When it comes to taking care of yourself as a mom, let’s be honest, it mostly falls by the wayside doesn’t it! After all, we have our beautiful children to look after, and they do come first. However, if you are neglecting yourself, you can be focusing with your all on taking care of your family, home and a job too if you are a working parent.
Shifting your mindset from putting all of your energy into your family and mom duties can be hard at times, but essential. You need to take care of yourself too. You can’t pour from an empty jug, and the same is true for yourself. You can’t give if you have nothing more to give.
But first, let’s bust some myths about this whole self-care topic. It isn’t a luxury that you should ignore because it is a selfish practice. In a way, it is purely selfish, but for all the right reasons. No matter what route you take or how you practice self-care. The most important thing is you do it.
But I am short of time, I hear you say!
The good thing about self-care is you can practice it pretty much anytime regardless of how much time you have to spare. Here are some quick ways you can implement self-care into your day, no matter how busy you are.
Stop, relax and take a deep breath. This can be something as quick as a minute or ten while you are doing the bedtime routine. Simply stop. Close your eyes, clear your mind and focus on yourself, and you take in a deep breath and give yourself a bit of time to catch up on the day and process how you are feeling.
- Talk. To your partner, sibling, parents, best friend anyone. Discuss how you are feeling and share anything that is playing on your mind. A problem shared is a problem halved as they. Maybe not literally but another point of view and perspective can help you work through anything you are struggling with.
- Eat well. How many of us grab something on the go between school drop-offs, starting work, cleaning the house, feeding the kids, etc. When you are preparing meals for yourself and/or the family prepare a little bit more so you can have something healthy to grab when you are short on time. Prepare fresh fruit so you can snack on something healthy during the day and keep a bottle of water handy. Somewhere you will walk past frequently, so it prompts you to pick it up and drink as you go past. Staying hydrated is essential to keep your body working as it should, as is eating as well as you can and getting all your vitamins and minerals.
- Go easy on yourself. We add extra pressure on ourselves to be perfect. To do it all and not let it look like we are struggling. But honestly, this is doing more harm than good to everyone. Admit that sometimes you need to let the balls drop and give yourself a break. Leave the dishes once in a while or let the kids play in a not so perfectly tidy room. Give yourself time to stop and relax – after all, the housework will still be there whether you do it now or later.
So, now we have gotten that out of the way, what other ways can you practice self-care to help you recharge and look and feel at your best to help you take care of your busy family and everything else you have going on?
Neglecting your health check-up can lead to you missing signs that something isn’t as it should be. There are many different reasons why people skip doctor’s appointments. But you wouldn’t do this for your kids so why do it for yourself.
This is especially important if you are feeling low or have noticed changes in your mood or mental health. Discussing it with a healthcare professional can help you get back on track quicker than trying to overcome it yourself.
The same goes for other appointments for ophthalmologists and dentists whether you are going for a routine check-up, new glasses or even cosmetic dental care.
Taking care of your health is one of the best things you can do for your body and also when practicing self-care. After all, looking after ourselves is the central part of self-care and failing to keep up with regular or important health check-ups regardless of what they are for is one step closer to us not fully functioning at our best.
We all know that exercise is good for our bodies. But while we know it, not all of us do it on a regular basis or even at all. When we say ‘exercise’ however, it doesn’t mean changing from a couch potato to a bona fide gym bunny. In actual fact, you don’t even need to go to a gym at all.
Check these options below for ways you can incorporate exercise into your daily routine with or without your children.
- Go for a walk – this is one of the easiest ways to get more exercise into your day. Plus getting out and about in the fresh air can work wonders for everyone. Kids included. This will give everyone the chance to blow off some steam and stretch those legs. Add this to your day as often as you can for as long as you can to give the whole family benefit from exercise and some fresh air. You never know, you might even find a new hobby and want to take it up as a sport by finding some hiking routes local to your area!
- Swimming – swimming is such good exercise. Whether you are in the water to teach your children how to feel confident in the water or teach them to swim, or even learn how to swim yourself. It all counts, and as you become more confident, you can increase the time you spend in the water. Plus, swimming is a great activity for encouraging sleep in younger children if you can visit the pool later in the day to get them ready for bedtime!
- Home workouts – these days, there is a plethora of different options when it comes to working out at home, from utilizing free YouTube videos to signing up for an online workout program. You can literally fit this in whenever and wherever you can at home. You never know, if you do this in front of your kids, you may find that exercising bug rubs off on them and encourages them to make sure they get enough exercise into their day too.
- Dancing – and not even taking up a dance class, not that you shouldn’t if you want to. Simply put your favorite tunes on and let loose. Dance to the beat like no one is watching. Get the blood pumping, raise your heartbeat and work out a bit sweaty. After all, every little bit helps and if it makes you feel good, that is an added bonus.
Speaking of feeling good, did you know of the benefits exercise can have on your mental health? Exercise releases endorphins which can help boost your mood and make you feel better. If you are ever struggling to find the motivation to work, then remind yourself of that feel-good rush you get at the end of a workout and focus on that. Not only with your physical health improve, so will your mental health as you boost your health, fitness levels and more.
Take A Break.
I know we mentioned above about how just taking a minute out of your day can help you refocus but what about taking a longer break? Some people can afford to do this, and some can’t.
But while being able to get away from your day to day life can be hugely beneficial to help you refresh, so can practicing meditation and mindfulness. Getting away and taking a break doesn’t have to mean in the literal sense. You don’t have to go anywhere to simply get away from everything that is going on.
Simply find somewhere quiet you can stop, block out the world and center yourself via meditation. It may take some time and practice to get where you need to be. This too depends on what you are looking for.
Mindfulness is the practice of clearing your mind to be able to block out all the outside noise and focus on the here and now. It can be hard to be present all of the time in this digital age with so many things pulling our attention you can be forgiven for letting too much going on in your head. But practicing mindfulness can help you clear out that and focus on what you need to.