My top realistic 10 tips for mom self care
Let’s face it, being a mom is a lot of work.
Regardless of what type of mom you are, stay at home, helicopter, relaxed or working, you face daily challenges that are unique to your family. And I know, it is difficult to find time for yourself, taking time to “reboot” is mentally beneficial not only to you but also to your entire family. You feel better, and you feel like a better parent/spouse.
Here I will give you my top 10 self-care tips for moms to help take care of themselves – each tip only takes 5 minutes long to an entire day of mental rest, either by yourself or with others.
When you are finished with this list be sure to check out my post on Hygee! Click here to read.
We’ll cover self-care ideas for moms not too far from home, or right in your own bedroom – many of these tips are free!
Just remember; you earned it.
Most women, when they become mothers, transform their identity. They began to identify themselves as mothers first, and for some reason have decided the only way they can be a “good” mother is if they are attentive beyond the point of exhaustion, never thinking of themselves, and being that 1950’s housewife. (I personally want to be Donna Reed, but that is for another post)
There is nothing wrong with identifying yourself as a mother, I often do-but I have found that you shouldn’t lose your identity of who you were before motherhood. After all, that is who made you the mother/spouse you are today. There is this little thing called balance that you have to create in your life and relationships.
By the way, if you want to spend your self-care with your family, then do it! No one says you can’t! Sometimes when I need to release some mental stress I take my six. year-old (I am crying that he is getting so big) on a walk to the park. I then let him play for as long as he wants. This is also a good way for him to be social and learn more French! For me, this is the recharge that I need.
How to Practice Self-Care
Believe it or not, there is no right or wrong way to practice self-care. You shouldn’t worry if you are doing it right, or if this is what the other moms are doing. There is no one-size-fits-all. Your needs are as individual as you are and your likes change from time to time. The one thing you should keep in mind in order to practice self-care effectively is to stick to some basic guidelines.
- be intentional
- make time
- don’t let your tank run empty
Wellness, of any kind, is what should drive your need for self-care. There are many categories for self-care, and at the end of the day, you should decide which one fits your needs best. (by the way, you can choose more than one!)
You should also check out my blog post on How To Rest When Life Becomes Too Much, Click Here to Read.
My advice is to go with your gut or your moods. There will be some days where you feel you should focus on spiritual self-care and other times, your body could crave physical activity. For optimal wellness go with your instincts, let your needs be your guide.
There are loads of Benefits to Self-Care, but What are they?
For me, self-care is about recharging, resetting, or better yet just helping you live your best life. Think about it, when you are incredibly stressed out, do you often do something to relax? For many of us, we tend to turn to something that will ease the tension. At the end of the day that is what is healthy.
However, research suggests that self-care can:
- boost self-esteem
- improve decision-making
- increase creativity
- can help with anxiety
- helps with depression
Self-care is incredibly important for both stay and home moms and working moms. Depression is becoming more and more common and not just among women. And though nothing can really replace the plan you have with your doctor, this can help improve your overall well-being.
In addition to depression is a little thing that gets me every time, MOM GUILT. This is when you feel bad for wanting to do anything outside of motherhood. And when you do take a break from being a mom you feel guilty for having done so. I suffer from this A LOT. Especially when I go to work. I feel as though I am not focusing 100% on my little one and I should have more energy to do more. Such as working on extra schoolwork, chores, making lunches, spending more time with the little one. It is a constant battle.
But I am here to tell you, when you accept the mess will still be there, especially when you have children, the better you will feel. This is when you could create a routine with you and your little ones. That way you’re spending time together and getting things done!
When you take the time to feel good, things don’t feel so overwhelming. Trust me I am the Queen of feeling as though things are going to fall apart. But I have learned that the dirt sitting on my baseboards is manageable and will also be there in the morning.
Let’s get started with the top 10 self-care tips!
Enjoy five minutes or an entire day to rest/renew/ and revitalize your sense of well-being with these tips for self-care.
1. Take a shower
So simple, yet such a tough one to accomplish. I remember having my first son, and I was so worried about leaving him on his own. Even when he was naping. I had over-educated myself, watched documentaries I really shouldn’t have, and had an irrational fear of SIDs. So, for almost a week I didn’t take a shower. Thankfully, my wonderful mother-in-law came to the rescue. She told me there was nothing to worry about, and if I didn’t take care of myself then we would have problems. She gave me the kick in the pants that I really needed. Once I took that shower I felt like a new person. I felt the warm water melt the worry, and I felt normal. Again, so simple yet so revitalizing.
2. Wash your face
As you may have already read in my previous post on washing your face, click here to read. I am a huge advocate for washing your face. Sometimes you just need to, especially after running around chasing your little one in the heat. If you are anything like me you don’t like to sweat, and the feel of it on your skin is just gross. Washing your face is a great way to freshen up, and it is also something you can do with your little one. They wash their hands and face while you do the same!
I’m just going to say this, exfoliating is what I imagine Heaven is like. There is no better feeling than scrubbing your body and face.
4. Apply a face mask
I have just gotten into face masks, and I wonder why I have never done it in the past. I used to think they were a lot of work, but now there are options where you can place a thin sheet on your face. Sit back on your couch, next to your partner, with cucumbers on your eyes, and just let it take you away. Or do this on your own, lay on your bed, and listen to soothing music. My favorite is gentle classical music.
My favorite face mask can be found at any Sephora. You can also find similar ones at Target. Click here to see.
5. Put on makeup
A friend once told me that when you feel bad on the inside, put on make-up. Cause when you look good, it changes your insides. I learned that when I was 19, and for me, it still rings true.
