Self what? If anyone understands the “where do I make time for self-care struggle” it’s me. Between chasing after ManMan (my 3 yr old), cramming in time blocks of work between nap time and turn up time, volunteering at my older boys school, homework and extracurriculars, dinner and keeping up with the hubs hectic schedule…you see Mama is last on the list. But, although my daily lifestyle would suggest otherwise, self-care is ESSENTIAL for any of these things to get done. If I’m not taking the time to care for me, I genuinely can not care for the ones in my life that need me the most. My family. After battling with anxiety, sheer overwhelm, and consistently feeling like the hot mess mom in this BuzzFeed video, I knew I needed to get real serious about taking time for self-care so that I could be a better mother, wife, and me .
As modern mommies, I get that we don’t exactly have a ton of free time to take care of us, but there are little things, here and there, that we can do that make a world of difference in our lives.
- Take a fancy bath. I’m the queen of the five – ten minute shower. In and out before my 3yr old notices I’m missing. But, taking the time for a bath is so relaxing. Set aside an hour, just once a week if that’s all you have to spare, queue up your favorite podcast or two, and take a long hot bath. Make it bubbly by dropping in a bath bomb or if you’re really feeling fancy add a luxe bath oil with dried flowers like this one from Posies & Co.
- Grab a cup of coffee and go for a walk. This is especially helpful for mama’s like myself who work from home and are in the house–toddler in tow–most of the day. Sometimes just uninterrupted time outside can breathe life into a hectic day. I always add coffee to, well anything I do because…coffee. But for me, the combination of fresh air and caffeine is just what I need to calm down and help me refocus on the day.
- Excercise or take a fitness class. Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m the worst when it comes to exercising. Squeezing in a 5 minute stretch in the morning sometimes takes everything I have. I just am not a fan of “working out”. Instead, I take an African dance class once a week. It gets me out of the house solo, I get my weekly dose of exercise, and it’s fun. Fitness is such an important part of your well-being and by making it a regular part of your life you’ll feel a whole lot better. Pick something that’s not going to take too much of your time and that you’d enjoy doing, or just try something new and work it out. Yoga is on my list.
- Mediate or…something like it. I had to add the last bit. Meditating is hard. I have yet to master this skill and I won’t claim to be an expert. But all the guru’s tell you it’s the thing to do. I mean…Oprah does it! Speaking of which the next Oprah & Deepak Chopra 21-day Meditation is happening March 21. A perfect time to test this self-care practice out ;). As for something like it, for me, that’s journaling. Whether that’s getting all my thoughts about life, business, goals out into my journal or spending some extra time journaling His word, this quiet time to clear my mind and speak with God really changes EVERYTHING for me. I always emerge calmer, more focused, and ready to tackle the day.
- DIY, Craft, or Try A New Recipe. This is a perfect time to put those endless pins to work. I have Pinterest boards full of things I “want to do” but haven’t set aside the time to do them. This is the perfect time to do them. Pour yourself a glass of wine–mine is probably red because…red wine is the best wine–and tackle that craft or try that fancy recipe for you and the hubs. I love doing things like this because it takes my mind off of work and allows me to just be creative. No strings attached. The last time I did this, I made these phenomenal crab cakes from scratch. Ah.May.Zing.
Whatever it is that you decide to do, just make sure you do it! Consistently. Put it on your schedule. Let hubs know it’s happening. I even let my older boys know mommy is relaxing for a little bit. Trust me, you’ll feel better and ready to take on that to do list. It’s not like it’s going anywhere right?
What are some of your self-care tips and practices? How do you make time to care for YOU?
*Photo Credit: CreateHerStock <3