“I am taking care of myself today!”
Do those words sound familiar? I was admittedly the first time mom who would tell myself this message repeatedly, yet I would never follow through. When it got to the point where I felt like I couldn’t recognize myself anymore both inside and out, I decided that I needed to be done with the excuses. I didn’t want to glance in the mirror and see a worn down, tired, and unhealthy version of myself.
I realized that I used to carve out “me” time, indulging in anything from bubble baths and exercise to homemade facial masks and massages. I took the time to read books for pleasure, flip through magazines, or just take regular walks with my husband. I realize that as a mom, it’s more difficult to find the time to partake in the activities you used to enjoy before motherhood, but I was still making excuses -- the self-care was even more necessary! I saw myself beginning to grow impatient and moody, and I could feel my mounting anxiety. I knew that I needed to make a change -- and maybe you’re reading this and thinking the same thing! If so, repeat after me...
“Self-care is not selfish, it’s necessary!"
Write it down on your bathroom mirror and repeat it daily, if you must. Here are some of my favorite tips for prioritizing self-care:
Get your significant other and “tribe” involved as much as possible. Sometimes moms take on the majority of duties for the family in fear that their significant other won’t be “as good” or do things “the right way.” Not only does your partner need a chance to take care of the kids in his or her own way, but it’s also so important to get your significant other and “tribe” involved so you can have moments to yourself. Lean on your village to get your much deserved time for self-care.
Start small. If the thought of diving into self-care sounds overwhelming, remember that you don’t need to begin with a three week vacation (though that sounds amazing!). Instead, start with 10 minute goals of daily self-care. Make a goal to gradually increase this time frame every few days or weeks. Even starting your day with a hot shower, followed by a cup of warm coffee or tea while you write in your journal will do wonders to help refresh you.
Creating your daily balance. Create a manageable daily to-do list in your journal. Have a list of a few tasks that are a must, including activities for the kids and some self-care goals. If you find that you are easily able to manage those tasks, continue expanding your list. Do not, however, add more tasks until you have taken care of you. Make it a requirement to take care of yourself each day. Even washing your face each night and throwing on some moisturizer is a great way to unwind and treat yourself a little -- do not let yourself fall into the mindset that you’re too tired or busy for a few minutes of self-care.
Write it down. Make it happen. Get in the habit of writing down positive mantras and things in your life that you’re grateful for in your journal in order to release your stress and start each day feeling positive and energized. This morning reflection can help with your motivation, mood, and energy. Write these mantras down at night and have them ready each morning. Create self-care and “me time” goals, then share them with your significant other to ensure that you make them happen. Did you know that if you write something down, you are 42% more likely to complete your goal? Seeing that little checkmark and holding yourself accountable will give you that extra push to make it happen.
Unplug. It’s so easy to get caught up in our virtual world and our phones. Whether we are checking text messages, daily news, or social media feeds, try to unplug during your time of self-care. Allow yourself to really soak in the time you have to yourself, free of any distractions.
Did you enjoy these tips? I’ve also made it even easier to partake in self-care with this daily challenge. Here are 21 days of great activities that promote some much needed “me time.” Feel free to substitute or add your own! The printable is also available on my site.
21 day Self-Care challenge:
Day 1: Take an evening stroll
Day 2: Paint your toenails
Day 3: Make a homemade face mask
Day 4: Take a bubble bath
Day 5: Read a book
Day 6: Stretch
Day 7: Meditate
Day 8: Take a power nap
Day 9: Unplug from social media for the day -- or even just a few hours!
Day 10: Drink chamomile tea -- while it’s still hot!
Day 11: Take a few deep breaths
Day 12: Go to bed early
Day 13: Put a warm washcloth on your face and relax for 10 minutes
Day 14: Get your hair done -- even if it’s just by your kids!
Day 15: Get a foot massage
Day 16: Go screen free for the day
Day 17: Diffuse your favorite essential oils
Day 18: Reach out to a friend you love and tell her how grateful you are for your friendship
Day 19: Plant a new flower
Day 20: Exercise for 30 minutes
Day 21: Go somewhere new, preferably alone!
What do you think, mamas? How do you practice self-care?
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