If you are a mom, 2020 might have been an extra-tough year for you. Pretty much everyone had their life somewhat uprooted this year; whether you are an essential worker, a business owner, a stay at home mom, a kid, or anyone else in between. Quarantines and lockdowns forced school kids to stay at home in some parts of the world, while office workers from Australia, to the US, to the UK, to Asia had to pack up their desks and work from home for an indefinite amount of time.
This year has been devastating and crazy, and with the combination of the current US elections taking place, the whole world seems to be on red alert right now.
As a mom, you will probably empathize with the fact that you always put your family before yourself. This is our instinct; if our kids need something, you sacrifice your time and energy to be able to give it to them. During the COVID-19 pandemic our kids might have needed more from us than usual; perhaps you took on the role of teacher as well as mom, and helped them navigate this unusual break in their routine.
But no matter how much we give to our kids, we need to save some love and nurture for ourselves. You can’t pour from an empty cup, as they say. Of course, it’s easier said than done to save time and energy for yourself as a full time mother. Here are the best ten-minute self care activities for moms everywhere to be able to relax, breathe and the me-time you crave.
10 Minute Stretch
Maybe you’re an avid gym-goer or maybe exercise isn’t your thing – whichever camp you fall in, you probably already know that stretching is good for you. Stretching doesn’t just make you more flexible; it also has been proven to have the following benefits:
- Improved posture
- Energy boosting
- Increasing blood flow to your muscles
- Prevents back pain
Taking ten minutes to stretch your muscles every day, or even once or twice per week, can help you reap all the amazing advantages that this simple activity can give you. Stretching is not about pushing yourself to crazy lengths or achieving a goal – although you can set flexibility goals if that’s your thing – but rather it is about taking a moment to look inward and be at peace with your body. You can stretch on your own or follow a YouTube tutorial to make sure you are stretching safely.
Painting Your Nails
Maybe getting a manicure isn’t available to you right now due to the pandemic, but doing something as simple as painting your nails can change your mood and give you the boost you deserve. During quarantine it’s very very easy to turn into a pyjama-troll, existing in sweats with your hair scraped back. This is a totally fine way to live – after all, you’re at home, so why dress up? – but many people believe that doing something nice for your appearance can also make you feel better on the inside. If you love treating yourself, take ten minutes to file and paint your nails, giving yourself the beauty treatment you’ve been missing.
Making Comfort Food
There has been quite a buzz around keeping yourself ‘trim’ over lockdown when the couch and comfort food are calling you each day. Although it’s important to instill a healthy routine, it is also okay to need more nurturance and comfort in these hard times. If you have been craving warm, thick food to make you feel alright on the harder days, then you should allow yourself these small pleasures. One easy ten minute activity is to whip up some comfort food – maybe mac and cheese, cookie dough, or your favorite sandwich. This is a tiny treat for your body when your mind feels worried, stressed or tired. Allow it and enjoy it. You can go back to the regime tomorrow!
Nurturing Some Plants
Sometimes nurturing something gives yourself nurture, too. This is the case with plants. If you don’t have a yard with plants, you can get house plants and small potted herbs to tend to with your hands – potting them in soil, watering them, pruning them and of course, in the case of herbs, adding them to your delicious meals. Ten minutes in the morning of walking around, checking the soil of your plants, giving them a drink and snipping off any dead heads is the perfect self care moment.
Here are some of the easiest herbs and house plants to keep alive, for those of you who are new to the plant game!
- Golden Pothos. This beautiful vine is not fit for eating, but it looks absolutely stunning hanging in the corner or draped over a bookshelf. The deep green leaves get flecks of yellow-green when they come into contact with the sun, making every single one of these vines unique. Plus, they grow like crazy. They are practically impossible to kill.
- Monstera Deliciosa. Commonly known as the swiss cheese plant, this is, once again, not good to eat – but it is great to gaze at. The huge heart-shaped green leaves of this tropical plant develop fenestrations, or huge slits, in the sides to make them look like holey swiss cheese. These plants grow easily and look amazing in any home.
- Mint. Do not plant mint in the ground, as it’ll never stop growing and take over the nearby plants completely! Potted mint is so easy to grow that you’ll be giving it away to your neighbors. Simply water it semi-regularly and watch it thrive. Add the leaves to hot water for fresh mint tea, or slice into salads for fresh tastes all winter.
- Bay tree. Bay leaves are delicious and beautiful additions to any curry, stew or rice dish. Plus, they are easy to grow. These things grow into full size trees, so it’s best to buy them small and watch them grow.
Laugh At Something Hilarious!
If there is one thing that the Internet is good for, it’s making us laugh. You can find your favorite comedians, hilarious video compilations or silly articles entitled “Funny Things British Mums Say!” to really make you giggle. There’s an old saying, ‘Laughter is the best medicine,’ and although laughter won’t cure coronavirus, it can cure a bad mood in an instant. Make sure you’re taking the time to laugh – really belly laugh until your sides hurt – and you are bound to feel cared for and nurtured.
Dance To Your Favorite Tunes
Film star Florence Pugh started doing daily dance parties on her Instagram page during quarantine in an effort to spark joy. This is an awesome idea – whether you post it on social media or not, dancing around like a goofball to your favorite tunes is something you are never too old or too sophisticated to do. Dancing is proven to improve fitness as well as making your mood go through the roof every time. You don’t have to be a good dancer; you don’t have to dance in front of people; just move your body to the music you love and you are having fun, while taking great care of yourself along the way.
In conclusion: self care is hard when you are a mom. In this crazy, unexpected, busy year, it has been even harder for moms to get the me-time that we all desperately need. Use these helpful ten minute self care tips for guidance.