6. Style your hair
Most of the time my hair is a hot mess. Especially when I am in-between haircuts/coloring. Putting your tresses into a simple pony or braid really uplifts your mood. Plus, getting your hair day is glorious.
If you have the time to get to the salon, and I do suggest this, ask the shampoo girl for a serious head massage. You can thank me later!
7. Have a cup of coffee
Before we left the states we bought a Keurig machine. Since we now live in France, the plug is not compatible, and it is currently sitting in storage in the states. Having said that I have invested in a Nespresso machine, and I love it.
I love to begin able to make a good cup of coffee with one click. Every cup is just as good as the first. Plus I waste less when I am by myself at home!
8. Barre workout
I LOVE me some Tracy Anderson – through her, I have discovered Barre. Click here to check out my love of barre. Thanks to Youtube, and Amazon Prime I can stream a different variety of workouts. Many of them are free! For only fifteen minutes I can tone and release some irritation.
Since moving to France, through walking, barre and a huge diet change I have lost over thirty pounds. Mentally working out is wonderful, especially for those of us who suffer from anxiety, but the physical benefits are just as rewarding.
Practicing yoga is a great exercise anytime, especially after eating a big meal! Plus it helps with your elasticity. Over the years I have learned you don’t need to sweat for hours on end to feel good about yourself. You just need to find the workout that works best for you.
I love me some Dennis Austin. She is an inspiration! I love her real no-nonsense attitude and how she manages to look so good at 64 years old! Click here if you don’t believe me.
Another reason why I love Tracy Anderson, dancing. There is nothing like just cutting a rug. You could be a nostalgic person, like me and the ’90s, and learn your favorite choreography from your favorite songs. Like Baby One More Time? Or perhaps Slave? With youtube, you can learn pretty much anything, and you get to work out at the same time. BTW you would not be the only one learning these dances, there is a whole army of people on Instagram learning and teaching these moves.
11. Listen to a podcast
When we lived in Portland, my husband would love to listen to CaseFiles during his commute into the city. I ended up copying him in his love of this podcast. I must say if true crime is your thing this podcast is for you.
Click here to listen to the anonymous host talk about solved and unsolved cases. If true crime is not your thing then I suggest listening to spiritual podcasts. Click here to select your choice. You can easily find podcasts on Spotify or Amazon Audiobooks, simply search your favorite topic!
When I was in therapy after the birth of my second son, I felt vulnerable, ignored, and simply a nuisance. There is nothing more upsetting than finding a therapist and not be taken seriously. It is 2021 for crying out loud! Regardless, I discovered or rediscovered that writing down things to “purge” you will create quite the impact. With my new therapist, I learned things didn’t have to be awkward or difficult. I also learned you have to kiss a few frogs before you find the therapist of your dreams. 🙂
13. Read a book
Reading for me is just a must. At the peak of my postpartum depression, I stopped reading, and I felt as though I let myself down. Reading was much more than just a way to kill time or to escape the world. Reading expands my mind and makes me feel comforted. I have always loved reading, and now I’m slowly getting back into it. I have learned reading is more than a great way to release the stresses of the day but it is also a way for us to continue learning. Whether it is a historical event or simply how to take care of yourself, reading really relaxes the mind. Another way you could read if you simply don’t have the time is to listen to audiobooks. I myself enjoy listening to books when I am on the train or the metro. Click here to check out audible’s selection.
14. Get a massage
Remember when I said you should get ahead massage the next time you get your hair shampooed? Well, get one whenever you can. During a pedicure, manicure, or just a full-body one. There is nothing like a good massage to get the tension out. I understanding schedules may not allow for such extravagance, but if you schedule it or squeeze it in you will not be mad you did.
Remember, self-care is about taking time for yourself.
15. Take a nap
I know this is a pretty controversial topic. Some studies say naps are bad for your nighttime sleep, others say that it softens the brain. blah blah. After I had my boys my mother-in-law not only recommended but heavily suggested that I take a nap whenever my babies slept. Of course, it was hard at first, but in the long run, it helped prepare me for the middle of the night feedings. I managed to squash the mom’s guilt by understanding that if I didn’t get rest I could harm myself or the baby. For instance, forget a critical step in the baby bottle-making process. (such as not test the temp)
Taking a nap just resets everything, and gives you that moment of ahhhh. If your body needs it then do it.
16. Go to bed early
This is another controversial topic, especially if you have kids like me that do not go. to bed earlier than 10 pm. I work hard during that day and wake up super early. I’m talking at 430 or 5 am. Creating a routine for my kids was easy with the first one, he was the ideal baby. The second one was a different story. He fought his sleep! However, as he has gotten older he has created his own routine that allows me some wiggle room.
Going to be early has become easier now. I’m not talking as soon as the sun is down, if you live in the PNW or in France during the summer that could mean 10 or 11 pm. No, I mean around 8:30 or 9. Whichever works for you and your family.
17. Light a candle
Candles are just romantic and soothing. Especially when the fragrance reminds you of a good memory. That’s right your sense of smell takes you back! Lighting a candle creates an environment that is simpler. You could do anything while enjoying a candle’s fragrance. You could knit, or learn to knit. You could read a book, or relax with your mask and some wine. The possibilities are endless.
18. Go for a walk
Walking is just great and if you haven’t read my blog post on walking you should. Click here.
19. Bike Ride
Bide rides are such a great way to relax, especially if you live someplace scenic. The PNW is gloriously beautiful it makes me want to cry, the East coast of course, and don’t forget France.
20. Watch your favorite TV show
When I need a good laugh I turn to American Dad, when I wanna see the inspiration for my dream house I watch Chip and Joanna. Watch what you love, it’s your turn!
Have any favorite self-care tips you wanna share?