As moms, we often forget to take proper care of ourselves. Or, we put our self-care on the back burner, thinking that somehow we will one day have enough time to prioritize it.
Can I share a secret with you? That “one day” is NOW!
I know, CARAZY.
Yes, you will not wake up one day when your small kiddos are bigger and think “NOW I have time for me!” (Ask me how I know!)
I remember fantasizing about how parenting was going to get easier once my littles were more independent (oh how I wish I had been right…*sigh*) The truth is, with the “spare time” available these days, parenting 2 adult kids and 2 almost-grown ones, I have discovered that theory was not sound!
And yet, over the years, I’ve found ways to build short, simple, affordable self-care into my day as a habit - mainly because struggling with the pain and exhaustion of an autoimmune disease and chronic spine-pain issue, I’ve found that if I do not, I will not be able to “be there” for my family, let alone anyone else!
Self-care isn’t a luxury, mama-friend!
I believe with all my health-coaching heart that it’s a necessity! And I credit my own health coach, Casey Sollock, of She Shines Wellness, with teaching me this concept I’m sharing here is this article. She called it “aggressive self-care” and she helped me understand that it’s not a one-and-done kind of thing - especially for us moms. It’s an ongoing, necessary, habitual kind of need for health and healing!
SO HOW DO WE BUILD IN THE DAILY HABITS TO BETTER SELF CARE?
Well...it can be simpler, more affordable and even more fun than you might think! That’s why I’m sharing this article with you - to give you some ideas on simple ways you can add a little self-care into your day!
The power-moms here in our FRESH Start Community shared their best tips for making self-care a habit for even the busiest mom!
Here’s what some of them shared…
Misty Judd said…
“I purposefully pick a snack just for me when I go to the grocery store. It’s usually healthy and a lot of times not something I would buy for the family. They can be very picky and prefer homemade baked goods packed with sugar. I tend to put my family before myself and this helps me remind myself to take care of me on a daily basis. I also escape to the nail salon every 2 weeks for a 90 minute sanity break. When the kids were in diapers this is the only time I had a break and could clear my mind.”
BootsBobbie Denson shared…
“Since I love to craft and it is very relaxing for me, as a working mom, I would build into the schedule a time to craft with the kiddos. Quality time with the children and a needed reboot for me.”
Lorrea Hall shared her secret sauce…
“Well it’s always insanity around here...but here’s what I do:
1) I take a few minutes everyday to just breath - if I can do it outside, I do. I typically have these mini-breaks built in throughout the day. First thing in the morning before the kids get up I have coffee and breathe before the day starts. I work from home so I always go to my office 5 minutes early and take 2-3 minutes to breathe and release whatever home stresses I have been dealing with before I start diving in so I am fresh and focused on work. At the end of the night before I go to bed I take 2-3 minutes to free my mind of any intrusive thoughts or urgent needs I’ll need to handle first thing in the morning. This frees my mind to rest knowing that I have everything handled. I am a 2am thinker so if I haven’t freed my mind - I’ll be up at 3am remembering all these things that are weighing on me.
2) exercise - Quick walks around the block during breaks or at lunch or before bed. I also have a sit/stand desk so I can change my desk from sitting to standing. In standing mode I have a rocker that I stand on that gets me moving. I also, keep fitness bands in my office for a quick exercise break when I have a minute or 2 and a stretching poster in my wall to remind me to stretch throughout the day. I also have some motivational quotes around the office that remind me to pause and reflect helping me sneak in a little bit of mind quieting.
3) family me time - I think women get recharged by investing in others. For me this is mostly my family but also friends. I have a bi-weekly nail date with my mom, we sit, we have some wine, we do our nails together. I have hobbies with each of my kids we do together - riding bikes, doing science experiments, building things, and coding. There things we both enjoy so we’re both getting our buckets filled + quality conversation and connection.”
My personal go-to way (as a busy mom of four!) to add in a little more self-care habitually is:
To make a few healthy habits non-negotiable!
What I mean is, there are a few things that I will do day-in-day-out no matter how crazy the day, no matter how full the calendar!
For me, these are simple, affordable and easy to squeeze in…
1. Drink enough water NO MATTER WHAT - even if I’m enjoying a no-no soda pop or extra cup of coffee, I’ll make sure to get those 8 minimum cups of water NO MATTER WHAT!
2. Have a smoothie in the morning NO MATTER WHAT - I may end up eating “off plan” on a crazy day, BUT by having that smoothie, I’ve had a couple of servings of veggies, fiber, healthy fat, protein, vitamins and minerals - so no matter the deficiency (or unhealthy stuff) in the rest of my meals, I’ve had that boost and nutrition to combat it and help give my body some goodness! (My fave recipe is here —- >> Berry Nutty Smoothie Recipe)
3. Take a walk outside NO MATTER WHAT - so even if I don’t get more steps or a good heart-pumping workout that day, I’ve gotten in a few minutes of sunshine (Vitamin D!) fresh air into my lungs and blood supply and a great stretching exercise in for the rest of my body.
These are just a couple of examples of my personal list of “non-negotiables” for my self-care...they will happen NO MATTER WHAT ELSE DOES!
What could you turn into a daily habit that could be a “NO-MATTER-WHAT” for you?
These small things really do add up and create a new level of health in your mind and body!
More moms from our Community share their secret sauce with us…
Melanie Mason Shannon tells us…
“As working mom, I use my lunch hour. If weather is pretty, I like to take lunch outside and enjoy some quiet time soaking up the sunshine. If weather is not cooperating, then I will turn lights off in office and relax for 15-20 minutes after I eat. Some afternoons I drive home with radio off just for some quiet. Also, peppermint oil is my friend on stressful days. A sniff perks me up or few drops rubbed behind ears and on temples helps with headaches.”
Michele Spooner says ...
“Get up and spend 10-15 minutes writing in my gratitude journal as I drink my tea. Really begins my day off right and keeps me focused on what is important!”
Vee Tal shares …
“I sit in my car and just look at God. Gratitude goes a long way to uplifting my day.”
Gloria B. Dorsey advises…
“Thinking back to when I was a young mom... joining in the kid fun, not just watching; jumping in the puddles, going down the slide, skipping along, throwing rocks in the river as well. Kids play is good for adults as well; when you are playing and laughing you are not stressing!”
Mary Tomko Huggins tells us …
“Taking 5 minutes to sit down with a cup of tea or coffee and nothing else. I love doing this outside in the morning, before people wake up, and just center myself. Make a quick facial scrub / hand scrub of EVOO & brown sugar. This is great to use on the face to get rid of dead skin and also make your skin feel soft. I also like to use it on my hands. I keep some made up in my bathroom to use daily.”
Feel free to share YOUR input on how you weave self-care into your busy day, mama...you can comment right here om the post, or drop into our free community, FRESH Start Club to tell us there!
And in the meantime, remember to intentionally take a few minutes for YOU today! ;)
From one busy mama to another!
~ Coach Bess