As moms, we are often told about the need to practice self-care ideas.
The first thought many moms have is how in the world am I supposed to take care of myself! Our days are filled with working and taking care of our families.
Often, by the time you get to the end of your day all, you can think about is going to sleep. Identifying self-care ideas is probably the last thing that comes to your mind. But it is so very important for us mommas to get in the habit of regularly incorporating different self-care ideas.
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What is self-care?
Self-care is simply what you do to take care of you. It includes the things that you do to relax and unwind. The things that make you happy, have mental clarity, and better able to tackle any new stress that may arise in your life.
When you are not taking care of yourself, you are not functioning at your optimal level. You are not able to roll with the punches. If an unexpected stressor arises, moms who do not practice self-care can be more negatively impacted by the stress. This is because, oftentimes, these moms are already struggling to handle their normal daily stress.
So what happens momma when you are not functioning at your best?
It’s simple, you are unable to be the best momma for your family.
What does that look like?
That’s the momma who finds herself yelling at her kid for doing a normal kid thing. It’s the momma who does not have a lot of patience for everyday things. The momma who feels like she is going to lose it at work or lose it altogether.
By simply incorporating regular self-care ideas in your life, you are preparing yourself to better cope with your everyday stressors and responsibilities we have as professionals and as mommas.
What do you need to do to incorporate more self-care into your life?
Making the commitment to take care of yourself can be as simple as making a schedule and including self-care ideas for yourself. It can also be making good use of short periods of downtime. Or spending 10-15 minutes practicing a self-care idea when your household is asleep.
Self-care ideas do not have to be an extravagant thing that you do on a daily basis. It is important that you are able to step away from your role as wife, mom, and professional every once in a while. This allows you to recharge your batteries and further develop your sense of self.
Remember, that there is a YOU inside of you. You are not just someone’s mom, wife, or a professional. There is another part of you that was there first. This part also needs ongoing nurturing and support. Nurturing this part of you helps you to be more successful in your other roles as a wife, mom, and professional.
This also allows you to be more open and accepting of your other roles.
I remember that after I had my first baby, I lost my sense of self. As a result, I started to resent my other roles. I was not the best wife, professional, or momma because I missed ME. It took me taking time away and putting myself first (every once in a while) to better appreciate my other roles. It helped me to identify ways to be a better wife, mother, professional, and an overall better me.
Self-care allows you to be the momma who is ready for the world, who can handle what life throws at you, and who is better prepared.
Having different self-care ideas is an important start to your journey of being a better you.
With that being said..
What are some easy self-care ideas that you can incorporate today?
These self-care ideas will help you to relax and start to feel better. This list is a start. Self-care is a process. It takes time to adjust and the more self-care ideas you do it, the better you will feel.
Mindfulness is being aware. Being aware of your environment, but also what is occurring internally. In addition, being aware of your thoughts and feelings.
As busy moms, our day to day lives often go into autopilot. Our thoughts often focus on what we are doing now, on what needs to happen next and completing our endless to-do list.
We lose sight of the simple things. Mindfulness allows us to bring our attention to the here and now and what is going on around us.
Mindfulness only requires quiet time. I often laugh thinking about quiet time. I did not realize how precious silence was until I became a mom. Moms are constantly stimulated by noise in our environment. This can hinder us from being more in tune to our own thoughts and feelings.
I have found that I have to plan out silent time during my day so that I can be more mindful. As moms, we have to be creative and purposeful with this task. This can be the car ride between daycare and work or getting up 10 minutes early in the morning.
The important thing is to be in tune with your senses, your thoughts, and take mental notes of what is going on in your mind.
If you are constantly pushing your thoughts away and avoiding negative feelings, they will eventually be stored in your body as stress, anxiety, depression and other negative feelings. These feelings will eventually take over your body and negatively impact your functioning.
Mindfulness is a great self-care idea because it teaches you to be in the moment. You become more in tune to your feelings and emotions and the things in your environment that impact (both positive and negative) your emotions.
Practicing mindfulness is simple, but an effective self-care idea.
Journaling can be an extension of mindfulness. It is a physical representation of your thoughts and feelings. Journaling allows you to process through your stressors and other junk that may be crowding your mind.
The simple act of journaling is a wonderful self-care idea. Journaling allows you to unlock the area of your mind that you store all those to deal with later thoughts.
There is no correct way to journal. Incorporating journaling into mindfulness time can allow you to further process and connect with your external environment and internal thoughts.
Some journaling topics can include:
- Goals (short and long term)
- Progress towards your goals
- Focusing on the positive (what are you grateful for? What are your strengths?)
- Combination of any of these ideas.
Also, remember to periodically read your journals. Doing so can help you to see the growth and progress you have made. This can be therapeutic and further motivate you to continue striving towards your goals.
If you are someone whose mind seems to want to wake up when it is time to sleep, then keeping a journal by your bed can help improve your sleep. When you find yourself struggling with racing thoughts, try writing them in your journal to deal with at another time. By simply doing this self-care idea, you help to quiet your mind, relax your body, and drift off to sleep.
