Author: Allie Butler
Do you sometimes feel drained—maybe all the time? Do you find yourself becoming short with people or lacking patience? Perhaps you’ve noticed you have been catching colds more frequently or taking a longer time to recover from your migraines.
While these things can sometimes be symptoms of underlying issues, they can also be a sign of a non-balanced life that is void of self-care.
As working mothers, it’s easy to put your own needs last. You fill up your “empty space” outside of your career with laundry, cleaning, cooking, chauffeuring, mending, teaching, counseling, etc. But often, these tasks can leave you feeling empty! And the example it can set for your children may lead them into a similar cycle in adulthood.
It’s important to practice self-care and there are easy ways to do it. It might mean re-prioritizing and letting go, but the long-term benefits are there.
Here are some easy ideas to help with developing a routine that includes self-care.
This really should be a non-negotiable. When you ask most successful people what their normal routine entails, it usually involves fitness. A work-out doesn’t have to take a huge part of your day. Even 20 minutes a day can really change your overall wellness. If it means the laundry sits unfolded, then so be it. Do you have to do lunges on the sideline at soccer practice? Then do it! Not only is it important for your own health, it’s also important for your children! Finding activities that involve fitness that you can do together is a great way to help instill good habits in their lives too! Think biking, walking, hiking!
This doesn’t mean you have to ditch the chocolate. But, the way we fuel our body really does impact overall wellness and energy levels. Maybe you can switch out your Frappuccino for a regular iced latte? Eat an apple instead of a bag of chips several times a week? Cook at home on the weekend and do a little food prep to set yourself up for success during the week. Making a few changes here and there can add up over the long run.
Maximize your empty space, most of the time. Devote 75% of your time to productive activities (including your fitness routine…remember, non-negotiable!). Use the other 25% to give your mind and body a rest. Watch a show, read a book, garden, meditate—whatever renews you will work!
Get More Sleep
Get off your phone, leave the living room messy, don’t make your bed. Whatever you can do to get you over that 7-hour threshold, do it! You will reap the benefits! More sleep can help with things like focus, energy, and weight loss, just to mention a few.
Drink More Water
This one goes without saying. No need to go over the benefit because we all already know! But even water drinkers sometimes miss the mark. Why? Because their day is too busy and they don’t take the time to fill their cup—literally and figuratively! So, take the time and stay hydrated!
Focus on Professional Development
Listen to a podcast, read a book, or take a class. We can’t grow professionally if we don’t continue to develop and broaden our knowledge base and our skillset.
Focus on Personal Development
Whether this be watching a TED talk or focusing on spiritual health. Fill your cup up with whatever makes sense to you and makes you feel good.
Get a pedicure or massage, go out to a coffee shop alone, or buy yourself a new outfit. Whatever makes you feel pampered, try doing at least every other month.
Ditch the Yoga Pants and Dress Up
Walking out of the house clean and well-dressed can motivate you in many ways. While yoga pants are comfortable, sometimes we need to put that dress on that we’ve been waiting to wear, even if it’s just to the grocery store. Maybe you do this for your solo coffee shop trip?
Get Back to Hobbies
What have you let go that you wish you could get back to? Maybe now is the time to start up again? Gardening? Playing an instrument? Gaming? It’s ok to do something for yourself, really!
In the words of Elsa: Let it Go, Let it Go!
Self-care is hard to accomplish with limited time. Learn to let go of the non-important. For most, a massage is going to put you in a much better mood than clean floors. A manicure is going to give you more peace than your kids room being clean (it only stays clean for 5 minutes anyway). Yard hasn’t been mowed in weeks? If that means you are taking some time to sleep extra or get that workout in, then Jumanji!
Now is the time. You don’t have to do all of these things, but maybe just a few would rejuvenate you and allow you to start feeling rested and balanced? You deserve the peace that self-care can bring and your kids deserve a mama who practices self care!