health and wellness journey after overcoming her own health challenges. Jen has since helped hundreds of others create healthier, happier and more fulfilled lives through her caring and strengths-driven approach to coaching.
For more wellness and success tips, follow The Driven Mama on Instagram: @TheDrivenMama