Why Self Care?
The toddler is trying to spoon cereal from one to bowl to another and dropping it all over the floor, my five year old is refusing to go to school and the seven year old woke up with a fever of 102.7. Just a typical morning in my house.
When you are a work at home parent life can be a bit stressful. The work never ends, whether it is taking care of kids, cleaning up the house or the work you are actually paid for.
It is important to take some time for self care, before the stress takes its toll on you!
Self care is just that, caring for yourself and what works for one person might not work for another. So try out some different things, see what kinds of activities actually restore you and help you to be a better parent, better spouse and better worker.
I asked a few of my blogging friends to submit their best tips for self care. They did not disappoint! Below are all of their submissions and I loved how different they all were.
The thing that really helps me to restore balance is to spend one on one time with my husband. Just having some time to talk and connect with him makes everything better.
Of course tonight the minute we finally sat down for a few minutes of chatting I got a call to come in to the bathroom to help wipe a bum. Sigh, the glamorous life of a mom!
Remember Self-care in the First Place
When it comes to being a mom, never mind a working mom, a lot of us default to putting ourselves last. I know I have. But at a certain point, we have to stop and wonder why that is, and even more importantly, is martyrdom going to make us better parents? I’m pretty sure the answer is a giant “heck no.” Even that back-burner pot needs a bit of tending-to.
So, when I think about my best self-care tip, I’d have to say it’s to remember self-care in the first place. We all have varying lifestyles and support systems; you might not feel like you have enough time, money, or help from your cohorts to show yourself the love you deserve. (Especially when you’re already feeling the strain of working and momming at the same time.) Yet if you remember that a small bit of self-indulgence will make you a happier, more productive, and “better”- mommy, perhaps you’ll be more likely to show some respect to the woman making it all possible- you!
~ Killeen McGowan Rainbow Roost
Eat Less Processed Food
Quality foods are unprocessed, unpackaged and unrefined. They are “all-natural”. These foods should make up the bulk of your diet. I don’t care what research study you read this is key to any long lasting, nutrient rich diet. If you could do one thing to change your life–eat less processed food. I am not gonna lie…this is a hard one. Processed is quick and tastes oh so good. When you step away from consuming it you will rekindle your tastes buds for real foods. It takes true effort to make it happen but there is no price tag on its value. Make baby steps it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
~ Amanda Walker A Walk My Way
Use Your Schedule
Schedule time for self-care and use it like a carrot. I find if I don’t schedule a chunk of time for self-care I try sneak it in in the little moments during the day. That sucks. I get constantly interrupted, procrastinate from the work I should be doing, and those self-care moments don’t do me any good because they just aren’t long enough.
If I schedule the time, I can say no to interruptions more easily and work with more focus. Then I can enjoy my self-care time guilt-free.
~ Catherine Oneissy This Mama Learns
Give Yourself Permission
My best self care tip is to give yourself permission to enjoy the day. If you find yourself needing a break, you probably actually needed to take one days ago. So step away from the computer, put down the phone, and have fun. Grab some chalk and color the sidewalks with your kids. Take them to the park and soar on the swings WITH them. Get back in touch with your inner child and spend the day laughing. If you don’t take the time to truly disconnect every once in a while and relax without guilt, you’re going to burn out and exhaust both you and your family.
~ Amber Temerity Thrifty Guardian
We all forget to breathe when stressed out, angry or feeling overwhelmed. Taking some deep belly breaths in a mindful manner will help to change your mood and perspective easily and quickly. This is also one of my favorite ways to de-stress and drift off to sleep. All you need to focus on is your breath–and nothing else. If you find yourself drifting off, just return to your breath. If need be, counting one as you inhale and counting two as you exhale, and so on. As you get more comfortable with this, start extending and lengthening your exhale. This is deepen your sense of relaxation and comfort.
~ Lucy Seligman Certified Clinical/Medical Hypnotherapist
Go out for a “solitary” walk. The simple fact that you’ll be outdoors and breathing in some fresh air, will help recharge your tired body. Sometimes we need to be alone in order to be able to focus on what we give for granted when busy taking care of everyone else. Don’t forget to smile, smiling is a great way to lift the spirit and re-energize the mind. It’s incredible how many more things you can accomplish once you’re recharged and in good spirit!
~ Angela Piedmonte Desperate Mamas
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Prepare Your Mind For Sleep
At night, I review my planner to see if I completed everything I set out to do during the day. If I didn’t, I move that item to another day so I don’t have to worry about getting it done in the middle of the night.
Then, I spend a minute listing out my thanksgivings for the day. An evening gratitude practice has been shown to help people sleep better.
Another way to gather your thoughts at the end of the night is to journal. Journaling is a wonderful way tool for reflection.
The last thing I do with the planner is to acknowledge my accomplishments for the day. I don’t know about you, but I can get stuck spending too much time thinking about the things I didn’t get done rather than focusing on the things I accomplished.
By re-framing my mindset to think about these accomplishments, no matter the size, I am teaching myself to be intentional about staying positive. And there are some days when my only accomplishment was to feed my children. But even these small accomplishments are important!
~ Cassie Moms Choose Joy
Just because you’re not leaving the house doesn’t mean you should stay in your pajamas all day. You need to get mentally ready for the day. What that means for me is taking a shower every morning and getting dressed as if I’m going to leave the house. Having this routine helps me separate my rest mode from my work mode.
~ Danny Lee LiveFrugaLee
Hands down. Give yourself the (guilt-free) permission to spend at least 30 minutes per workday getting your sweat on.
Better yet, buy yourself a FitBit and walk your way to at least 10k steps per day. How? If you have a home office and a treadmill, spend $20 and get your handy husband (or brother-in-law or father-in-law) to convert it into a treadmill desk. Walk at 1.0 mph and at least 2.5 incline, while getting some work done.
Or just reward yourself with a little mommy Netflix time. It’s up to you. 😉
~ Gina Horkey Horkey HandBook
With two little ones under 3 years old I really need time for myself so that I continue to be a happy and patient mom. I know this may not be possible for everyone, but I wake up very early every day. This allows me to knock out my biggest to-do’s even before my kids wake up. So no matter what else happens in the day, I know my most important things are taken care of. My typical day starts at 4:30 am and ends at 9:30 pm. My early mornings allow me to work on my blog, exercise and take an uninterrupted shower. It’s a wonderful start to a busy day with little ones.
~ Suzi Whitford Start a Mom Blog
Color. Get one of those doodle books that they are selling everywhere. Whip out your paints and get busy with your kids. Play dough, legos, collages, chalk art, poetry, candle-making, sewing, knitting, beading, whatever floats your creative boat, DO IT.
The creative stuff seems to flood your brain with stabilizers that help you cope with hard things (okay, I totally just made that up, but it sounds good, doesn’t it? And most importantly, it really does help!).
~ Meriah Nichols MeriahNichols.com
~ Debbie Gartner The Flooring Girl
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