Mothers, do you feel pushed into a zillion directions? Are you distracted? Frustrated? Tired? Trying to keep up with it all? Do you just feel like crying? Okay, I may be a bit too dramatic, but I know that happens to me. I personally have a tough time with making self-care a priority in this season of life with juggling kids, working from home, taking care of the house, cooking healthy meals. It seems like basic things such as pausing for a minute to drink a glass of water or taking a peaceful relaxed shower go right out the window when we are extra busy around here.
Indeed, being a mom is one of life’s most rewarding experiences, but it’s also the most exhausting too. It is very easy to put taking care of yourself on the back burner when you are caught up in making sure your family is taken care of first.
Moreover, the kind of society we live in, somehow we have been conditioned this way that once you are a mother, you have to sacrifice your own self and work towards nurturing your kids and home only. It certainly becomes difficult to practice self-care without feeling guilty. But how can you take care of others by neglecting yourself?
For me, the first 6 months as a new mother, it was too much of a work to handle 2 babies- changing diapers, burping, feeding and what not; it seemed that taking care of myself would be just another work added! By the end of the day, I would be so drained out – physically and emotionally – that I just wanted to be quiet, to be left alone, to be lost in the dark and just snooze.
Self-care is vital in the life of any mom. Whether you are a working mom, work from home mom or a stay at home mom- taking care of yourself before others will just make you a better mom. That’s the truth. And you know it.
5 Activities That Offer Everyday Self-Care For Mothers
1. Get Some Exercise
I’ve noticed that my mood is definitely more uplifted on days where I have done some kind of physical activity or exercise. And that doesn’t necessarily mean going to the gym! Perhaps it’s just going for a 10-minute walk around the block, throwing on a YouTube workout or Zumba video with kids, doing a few jumping jacks or squats while you wait for dinner to cook, or running after your kids in the park Just making an effort to move and stay active a bit more during the day is a great way to take better care of yourself while also giving your mood a boost!
It doesn’t matter how you move your body, just make sure you do for your physical health. Exercise will make you feel better and reduce your stress.
Grab that book you want to read. Get into the habit of reading a good fiction book before bed, even if it’s just for 15 minutes. Yes, really. Studies have shown that reading for as little as 5 minutes before bed reduces stress levels and improves sleep.
I love to read. I can pick up just anything to read. And if you come to think of it, this is the easiest tip to follow- you can read while breastfeeding, while the baby is sleeping or while getting a pedicure done at the salon. There’s something about reading a good book and soaking yourself in some other world, some different character. It’s a great way to indulge and feel rejuvenated.
3. Make Puppy Love
Progression from husband and wife to Papa and Mumma brings about a lot of change in your relationship with your partner. Lack of sleep and overall exhaustion leaves one with no energy to even think about intimacy! Spending 5 minutes cuddling with your partner or sitting together holding hands would give a boost and add warmth to your relationship. In the long run, this is also a good way of making kids understand how each relationship is important and needs to be handled.
4. Take A Power Nap
Never underestimate the power of some quality Zzzs. A quick 20 minutes nap can sometimes do wonders. Just shut down your brain and body and rest. Simply lying down with closed eyes and breathing deeply can give you a booster and change your outlook towards any situation. So start working on your routines and habits, go to bed earlier, and be kind to your body when it needs to rest.
5. Drink A Glass Of Water
Sounds too simple? Isn’t it just too basic? Well, ask yourself- how many times you procrastinate this? A glass of plain water (added lemon would be even better) works great for instant energy. But above all, the most crucial self-care tip from me would be to learn to say NO. This self-care tip for busy Moms is HARD. But, truthfully, if you want balance and control in your life, you need to learn how to say NO. You can’t make every social engagement. You can’t do everything perfectly all the time. Period.
Personally, self-care to me is more about being worthy of self-love. And #SelfLove is important because it determines how others look at you. From your baby’s first days to toddlerhood to the school years and thereafter, they never stop looking to you first. That makes it even more vital for you to be in the best shape you can be in in order to help them.
In a plane, you’re instructed to put on your oxygen mask first before helping anyone else. Practice this in your daily life too.
An overly exhausted and burnt out mom can’t nurture and care, and love as she needs to. As they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup. So mommy, take time for yourself and don’t feel guilty about it. Give yourself a little love and respite when you need it!