Written by: Heather White
Being a mom is tough work! Someone needs a diaper change, someone needs a bath, someone needs to be fed, someone needs to be taken to school, someone needs help with homework. We can get so caught up in daily life that we seldom take time to stop and think about our own needs.
When balancing all of the roles and responsibilities that come with being a mother, it can sometimes seem impossible to find time to also take care of ourselves. In fact, when trying to complete a neverending to-do list, it may just feel like one more box to check off. Although it may seem like just another thing to do, self-care is vital for our physical and mental health, centering and grounding us, while also providing us with the energy and consciousness needed to give love and support to others. After all, it is impossible to pour from an empty cup.
What is self-care?
Self-care is any action or behavior that helps a person maintain physical and mental health and well-being through the development of self-esteem and stress management techniques. These activities help us remain healthy, happy, and more in tune with our minds and bodies.
Here are 15 ways to rest, renew, and recharge.
Be intentional about scheduling time consistently to refill your cup, choosing activities that are meaningful and rejuvenating for you personally. Just as Dr. Montessori advocates for following the child, so too should we value and honor our own unique interests and needs, finding activities that are engaging, inspiring, and invigorating for us as mothers, too.
- Go for a walk. Whether it’s a five minute stroll around the block or an hour-long escape through the local nature preserve, fresh air can provide grounding and clarity.
- Meditate. Mindful meditation helps to reduce stress and anxiety and cultivates peace of mind. It increases self-awareness and compassion and helps us to be more present in our lives.
- Read. Instead of scrolling through social media, take a few minutes to wind-down before bed, getting lost in a good book.
- Pamper yourself. Whether it’s a foot mask or at home manicure, take a few moments to overindulge and spoil yourself!
- Call your best friend. A phone call from a friend is sometimes all that’s needed to bring light and positivity to your day. Schedule some time to catch up with loved ones and fill them in on your life, too.
- Journal. Writing down your thoughts and feelings helps you to check-in with yourself and process your emotions. Sometimes, doing so can even make you feel physically and mentally lighter, as you release thoughts and feelings that might’ve been weighing you down. A gratitude journal is another great way to bring positivity, reminding you of something good in every day.
- Take a break from social media. Stepping away from social media and detoxing can be transformational for your mental health. Temporarily delete apps or disable notifications for a set period of time. You might be surprised how energized you feel!
- Move your body. Exercise has so many benefits for both mind and body. Have a dance party with your little one or do some yoga poses when you first wake up in the morning or right before bed.
- Be your own cheerleader. Celebrate your wins. Write notes in your phone or in a journal of small wins throughout the day. When your toddler is having a tantrum and you stay calm, remind yourself that you’re a great mom and you handled that well. Repeat positive affirmations. Show yourself some love.
- Wake up before everyone else to enjoy a quiet cup of coffee. If you cherish solitude, consider waking up 15 to 30 minutes before everyone else to enjoy a slow, peaceful start to the morning, enjoying your cup of coffee surrounded by the quiet.
- Take a nap. Don’t feel guilty about resting when you need to. Even though it may be tempting to check things off your to-do list while your child sleeps, allow yourself time to catch up on a few extra Z’s. The to-do list can wait.
- Discover a new hobby. Think about your passions and find (or re-discover) a hobby that excites you!
- Bake a delicious treat. If you enjoy cooking or baking, spend some time making your favorite meal or a sweet treat that brings you comfort and joy.
- Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and to help you feel energized. Whether you serve food at a local shelter, work in a community garden, or clean up your local park or beach, making time for causes you’re passionate about can help you reset and renew.
- Get crafty. Engaging in hands-on activities like sewing, drawing, sculpting, and painting might be just the thing you need to help you feel refreshed. Adult coloring books are a popular new trend that can be very relaxing!
- Dress up for no reason. Your outfit can affect your mood, so whenever you feel low, just dress up and boost your spirits with some fashion therapy!
Remember, self-care isn’t selfish! So, take a few minutes when you can to rest, renew, and recharge. You’re worth it!