Tell me, friend. At times, do you feel overwhelmed with life? Do you feel tired? Do you feel like your to-do list is never-ending? I think we all have days, weeks, or months where life feels like that. Like we just can’t get caught up. I believe we all have a secret weapon that can keep us feeling more on top of life.
Before we get to what that is, I have one more question.
Have you been taking good care of yourself lately, or have you just been taking good care of your kids?
In our current society, where busy is a badge of honor and parenting is an all-consuming art, it can be so hard to take time out for ourselves.
We don’t always prioritize care of ourselves (self-care) because it can feel almost selfish to do amidst the many other priorities we have.
Self-care becomes one more item in a never-ending to-do list.
Unlike the other items on the list, the result of doing it feels less tangible, less like something that can be crossed off the list, and therefore more easily pushed to later.
For example, ‘should I take a few minutes to read or should I pick up the toys that are scattered around the living room?’ We will often choose the thing that has more of a visible result – in this case, the toys. On some days that might be the right choice, if you just need order in your home, on other days you will get more calm from taking the reading time and picking up toys later. Or dare I say, having the kids do it!
The thing is, Self-care is actually so much more than a to-do list item. It is weaving into your life the things that will nurture you, nourish you and reconnect you to your stronger self. Self-care gives you mental clarity to be more effective in everything you do.
- It will save you time
- make you a better mom
- It will make you healthier
- and allow you to set a great example for your kids
Self-care is a necessity.
It is our secret weapon that will help us stay on top of all the other pieces of life.
Taking time to replenish our spirits, time to rest, time to fill up our emotional buckets, those are the things that will keep us going and thriving amidst all the other things in our lives.
Not only is self-care is crucial to surviving as a Mom, but it will make you happier.
Can you imagine if all this came in a prescription? One pill that makes you happier, helps you have a clearer mind, shows your kids how to have a better life, makes you more efficient and therefore saves time AND will make you healthier? What a magical thing! I don’t know about you, but I want more of that in my life!
Author, Stephen Covey calls the process of taking care of ourselves ‘sharpening the saw’. He likens it to that because a sharp tool will cut faster and better. It will be more effective.
I love this quote from him: “You may think you don’t have time to exercise, build friendships, or get inspired. In reality, you don’t have time not to. The downtime you spend sharpening your saw will pay you back immediately, ‘cause when you resume your normal routine, you’ll cut that much faster.” (By that he means, you’ll be so much more efficient and effective in all you do when your body, mind, and soul get a little tender love and care from you that it will more than make up for the time you spent nurturing yourself.
I view this as a win/win.
When you take care of yourself, you will be happier, you will be more patient, you will be a better version of yourself.
What does that mean for the people around you?
- Your kids will feel you being more patient with them.
- Your husband will experience you as more on top of life and probably being a kinder person.
- The whole family will see you being happier and it will positively influence the tone of your whole household.
- They will see you taking care of you and know that as they grow up, they should take time to care for themselves too.
So if self-care benefits each member of our family, we can sure feel better about taking that time for ourselves.
If you are a really, really busy person, think about this for a moment. You can outsource nearly anything in your life, but you can’t outsource self-care. That is a gift only you can give yourself (and you’re giving it to your family). So think creatively about how to delegate some of your other to-dos so that you can carve out regular time for caring for you.
Taking even a few minutes for yourself will actually give you more energy to tackle the things on your list.
So, here is a list of more than 40 ways you can show yourself care. As you read this list, think about which items sound the best to you.
Self Care Ideas:
- have a dance party with upbeat music
- listen to a guided meditation
- call a friend
- meet up with a friend
- have a date night
- go for a walk
- go to the gym
- breathe deeply for a few minutes
- get a pedicure
- massage yourself with lotion, for example, your hands or feet
- color in an adult coloring book
- knit or crochet
- listen to a podcast
- develop an energizing morning routine
- develop a calming evening routine
- write in a journal
- go to bed early
- take a fun fitness class
- buy some flowers to brighten your home
- look at family photos
- read a magazine
- think positive affirmations about yourself
- give yourself a pep talk
- take a bath
- go out dancing with friends
- drink your coffee while it’s still warm
- plan ahead so you feel less stressed about an upcoming day or event
- organize your closet
- trade foot rubs with your husband
- hug someone you love
- take a weekend or a week off of social media
- close your eyes and think of a favorite memory
- watch a funny movie
- take a long, hot shower
- plan a trip or a fun family activity
- treat yourself to ice cream
- ask your husband to take the kids so you can have time alone in your house – then do something just for you
I want to challenge you to write down your favorites from this list and add any others that appeal to you.
Make a self-care menu that can hang in your house somewhere you see it a lot. Extra credit for using fun pens or markers and having fun with this exercise!
For the next week, do at least 1 thing from this list each day. See how you feel. See if it makes an impact in your mood, in your mindset, in your energy, in your happiness. I believe weaving self-care into your days will do more for your quality of life than almost any other action you can take.
“It’s not the load that breaks you down, it’s the way you carry it.”
Do you struggle with self-care or have you been good about prioritizing it in your life? Join us in our free Facebook Community to keep the conversation going with an awesome, supportive group of fellow Moms. Click here to join!