Parenting is absolutely exhausting. Being a new mom or even a mom of three is a constant battle from sunup to sundown of feeding, changing diapers, arguing with miniature versions of yourself, bedtime routines, etc. By the end of the day you have used all your energy to keep the tiny humans alive and you are spent—you are ready to go to bed and do it all over again tomorrow.
But what about you? What about taking a moment—be that 5 minutes or 1 hour—to really focus on your own needs. As mothers, we tend to forget our own identity as we enter motherhood. But you are more than just a mother—there is still a YOU deep down in there craving for the same wants, hopes, and dreams you had before motherhood.
It’s important to take care of you too! When you practice positive self-care, you are showing your children and your spouse that you matter beyond motherhood. And honestly, you deserve the moments.
Here are some incredible ways—both big and small—to practice self-care. Motherhood is a journey, but it needs to be a balanced journey that nourishes both you and your family.
Get a Massage
Research shows that getting massages on a regular basis will reduce stress and anxiety. Additionally, massages can help you get better sleep and sleep is the number one thing a mama could use a little extra of. The benefits of getting a massage are there and well researched, so investigate local spas or massage therapists and get yourself an appointment!
Make it a treat yourself once a month or twice a month kind of deal—you deserve the relaxing break!
Yoga is an excellent way to have some “me time” while also taking care of your body and mind. Doing yoga is great for every part of you and gives you that special time where you can center, recollect your thoughts, and approach the rest of the day/week/month with an open mind.
The best thing about yoga? You can literally do it anywhere and still get that self-care you deserve! Do yoga from your home or join a local yoga studio. You can even find local gyms that have yoga classes as one of their rotational classes. Give it a try and feel the relaxation come to you.
Take Time to Declutter
Clutter can have detrimental effects on your living space and can even affect the moods of you and your children. A cluttered and messy home can turn into a space that is energy-sucking. This is the LAST thing you need as a mother who already has little ones sucking the life out of you.
Take a few moments daily or make a list for a weekend to go through and streamline your home. Get rid of junk and reduce your stress levels all at the same time. Your home and your mental health will thank you for this when you are done.
Unplug for a Day
Did you know National Day of Unplugging is just around the corner? It’s the first Friday in March (3.6.2020) so you can take advantage of this de-stressor soon. Unplugging detaches us from those devices that we have grown so attached to and offers us a complete 24 hours of living in the moment. No phone, no tablet, no nothing. Spend your time doing activities with your children that are quiet and captivating both of you, such as reading, puzzles, art, or simply playtime.
If you choose to use your unplugging for just you, take a walk, grab a nap, read a good book, or just simply spend an afternoon or lunchtime with a friend. You never know—you could absolutely love being off that pesky device!
Get a manicure or pedicure
Heck—get both! If you want instant gratification from a self-care session, then a visit to the nail salon is just what you need. Find a sitter for an hour or have your significant other or parent sit with the kids while you go indulge in a short relaxation period that will have you feel pampered from fingers to toes.
As a bonus, take a friend you haven’t chatted with in a while with you! Nurturing our connections with others is just as important to our self-care as anything else. Connecting with others is good for your soul and they’ll have your reminiscing, laughing, and enjoying that little bit of time away from home even more. Besides, a good mani and pedi are always better with a bestie!
Plan a vacation
Here us out on this one. If you are a new mama, chances are you aren’t looking to hop on a plane and whisk yourself away to some exotic location. However, there is no harm in dreaming or planning that said vacation out. If you are feeling blue or down and need some deep ME time, go plan that dream vacation and give yourself something to look forward to.
While you may not be physically escaping for a little while, mentally going to a new place can do wonders for your self-esteem and outlook.
Listen to your favorite song
Or better yet, make a playlist on Spotify or your iTunes that are all your favorites mashed into one happy list. Music, according to research, can have a positive impact on your brain chemistry which in turn boosts chemicals that support things like our immunities.
Plus, those favorite songs just boost our moods! If you are having a particularly lousy mama-day, throw your list on, sing and dance a little, and get your positive energy flowing again!
Reading is proven to help reduce brain fog and stress. Additionally, reading daily is important because it works your brain—one of the most important components in your body. Think you can’t find time to read? Try these ideas to sneak in some reading time for yourself
- A few pages in the morning—during coffee, breakfast, while doing your hair
- During waiting times—never leave the house without a book; waiting in line somewhere, in traffic, or even picking up your kids from school can get you a few pages further
- In the car—find an audiobook you love and listen to it while you drive
- During naptime—if you have littles, chances are there are naptimes involved. While you may not be able to devote the entire naptime to reading, you can probably fit in at least 10-30 minutes for yourself.
Before bed—this is the perfect time to read; once the kiddos are all snug in bed, take 20 minutes to decompress from the day and read your book. (It’s much better for your eyes than staring at the television or mobile device right before lights out.)
Find the Artist in you
Want to practice self-care and bond with your child all at once? Coloring or painting is a great way to relieve stress, express creativity, and spend extra time with your little ones. If you are still new to motherhood and baby isn’t creating yet, grab an adult coloring book or paint by number from your local craft store.
Just 10-20 minutes a day creating something can make a huge difference in your stress levels and the way you approach your daily routines.
Ask for help
We know—mothers are superheroes! They can do it all—until they can’t. But asking for help will not make you any less of a superhero, it will just make you feel a tad human for a moment. Asking for help when you need it plays a huge role in making sure you are practicing self-care.
When you are feeling too tired, stressed, or overwhelmed you need to speak up. Ask a relative to help with a meal for an evening or to come to hold down the fort while you take a nap. Asking for help will ease the burden you create in your head. Motherhood is a blessing and is a lot of work—you shouldn’t ever feel like you must tackle it all alone!
Go to Bed Early
If you have one of those magical evenings where the kids are in bed at a good time and all the things that need to be done around the house are done—get some extra rest. Chances are that your body could use the few hours of extra sleep.
Rejuvenate yourself. Lacking the proper amount of sleep can have a negative effect on your health and your well-being. And, let’s be honest, it makes for a cranky mama in the morning! Sleep deprivation is no joke—so when the opportunity for early bed comes knocking, answer it.
Visit your Favorite Museum
Learn something new. Get inspired. Stimulate your mind. Take time on a rainy afternoon to share your favorite places with your kids. Whether they are 5 months old or 5 years old, they’ll enjoy the special time you give them as you let them in on something special to you.
Make Time for YOU!
The biggest tip we can leave you with is that no matter what you are doing, making time for yourself is important. Why? You can’t pour from an empty cup. You are Important not only as a mom but as a person. Whether it’s an hour outside of the home or a few stolen minutes at home, take time to recognize what you need and fulfill it.
The more ways you learn to practice self-care, the happier you and your family will be! Make yourself a priority and enjoy being a parent at the same time. Motherhood is no easy task, but you will enjoy it more fully when you are taken care of as well.