Raise your hand if you’ve ever wanted to just hide in the bathroom just to get a few moments of peace to yourself? (raises both hands)
What about making an excuse as to why you can’t take the kids to the grocery store with you just so you can be alone? (raises hand)
Or maybe it seems like your always snappy and being short with your kids all of the time.
I love being a mother and all the things that come with motherhood, but sometimes those lovely little people stress me out.
Sometimes the daily grind of cleaning, cooking, and folding makes me want to just throw everything out of the house.
I think by this point we can all agree that motherhood is and can be very stressful if we let the unpleasant aspects of it consume us.
This is why it’s important to have a self-care routine no matter what kind of mom you are: single, married, divorced, working, stay at home, work at home we all need to take time out for ourselves.
I’m going to share with you what self-care is and and how to create a simple self-care routine.
What is Self-Care?
Self-care has become a big topic in the health and wellness community.
However, there are a lot of misconceptions about what self-care is and what it isn’t.
There are two definitions of self-care:
1.The ability to take care of one’s daily needs: feeding yourself, brushing your teeth, getting enough sleep, etc (used by mental health professionals).
2. Any purposeful activity that we do that takes care of our physical, mental, and emotional health.
The last one is the one most of us are most familiar with and the one we will be focusing on.
I would like to take this definition a little further and add that self-care is any purposeful and meaningful activity that we do that takes care of our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health.
When done correctly proper self- care allows us to be better versions of ourselves and we can take better care of our family because we are less stressed and able to cope with the challenges of motherhood.
What Self-Care Isn’t
1. It’s Not Something You Don’t Enjoy
If you don’t enjoy what you are doing then it’s not going to benefit your overall well-being.
The only activity that I exclude from this sentiment is exercise.
Exercise is an important part of our physical health. Exercising helps to boost our mood and relieves stress.
It can also help reduce our chances of developing physical illnesses like high blood pressure and diabetes.
2. It’s Not Something That Causes Stress
Your self-care routine should not stress you out.
The point of self-care is to do something that you find relaxing and enjoyable.
If it’s stressing you out then you need to find another activity.
For example, when I first started blogging it was purely therapeutic. It was a way for me to connect with other people and express myself.
But since I shifted my focus from blogging as a hobby to trying to earn money from my blog it’s not as therapeutic anymore.
Don’t get me wrong I still like to blog but I find myself stressing out about it way more than I used to.
3. It’s Not A Random Event
Self- care is not something that you do once a year or once in a blue moon.
There can be specific activities like a spa day or a weekend getaway that happen once or twice a year, but self-care should be a planned part of your life that happens throughout the year.
Preferably daily or weekly.
4. It’s Not Complicated
Self- care does not have to be complicated.
You don’t need to create some long elaborate plan or activity that last for hours every day.
Most self-care routines should be based on simple activities that can be accomplished in 5-30 minutes depending on what you are doing.
5. It’s Not Selfish
For some reason, we as women have developed something I like to call the martyr syndrome.
This crazy belief that as women we need to sacrifice the things that we want and need for the sake of our children, our spouses, our jobs, etc.
And that women who take time out for themselves or pursue their dreams are selfish mothers and wives that don’t care about their family.
This thought process is a load of garbage and needs to stop being perpetuated among women.
There is nothing wrong with taking time out for yourself and pursuing your dreams.
Self-care is not the same as being negligent.
Self- care benefits you and your family by improving your physical, spiritual, and emotional well being.
Being selfish only benefits you. (Exits soapbox)
Now that we’ve taken care of the basics, let’s talk about how to create a self-care routine.
How To Create A Simple Self Care Routine
1. Do A Brain Dump
Grab a sheet of paper and divide it into 2 sections. In one section write “daily schedule” in the other section write “my favorite activities”.
Set a timer for 10 minutes and write down everything you do during a normal day. In the activities section, write down all the activities that you enjoy doing or that you would like to try.
Set a timer for 5-10 minutes and write down as much as you can in that amount of time.
2. Rummage Through The Dump (Review Your List)
Look at your daily activities. Is there anything that you can move around or change to give you 5-30 minutes of free time?
Examine areas where you are already alone like driving in the car, your lunch break, nap time, etc.
Do you spend a large amount of time on social media? Or Watching tv?
Put a checkmark next to those items.
Next look at the activities that you wrote down. Put a check next to 3 that you can do in under 30 minutes.
Look at your list again Identify activities that can help you grow emotionally, physically, mentally, and spiritually.
List them in a separate area of your paper.
If you need ideas you can check out this post on 101 Self-Care Activities from Sara at Get Mom Balanced.
3. Make Some Decisions
Now that we have a few activities picked and possible time in our schedules lets make some decisions.
Based on the information you gathered from your daily schedule brain dump, when is the best time during the day for you to schedule a little “me” time?
Morning, Afternoon, Evening?
During your lunch break, drive home, early morning before everyone is up?
You can get creative. I like to sing and dance.
Sometimes while I’m cooking I turn on my favorite songs and sing and dance in the kitchen.
My kids look at me crazy, but sometimes that’s the only way I can get my me time in.
What Activity(ies) Will You Do?
If this is your first time creating a self-care routine I would pick one activity that you would like to do.
Picking too many activities can make you feel pressured to complete them all during the day, which causes stress.
Plus we want to accomplish small victories and then build up to larger ones.
Eventually, you should work your way up to 1 activity for each of the 4 areas (mental, physical, emotional, spiritual).
How Often Will You Do X Activity?
How often will you do your activity?
Weekly, Daily, Monthly?
If you’re just getting started making a commitment to do something weekly may be easier then committing to doing something daily.
I try to get my eyebrows done once a month if I can. It makes me feel like a human being.
However, I try to bible journal and pray every morning before the kids get up and my husband comes home from work.
If you chose to exercise as part of your routine, then you can start by working out once or twice a week, for 30 minutes.
Then gradually build your way up to working out more often and for longer periods of time.
Do what’s best for and fits your schedule. Which brings us to number 4.
4. Set A Reminder
Now that you know what, when, where, and how often it’s time to put a notification in your phone, on your computer, on your calendar, etc to remind you.
Commit to sticking to your set schedule for the next 30 days.
After 30 days assess how everything went. If it went well try adding another activity from one of the other areas.
5. Make It A Priority
Nobody else will respect your self-care routine if it’s not important to you.
Talk to your spouse and/ or to your kids about your routine and why it’s important that they respect whatever boundaries you set during this time.
6. Be Flexible
Sometimes things happen that may interrupt your scheduled “me” time.
It’s OK. Just take a deep breath.
I promise it won’t be the end of the world if you miss it once or twice.
Benefits of Having A Self-Care Routine
- You become more productive
- Improved physical health
- Boosts your immunity
- Increased self awareness
- Reduced stress and anxiety
- Boost your creativity
Being a mom is hard work. There are times when the stress and cares of motherhood can cause us to become stressed out and weary.
I can’t guarantee you that having a self-care routine will make the bad days easier or less stressful.
I can tell you that taking care of yourself mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually will benefit yourself and your family.
Don’t fall victim to the martyr syndrome and continue to sacrifice yourself for the “greater” good of your family.
The greatest good you can do for them is to take care of yourself. Your kids only get one of you.
Let them have the happiest, healthiest version of yourself.
Now it’s your turn.
What do you think about self-care? Do you think it’s beneficial or a waste of time?
I’d love to hear your thoughts.
Don’t forget to like and share this post on social media.
Until Next Time,