What does self-care look like for a busy mom? It’s going to look little different in each season, but during the season of motherhood most self-care will be found in the small moments.
As a busy mom, we don’t always have the time or the money to spend a morning at the spa (but it makes for a great birthday or mother’s day gift) so how do we find the time for self-care. Let’s look at self-care a little differently. It doesn’t always have to be an elaborate ordeal. Here are a few ideas to embrace the small moments to create a big impact.
Self-care for a busy mom means being fully present in the moments you have with your children, with your spouse and with yourself. The easiest way to bring yourself into the present moment is to use your senses. Take in your child’s laughter, notice the softness of their touch, and see the joy in their eyes. Be selfish with this time by not allowing anything to distract you from being fully present. The same goes for when you have time for yourself. Instead of worrying about the laundry that needs to be folded, the dirty dishes, or the mess on the floor, instead fully focus your attention on yourself.
Use your transition times. Do you know that digital marketing professionals advise their clients to post on Facebook week days from 2:30-3:30pm because this is a time when Facebook gets the most traffic. Can you guess why? Car line! Studies have also linked social media use to depression, anxiety, sleep problems, eating issues, and increased suicide risk. So there’s a good chance that scrolling through Facebook while waiting to pick up your kids could be putting you in a bad mood. Or maybe you’re answering emails from your boss or talking on the phone about the latest gossip in your group of friends. Think about the mood you’ll be in when your child gets into the car. Eek!
Instead, use this transition time to read your favorite book, scroll through your inspirational quote Pinterest board, work on a hobby, write a few notes in your journal, jam out to your favorite song or just be still. What if you took that time to focus on your breathing, turned your thoughts toward gratitude, or just cleared your mind? That is self-care at its finest. Plus, think about how much more calm and collected you’ll be when your child gets in the car.
Up level your “me time.” Most of us love to curl up on the couch and watch our favorite show once the kids have gone to bed. This is great self-care. But what if you leveled it up a once in awhile? Light your favorite candle (you know that one that you stashed away because the kids will surely knock it over and burn the house down). Try that cucumber facemask that you got for Christmas. Pull out that snuggly blanket that you put away so the kids wouldn’t claim it as their own. Think of ways to make that me-time extra special for yourself.
Another aspect of self-care is actually caring for yourself. If you aren’t taking care of yourself, physically and mentally, it will be so hard to take care of your family. I would encourage you make yourself a priority. If you work full-time, use your annual leave to time a day off while the kids are in school and the husband’s at work. If you’re a homemaker, take a day off from cleaning, running errands and anything else or than focusing on yourself. I call it “mental health days.” We all need these down days and its not being selfish, its self-care.
Daily Self-Care Tips
Integrating these daily activities can drastically change your mood during the day. None of them have to take up extra time or money. There are always ways to fit them into your already busy schedule. So instead of saying, “I can’t,” ask yourself “how can I?”
Make time for movement. Whether its taking a walk with the kids and dogs or going to the gym. Like I said before, will look different in each season so make it work for your family, but don’t neglect to do it.
Make sure you’re getting the fuel that you need. Keep healthy snacks in your purse. It can be as simple as sitting in your car to eat a snack before you go in the grocery store. It’ll give you more energy and you won’t buy as much because you won’t be hungry.
Make sure you’re staying hydrated. Studies have shown that the majority (75%) of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to headaches, sugar cravings, and fatigue. By simply drinking more water, you’re adding an important element to your daily self-care.
Gratitude, meditation, journaling. Whatever you choose to do, take some time each day to work on your mindset. I can’t emphasize how important this is. Bringing awareness to your thoughts and being in control of your thoughts is key to daily self-care.
Time is our greatest gift. It’s not defined by a clock on the wall or the hours in a day, it’s defined by the moments we spend with the ones we love, including ourselves. How are you defining your time?
To Your Health,
Coach Leslie J.