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Self care for moms — something we can laugh about right?
I mean, as a mom we’re always taking care of other people. Our kids of course, but also our spouse, other family members, friends, etc. And keeping up with our homes, making sure meals are cooked, clothes are bought.
For some of us, it also means working outside of the house (or working from home.)
So when exactly are we supposed to get in some self care?
I totally understand the sentiment. But I want to argue how drastically important taking care of our minds and our bodies is.
We simply cannot be the wife and mother that we strive to be without making sure we’re filled up and far from burnout.
What Self Care Is Not
I’ll start by letting you off the hook. Self care doesn’t mean you have to soak in the bath for 30 minutes each night (although you can), or binge on cookies and wine.
As nice as those things can be from time to time, they’re just not practical. And they’re not what self care is all about.
Self care is taking care of our bodies, minds, and souls. It’s discovering what truly fills us up and leaves us feeling refreshed.
Let’s say for example that your husband tells you to go out for a few hours and have a good time. He’ll stay with the kids and you go do whatever you want to do.
So you head out with that giddy, excited feeling, not exactly sure where you want to go. You decide to start with Target.
You grab your Starbucks and wander around for an hour. You pick up a few new decor pieces, some things for the kitchen, and some new outfits for the kids.
You still have some time, so you grab some lunch and eat it fast so you can get on to your next destination.
You end up going to Hobby Lobby, TJ Maxx, and then head home.
You had some fun, but when you get back home you feel more tired than when you left.
You had to fight traffic, walk around numerous stores, and have a mental battle with yourself when deciding what to buy and what to put back.
What started out as a fun escape really didn’t fill you up at all.
What Self Care Really Is
So now that we know what self care isn’t, let’s talk about what it really is.
In my definition, self care is anything that leaves you feeling refreshed or recharged when you’re done. It’s anything that feeds your mind and body instead of depleting it.
Sometimes, self care doesn’t even seem that appealing. If you don’t particularly love to exercise, it’s going to be hard to get up and move your body.
But exercising is one of the best methods of self care we have. It takes care of your body and your mind at the same time. You might feel a little sore when you’re done, but that’s not a bad thing.
Relaxing is another huge self care method. If you don’t relax your body and mind, your stress levels are going to constantly be firing away, even when you don’t feel stressed out. This leads to a whole series of problems with sleep, fatigue, hormones, etc.
How to Create Your Self Care Routine
Self care for moms especially can be pretty tricky. You have to find time and make it a priority. Here are some tips to do that:
- Schedule it in your planner just like any other appointment.
- If your kids are old enough, teach them how to self-entertain. You don’t have to constantly provide entertainment for them.
- If you have babies, be flexible. You may not be able to complete a 30 minute yoga routine at once, but you can break it up throughout the day.
- Tell your husband you need a break. Work out a set time each week that you have time all to yourself.
- If you truly don’t have any help, focus on self care during naptimes or when the kids are in bed. Everything else can wait.
What to do During Your Self Care Time
When we go so long without taking proper care of ourselves, it’s hard to know what we actually like to do.
So use your first self care session to get in touch with yourself. Get away and journal. Ask yourself questions and give yourself time to dwell on each one.
You can also try new things until something sticks. You may prefer taking a painting class over getting a manicure.
Here’s a list of self care ideas if you’re absolutely stuck:
- Exercise: go for a walk, do some yoga, lift weights
- Drink a smoothie
- Journal about your day
- Read: fiction, self-help, the Bible
- Listen to a podcast
- Take a bath
- Get pampered: get a massage, manicure, pedicure, haircut
- Get creative: paint, handletter, create a floral arrangement
Notice how none of those things in that list involve escaping through shopping, drinking, or social media. Those things can sometimes disguise themselves as self care, but escaping will never truly recharge you.
So what do you like to do during your self care time? When do you find time to fit it in your day? Let us know down in the comments below!