Whether you are a new or a well-established mama, finding the time to take care of your needs may feel impossible.
Being a mom is not only physically exhausting but also emotionally exhausting! As a mama to a toddler, some days we ride the emotional roller-coaster!
Self-care seems to be a trending topic these days. It seems that a lot of people are in some type of distress physically or emotionally. Mental health has become an open discussion now that we know how many individuals are really affected by it.
When I refer to mental health I really mean how healthy you are emotionally. It is important to be honest with yourself and take action when you can tell when something is out of line.
Motherhood is such an overwhelming emotional time. You are overjoyed with love for this tiny human being and overwhelmed figuring out how to manage your time prioritizing all of the daily tasks that need to get done.
In this day and age, most families consist of two working parents of full-time jobs. Creating a very busy and hectic schedule for the entire family. Often leading to some of the most important things getting categorized into “I just don’t have the time” excuse like your own personal needs and desires.
Let’s address that excuse….you have the time for whatever you choose. Even with working and raising children there is time for you to incorporate activities that add value and bring happiness to YOU. Sometimes that means letting other less important tasks like routine household chores go longer without completing, spending less time on social media and saying no to commitments that no longer bring joy into your life.
That means its time you get honest with yourself and evaluate where your time is going. Making sure you are filling your day with activities and commitments that add value to your lives, not just because “you have to”.
Self-care is one of those things that seems to get left out of our busy schedules, Maybe it is because a lot of women feel guilty taking the time away to take care of themselves. I know I did.
I like to think of self-care as refreshing. Sometimes, there are times where I feel burnt-out, overwhelmed, and just not my best self. I know my patience is a little bit shorter, my tone in my voice is a little less playful, and I am not being the mom I want to be. I take a step back and think what can I do to take care of me right now? What do I need?
Some days it’s just another cup of coffee, others maybe a healthy snack and some water. But then there are days where I need some ME time. I need to be able to just worry about me for a while.
I used to feel ashamed that I needed to take time to take care of myself. Like I was broken and a bad mom for stepping away for a little bit. Then I really thought about it and addressed my feelings.
I am no less of a mom because I need to take care of myself.
Read that line again and believe it! You would not neglect your families needs and desires, so why should you neglect your own?
I want to show my kids what self-respect looks like. I want them to understand that emotions and health is a complex issue. It takes work to be happy. It takes making the time to be happy and healthy.
And it takes honesty to know when something needs to be addressed.
I admit there are some days where I am just too damn tired to do anything but crash on my pillow. But like most things, creating somewhat of a routine help get some mama time even on the worst days.
Here are some practical ways to incorporate self-care into your schedule.
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1. Draw yourself a hot bath/long shower
Light some candles and get your face mask on and just enjoy the calm!
I encourage you to be open to your partner and communicate when you need some time to yourself. When my husband can tell it has been a long day, he will recommend I go take that bath to refresh and recharge. And I appreciate his support and respect that I invest the time to take care of myself.
My husband and I have a good routine whereas he is rocking our daughter and getting her settled in for the night, I have some me time to unwind from the day. This is where I typically take my bath if I am feeling the need too.
2. Have a cup of your favorite tea/coffee
There is something very soothing about a nice hot cup of tea/coffee. One of my favorite times to enjoy my coffee is the first thing in the morning before my daughter is up. If the weather is enjoyable I will go sit on our patio and enjoy the present moment. Starting the day off grounded makes a huge difference!
I started drinking tea about a year ago and have fallen in love! Herbal tea works wonders when you are stressed out or feeling anxious. There are a ton of different herbal mixes to soothe whatever you have going on!
My preferred brand is Yogi tea. They have little inspirational sayings on the steeple paper that I enjoy reading over. These are my go-to flavors currently to help unwind and relax for the night.
Ensuring you are getting quality sleep is crucial to maintaining a healthy state both physically and mentally. Tea has been very beneficial for getting my own sleep schedule under control. I usually enjoy a cup of Sleepytime tea or Relax tea about an hour before bed.
3. Read a book
I took a break from reading for a while and the past six months I have incorporated it back into my routine. Boy did I forget what I missing out on! Reading is the perfect way to escape your worries and let your imagination just wander and not worry about the to-do list in your life for a while.
Let me guess, your thinking you don’t have the time for reading with your busy schedule?
There is always time for you! You just have to take it.
Reading is possible first thing in the morning, during nap time, lunch break at work, or before bedtime. You do not have to be reading for hours for it to help you relax.
Try scheduling just 15 minutes at first.
If that seems to not fit in your schedule try audiobooks when you are driving or doing household tasks.
4. Get physical & Clean up your diet
I am sure you hear everyone telling you to get moving, but there is a reason for that! Any form of exercise for at least a half hour a day will make a huge improvement in how you feel! Especially once you build it into your schedule on a consistent basis.
So your thinking again…yeah right no time for that either Chelsea!
Wrong again!! Like mentioned before, I really hate that excuse. Please, please stop lying to yourself. Prioritize what you spend your time on.
Take your little one on a walk with your…preferably with them in a stroller so you can set your own pace and not chasing them around!
If your child is in school, find a friend that you can meet up with and walk with them. You are not the only mama that needs time to get fit and socialize!
Or what I have been doing lately is at home yoga videos online! This can be done by yourself, partner or even with your little ones!
Yoga is very effective for calming the body down and focusing on the present moment. Plus it gets you more flexible and in shape. Everyone could benefit from adding yoga into their routine.
Along with exercise, eating is a form of self-care. The food you choose to nurture your body with incorporates with how you feel mentally and we all know the physical effects.
Small changes can be made to get on the right path such as removing soda out of daily routine, limiting processed foods to a minimum, and getting a grasp of those sugar cravings!
5. Honor Date Nights
Relationships after children seem to go into a survival mode of what needs to get done so we can get through each day at a time. Over time it is very easy to start prioritizing our children’s needs before our own or even our partners. And sometimes we don’t realize this until we look back at the last few months.
For some reason, we believe that this makes us better parents, when in fact it might end up doing more harm in the long run.
Schedule time for you and your partner to reconnect on a romantic level on a consistent basis. It is important for a woman to feel she viewed romantically and not just as a roommate or the mother of their children. Resentment is sure to brew if this is the path the relationship goes down.
Continuing to improve your relationship is not only crucial for the two of you as a couple, but really to maintain a happy and healthy family as a whole long-term.
Finding the time to take of your needs may not always be easy.
But I promise you it is one of the most important things you can do for your family.
They need you to show up and be able to put your best self forward.
Taking care of yourself is just as important as you raising your little one!
Go take care of YOU mama.