Mom - you're worth it! A little self-care goes a long way, and we've come up with 10 ways to indulge yourself every day!
Why does self-care matter?
If we don't take care of ourselves, how can we expect to care for others? We spend most of our time doing for, thinking of and being responsible for our families. We pour all we have into this wonderful work- day after day, 24/7. It's important to "fill our cup"- even if it's only one small thing each day!
How can you fit self-care into your life realistically?
It can be SO hard to even think of making time for ourselves when we barely have time to do anything other than nursing/holding/taking care of babies and kids (and homes and husbands!). But it's absolutely possible...and very necessary! Doing things for YOU isn't selfish or indulgent. You're worth it and you deserve it. A little self-care goes a long way.
Here are 10 self-care ideas to inspire you:
1. Imagine your daily shower as your "spa time"- even if it's only a quick one! Even better....take a bath! Baths are GREAT with baby....but also a wonderful way to decompress by yourself! Add some music, a candle, essential oils, a facial mask, even a glass of wine and you have an instant in-home spa.
2. Attempt to wake up earlier than everyone else in your house to carve out some time for you (this isn't always realistic but a good idea if it works for you!). Make this time just for you to do anything you want- yoga, reading, email catch-up, coffee....but not chores!
3. If you feel overwhelmed and want to get out of the house alone, do it! It can be as simple as handing a freshly-nursed babe over to Dad/Grandma/friend and going for a walk around the block or a half-hour jaunt to the grocery store. It can look like having your "support person" wear baby in a carrier for a bit while you take some time to stretch out on your yoga mat, take a 20 minute power nap or read a few chapters of a book. Having time physically away from your child looks different for everyone... and sometimes, it doesn't work out (and that's normal and ok!). Those few minutes "alone" can feel really refreshing.
4. Connect with other moms! Yes, this is absolutely a form of self-care. We feel good about ourselves and tend to be happier when we connect with like-minded moms and find the support, encouragement and friendship that we all thrive on. When you find your "tribe", you'll know it.
5. Make time for physical activity. This might not always be "alone time". It actually works out pretty well to include your baby in your workout or walk (wearing baby in a carrier, using a stroller, using baby's "weight" for toning and strengthening, engaging baby in yoga with you). The endorphins that flow after exercise are SO good for our well-being- physically, emotionally and mentally!
6. Have your hair done. Even if it means bringing someone with you to the salon to hold your baby....you deserve to feel good about your hair. If you want and can afford it, treat yourself to a manicure and pedicure too!
7. Buy yourself something new to wear...or revive something old! Sometimes wearing something new or different can be a huge confidence-booster! When you find something you love, buy it in a few colors!
8. Do something creative. Whatever makes your soul happy- art, listening to or playing music, singing, photography, dancing, etc., releasing our creative energy is an excellent form of self-care!
9. Take a moment to be thankful. Expressing gratitude and being conscious of all the good in our lives has a way of making us feel happy, positive and uplifted. Whether you write a list on paper or in your head, think of all the amazing things you have going for you. Start by looking at your beautiful children- even when they're driving you crazy and life is a beautiful mess, there is so much to be grateful for!
10. Be kind to yourself! Motherhood is NOT easy and deserves all the accolades in the world. For some reason, we tend to take on so much guilt for so many various reasons. Let it go and be gentle with yourself. Motherhood is an evolutionary journey and we are all works-in-progress. Regardless of the hard times and difficult moments, in the eyes of your little ones, you ARE a supermom.
Photo credit: Cat Runyan