Have you ever thought to yourself “if I had more money and more time on my hands, then I would be able to take good care of myself and time out as a mom?” It is no lie that money can enrich your self-care practices, but you do not need money to start taking care of yourself! And in as much as you need time for self-care activities, it doesn’t have to be hours on end. Motherhood is demanding, making self-care a bigger need for a busy mom like yourself. These demands that we tend to use as excuses for not practicing self-care are the ones that make taking care of yourself crucial for your overall wellbeing. Self-care will help you to function better, both emotionally and physically, and as a result; you will be able to pour your best self into the different areas of your life, including your children. Rethinking self-care as a mom is crucial for this to happen, here’s how you can get started.
According to the oxford online dictionary, self-care is –
- the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.
- the practice of taking an active role in protecting one’s own well-being and happiness, in particular during periods of stress.
Self-care is not a luxury, it is essential to your well-being as a mom and as a woman. Now let’s dive into how you can go about changing your perspective and rethinking self-care as a mom.
Rethink the time you need for self-care.
When thinking about taking the time to practice self-care, we often look for hours or long periods of time. When we find that we do not have them we get discouraged and give up on our pursuit of practicing self-care. I put it to you that self-care can be enjoyed in shorter periods of time and still be effective. You can give yourself pockets of self-care (as Thando of Modern Zulu Mom refers to it). You start dedicating as little as 5- and 15-minute to your activities, and you’ll see how big of an impact it will have on how you think and feel, which can have a huge effect on how you handle everything else in your life. I love listening to music and dancing (I am not a good dancer, haha, but thank goodness I do not need to be in order to find it relaxing). I also say positive affirmations, like “I am the girl for the job”. Here are some quick self-care activities that you can try:
- Taking deep breaths
- Pouring or making a cup/glass of your favorite drink
- Calling a friend/family
- Put your time on 5 minutes and start reading your favorite book
Stack your self-care activities with your habits
I am not a big fan of mixing self-care activities with anything else, however, that is not always possible. In as much as you may want to be fully immersed and present in what you are doing, sometimes, to get started, you have to start where you are.
Habit stacking allows you to add a self-care element to an everyday chore/habit and can help you move through your day in a better mental and emotional space. Here you can:
- Listen to a podcast while driving – (Living Content is my current fav)
- Play your favorite song while cooking
- Put on a facemask and then go and wash the dishes
- Add some self-care products to your daily bath/shower routine
- Say positive affirmations while you brush your teeth
I have found these to be simple and effective ways to get started with practicing self-care.
Include your kids
I know that you might be thinking that self-care is supposed to be your “Mom time”, but hear me out mama. What is better than not practicing self-care because the kids are present? It is practicing self-care with your kids! You might need to be creative about how the activity happens, or choose a kid-friendly activity, but kids shouldn’t be a total obstacle to self-care. They will benefit from it emotionally and physically, and they will learn the importance of self-care early. For self-care with the kids, you can:
- Have a mommy and kid date (This is our fav to do, from milkshake dates to work and play dates – I work and she plays in the play area after our meal)
- Have a movie night
- Go for a walk or a run with bigger kids
- Have a dance party
- Have a reading date
- Bake together (Confession: I do not like baking so in the Sholo household it’s a daddy and daughter activity)
- Paint together
- Go for a picnic or better yet, have an indoor picnic
I hope that I have convinced you to change your perspective on self-care and to help you to start the process of rethinking self-care as a mom. Let me know what you think about taking pockets of self-care as opposed to always looking for long hours, and about including your kids in your self-care activities. If you know of a mom who can benefit from this post please share it with her because we all deserve to become our best selves.