Sleep is a key component of self-care. You will find that once you write tasks down and start to deal with thoughts you previously stuffed away, those thoughts may not be as stressful as they once seemed.
Our mind can sometimes play tricks on us. The thoughts and feelings we avoid, become much more of a burden when we avoid them.
Journaling is an easy self-care idea that you can complete with a simple notebook and pen. There are even apps available that allow you to journal from your phone or tablet.
There are those of us who clean as a form of self-care. Then there are those of us that avoid cleaning and organizing at all costs! No matter where you fall, having an organized environment is a self-care idea that has many benefits.
A clean and organized environment can help you to feel less stressed. Think about how you feel when you walk into a messy room. You are likely to be stressed by the presence of the clutter. Your anxiety increases when you cannot find an item. It is also normal to feel overwhelmed at the thought of having to clean.
Clutter can also be a physical representation of what may be going on in your mind. If you are a person who needs to be more organized, try to tackle one small task at a time. This helps you to feel less overwhelmed and more likely to remain dedicated to the task.
Identify areas in your environment you want to organize. Start off by setting a timer and focusing on one area at a time.
Organizing may initially take more time. Once you are done organizing, it will take less time to maintain. Making a commitment to having a clean and organized environment can incorporate many self-care ideas.
In addition, your spouse and your kids will also appreciate you!
Increasing your heart rate is a great self-care idea. Self-care means being both mentally and physically healthy. Taking care of your body decreases your risks of developing chronic and potentially debilitating illnesses.
If your body is in better physical shape, then it does not have to work as hard to physically function. This also means that your brain is not as stressed, allowing you to be more mentally healthy.
Increasing your heart rate tells your brain to release endorphins, the hormones that are responsible for making you happy. In addition, whatever activity that you do to increase your heart rate, allows you an outlet to help you physically release whatever stress you may be feeling.
Being physically active does not only include traditional exercise. Some other examples can include:
- Playing with your children
- Walking the dog
- Visiting a local attraction
The important thing is for you to get moving. You do not have to dedicate a lot of time. Get your heart rate up and experience all the physical and mental benefits of being active.
Incorporate your children and family so that it can be a self-care idea for everyone. You also get the bonus experience of spending fun time with your family.
Reading allows you to escape. It is something that puts you into a fantasy world and gives you a break from your stressful environment. You are able to sit down, ideally in silence, and you are invoking your senses to experience the story.
There are many self-care books on the market that help you to feel encouraged, solve a problem, and take better care of you and your family. These books help increase your mood and empower you to take care of yourself. This allows you to meet your goals and to see your strengths as a mom, as a professional, and as you.
Yes, reading is great! But, how many working moms truly have the time to sit down and enjoy a book on a regular basis? Between taking care of screaming children, household chores, and working, reading can be a true luxury.
A good alternative I recently discovered is audio books. I found that I really missed reading. It was my escape for years, but it was something I forgot about as my life and career progressed.
I have fallen in love with my audio book subscription. These subscriptions are inexpensive and give you access to an extensive library of books. Audiobooks allow you to multitask while also reading.
You have access to many different stories and inspirational books that help to encourage you to follow your path. Whether you are reading for pleasure or motivation, reading is a wonderful and easy self-care idea.
Taking the time to create something beautiful helps you to channel negative energy into a positive outcome. This doesn’t have to be an elaborate creation. It can be something as simple as coloring an adult coloring page.
Doing a craft, sewing, or any hobby that helps you to create something is a great self-care idea as long as it is special to you. Creating is the time out and escape that you need to help process through your feelings and stressors. Some people’s creations are a direct reflection of whatever issues they may be dealing with.
Creating can be a visual representation of your thoughts which can be another form of mindfulness. Journaling can also be included in this category because it is a form of creating.
Creating can be done in 5-10 minutes or during longer time frames. The important this is that you are creating something that you can be proud of.
Laughing a simple, but a very effective self-care idea. Think about it. When is the last time that you had a true belly aching, tear producing laugh?
As you are thinking about this experience, what feelings are you feeling right now? Where do you feel them in your body? Notice the feelings and positive vibes you experience throughout your body just by thinking about laughing.
Which is why it is important to actually get in the habit of having good and genuine laughs.
Laughing means that, at that moment, you are happy. It means you are connecting with someone or something else. If you are laughing at a funny movie or something that your kids are doing, you are taking off your serious hat, relaxing, and being open to being entertained.
Time spent with others, breaking up the routine, and getting involved in an activity typically include laughing. Laughing is the door to so many different self-care ideas. Plan a time when you can engage in an activity and truly laugh and feel happy.
When you are done you will be much more appreciative of not only your self but all of your roles.
Benefits of good self-care
These 7 tasks listed above are not earth shattering, but they are self-care ideas that you can do today to have an immediate impact on how you are feeling. They will also help you start on the right path to incorporating better self-care into your daily routine.
Practicing good self-care will allow you to be a better caretaker of your kids, a better wife, and a better you. These ideas may be simple, but they are great.
What self-care ideas are you interested in trying? What would you add to this list? Let us know in the comments below.