Self-care sounds like a luxury when you are a busy mom.
Between taking care of the kids and ticking things off your to-do list, you hardly have time to breathe.
So, developing a self-care plan for yourself not only seems self-indulgent but also feels like an extra burden of stress.
But it doesn’t have to be that way. With a little planning and prioritizing, simple self-care practices can be a major tool in your arsenal to fight burnout.
So, I’m going to tell you why you need to make sure you practice self-care every day. I’ll also provide you with some amazing self-care ideas that you can squeeze into your hectic schedule.
You’ll get things done that way but won’t constantly find yourself feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and drained.
Why is Self-care Important for Moms?
Before I dive deep into why self-care is so important, let me tell you what self-care means for busy moms like you. It means taking action to preserve and nurture your emotional and physical well-being instead of ignoring your needs and feelings.
As a mother, it’s normal to feel like your world has to revolve around your kids. There is no denying that your kids should be a priority. But, when you constantly keep putting their needs first, you risk losing yourself in the process. Feelings of resentment and frustration start rearing their ugly head.
Now, you might find it hard to get started and feel guilty at the beginning for taking time out for yourself. But, you can’t pour from an empty cup. That’s why it’s important to make sure your own needs are being met. When your kids see you taking care of yourself, they learn to do it too.
Self-care is a great way to improve your mood and reduce stress which will help you fulfill your parenting responsibilities better. You’ll be able to be more present with your kids. However, it has to be more like a lifestyle instead of short-term fixes for times when you feel like you’re running on fumes.
That’s why you need to come up with a sustainable self-care routine. According to the National Institute of Mental Illness, you should design a self-care plan to improve your physical, psychological, emotional, spiritual, social, and professional well-being.
How to Take Care of Yourself as a Mom?
Self-care looks different for everyone. But, there are some non-negotiable activities that you should include in every mom’s self-care bucket list.
I’m going to start with those, and then I’ll give you a list of self-care ideas to get you started.
Let’s look into the 5 non-negotiable self-care activities first, shall we?
1. Eat Well
If you’re starving and don’t have any energy left to cook a healthy meal after taking care of your kids, you might eat whatever leftover you find in the fridge. That’s why you need to get a little more organized and plan your weekly meals.
Make sure you eat enough leafy greens to get enough vitamin K, Magnesium, and calcium. Include foods that are high in protein and iron in your diet. Taking multivitamins and supplements will provide your body with essential vitamins and minerals.
Have healthy snacks like mixed nuts, greek yogurt, or fresh fruits around to avoid filling your body with empty calories. Looking for ways to stick to a healthy diet? Avoid emotional eating, and don’t wait till you’re starving to eat whatever.
2. Get Some Exercise Done
I know what you’re thinking. You’d love to lose the baby weight but don’t have the time to work out. Well, that’s why you need to start small and create a routine that works for you. Break a sweat with quick, intense workouts of 15 minutes instead of a 45 minutes session.
If you love spending time in nature, maybe you can start waking up before your kids and go for a run. You can watch the sunrise, have time to eat your breakfast, and start your day with a clear mind. Also, getting some sunlight is a great way to boost your mood and vitamin D levels.
3. Have Some Me Time, Mama
Having some alone time to focus only on yourself and do something to distress is a great way to find balance in your life. If you’re experiencing chronic stress, anxiety, or postpartum depression, it’s time you start taking a timeout to do whatever makes you happy. It can be as simple as:
- Taking a bubble bath.
- Writing in your journal.
- Doing nothing.
- Dancing to your favorite song.
- Catching up on your favorite TV series.
- Joining the gym.
- Putting on a facemask
- Treating yourself to a spa day.
4. Catch up on Lost Sleep
So, you’re sleep-deprived and can’t remember the last time you had a good night’s sleep? It’s time to establish a regular sleep routine. Because not only would you feel groggy all day if you pull frequent late-nighters, it’d also increase the risk of depression, hypertension, and type 2 diabetes.
Take a power nap instead of cleaning the house when your kids are napping. Sure, you can have a cup of coffee in the morning but don’t drink it throughout the day to stay alert. You don’t want to mess up your night’s sleep even more.
If you have a newborn, take turns with your partner so that you can get some shut-eye. That is practical advice for all new moms!
5. Go Out as Often as You Can
Plan date nights with your partner and put together a nice outfit. Clean up well and remind your partner/husband who you were before having kids. A short weekend getaway with your partner is a great idea to rekindle the spark in your relationship and feel rejuvenated.
Schedule monthly lunch or coffee dates with your friends and catch up. Find a babysitter or ask your partner to watch the kids so that you can plan a girls’ night out and go back to the pre-mom life for a night. A little time away like that will help to ease off the mountaineering pressure of parenting.
Here’s a list of different self-care ideas to get you started
Remember, these are just suggestions. Don’t hesitate to fill your self-care plan with activities that make you feel alive. So, you can:
- Meditate or Practice Relaxing Techniques.
- Pick up a New Hobby or pursue the one you have already.
- Make time to pursue your creative passions.
- Chase the dreams you had before becoming a mom.
- Going shopping with your friends.
- Do a social media detox.
- Take a hot shower.
- Practice gratitude daily and start a gratitude journal.
- Paint your nails.
- Read a book that you bought but were too busy to read it.
- Give your mom/friend a call.
- Go to the movies.
- Perform religious rituals.
- Do yoga.
- Learn to say ‘no.’
- Listen to a podcast.
- Get a massage/ manicure/ pedicure.
- Set healthy boundaries.
- Enjoy a quiet cup of tea.
- Indulge in some of your guilty pleasures.
Don’t let your own well-being and happiness fall by the wayside just because you’re a mom now. Sure, being a mother is a huge part of who you are now, but it’s okay to have a life outside of your kids.
So, let go of your mom’s guilt and make yourself a priority so that you feel nurtured and happy with the self-care tips on this page!