How To Take Care Of Yourself As A Busy Mom
4 Self-Care Ideas for Busy Moms
When you’re running around all day, the concept of self-care may seem like little more than a fantasy. But the truth is that self-care is for everyone — not just those who take pampered vacations every other month. If you’re a busy mom at a loss about how to work it into your schedule, here are a few ideas that can take your routine to a new level of wellness.
The Ground Rules
If you rarely take time for yourself, your goal is to start very small. Even a couple of minutes of breathing exercises a day can do wonders to regulate your heartbeat and bring you back in touch with your own body. You’re going to build on these habits, so realistic expectations are a must.
The other major recommendation is to be firm about needing some time for yourself. This could mean talking to your partner, of course, but it can also mean explaining to older kids that this is a non-negotiable. It could even mean talking to yourself about how important it is! (If you have infants or very young children who won’t understand this, you may need to coordinate your self-care when they’re asleep until they’re more self-sufficient.)
1. Make Better Food Choices
If you’re used to grabbing unhealthy snacks on the go, this should be the first thing you work on. The more junk you put in, the worse you’re going to feel.
Ideally, you’ll be able to really carve time out for your meals, enjoying fresh, seasonal foods and savoring each bite. In reality, though, it might look more like swapping out potato chips for kale chips and fried chicken with its grilled counterpart.
2. Prioritize Your Support Group
Whether it’s a parent who occasionally babysits or a friend who’s always ready to talk you off the ledge, your support group ultimately has a lot to do with how you take care of yourself. If you take time for them, they’ll pay you back in spades.
So have coffee with a relative instead of rushing out the door or check-in with acquaintances to see how they’re doing. If you’re relatively new to an area, consider joining a group for moms who are feeling overwhelmed. Plus, social interaction is one of the best things you can do for your mental health — particularly if you’re having trouble remembering the last adult conversation you had.
3. Remind Yourself What You Enjoy
Some of your favorite activities are likely off the table now that you have children, but certainly not all of them. The crux of this tip is to narrow down what you actually love to do. (Aromatherapy bubble baths by candlelight might very well sound like a nightmare to you, and that’s perfectly acceptable!)
It might take brainstorming a list of 10 self-care activities before paring it down to a few that you can realistically work into your day – for instance, cooking your favorite breakfast or basking in the sun for 10 minutes near your favorite window.
4. Start a Journal
Self-care is truly a lifelong journey, and a journal can help you document what you’re doing right and where you might need to make a few improvements. The best part is that journaling of any kind is a positive experience, one that can help you formulate your disappointments, joys, and anxieties.
Busy moms are often so on edge that they can’t even register what they’re feeling at any moment. Taking a few minutes out at the end of the day to record events and set a couple of goals for tomorrow can be an incredibly affirming activity.
Self-care isn’t something that you do once or twice and see results from. It has to be an active decision that you make every single day. And while it’s certainly not easy for moms who feel like they have the weight of the world on them, it’s also not really up for debate either. It’s logistically impossible to pour from an empty glass.