by Katie Pierce
Motherhood entails countless roles—teacher, chef, housekeeper, financial manager, and healthcare provider. Being a mother also requires several skills, including time management as you juggle your many daily responsibilities, good communication to make that first period talk with your daughter easy and not awkward, and diagnostic skills when your toddler’s skin is sensitive to touch.
Motherhood is one of the most amazing experiences you can have, but it is also one of the most challenging. As much as you love and adore your children, the strain of being a good mother can get overwhelming at times. And often, any form of self-care is done as an afterthought—after you’ve finished washing the dishes, putting your children to bed, and taking care of everyone else.
However, it's critical to ensure that you're properly taking care of yourself. If you routinely dismiss your needs, you'll burn yourself out, negatively impacting your overall health. So, to save your health—and your sanity—make yourself a priority with these six simple self-care ideas.
Take Time for Yourself
While the idea of taking time for yourself may appear impossible, it is not. Yes, your children are the most important to you, and you want to make sure they have everything they need, but you also deserve some downtime.
Set aside some time that is genuinely for yourself—spend time alone doing what you want, rather than what others believe you should be doing. Taking quality time for yourself helps lower stress levels, increase your energy, and lift your spirits.
Ask your partner or a family member or hire a babysitter to watch over your children while you get some time to yourself to unwind. Go for a walk, enjoy a cup of tea, listen to a podcast, watch your favorite Netflix show, or read a good book. Schedule some me-time for a few minutes every day to improve your physical, mental, and emotional well-being.
Stop Negative Self-Talk
Negative self-talk is detrimental to your happiness. Mothers often have a constant inner critic that questions everything, from their parenting abilities to their family and career choices. This constant criticism is not healthy for anyone.
Instead of engaging in negative self-talk, start practicing positive affirmations while meditating. Self-worth meditation helps you to focus on the best in yourself. This practice allows you to tap into your inner power, allowing you to better cope with and solve life's issues in a positive way.
Prioritize Quality Sleep
The "get-things-done-before-the-kids-wake-up" mindset is all too common among mothers. However, chronic lack of sleep has adverse health consequences, including weight gain, a weakened immune system, mood changes, and increased risk of depression, cardiovascular disease, and Type 2 diabetes.
Lack of sleep typically causes dry, dull skin and dark circles under your eyes. Moreover, sleep deprivation speeds up the natural aging process.
Get enough sleep to keep wrinkles at bay. Stay away from caffeine, food, alcohol, emotionally upsetting conversations, and other stimulants when it’s close to bedtime.
Aside from making sure you get some quality downtime, don’t be afraid to reward yourself with something nice once in a while. Managing household finances may be difficult, but if you want to go out for a delicious lunch, get your hair done, or buy a new outfit, go for it—you deserve it!
Visit a museum, or spend a day at the spa. Or be a little more adventurous and try out temperature contrast therapy to improve your mental health and well-being. You could even look into getting a monthly subscription box for skin and hair care products, books, teas, gardening, or anything you enjoy.
Ask for Help
As a mother, you're under a lot of pressure to stay on top of everything at home, at work, at parent-teacher meetings, and so on. Whether you haven’t found time to take a shower or you haven’t had any decent sleep for days, the last thing you need is to burn yourself out. Pay attention to how you're feeling, keep an eye on your internal gauge for indications of burnout, and make sure you're taking care of yourself before your stress affects your kids.
If you're feeling overwhelmed by your never-ending to-do list, don’t hesitate to ask your partner, family, or friends for help. If your parents, in-laws, or neighbors sometimes want to help you out with meals, errands, or household chores, be grateful, appreciative, and let them.
While being a busy mom may mean that you don't have time to spend hours in the kitchen cooking, there are still lots of easy-to-make and healthy recipes that you and your children can enjoy, such as peach mango smoothies, zucchini grilled cheese sandwiches, and butternut squash soup.
Fuel yourself with a balanced diet to give your body all the nutrition and energy you need to face the day. It’s also great for your children to see you practicing self-care because you’re setting an example of healthy behavior.
Make healthy eating a habit by choosing water over soda, consuming more fruits and vegetables, and reducing your sugar and salt intake. Additionally, spend a few minutes planning what you'll keep in your refrigerator each week so you can prepare quick, nutritious, and easy meals.
Being a mom is a wonderful experience, but it can also get incredibly stressful. Your daily responsibilities can leave you feeling stressed, frustrated, and physically and emotionally exhausted.
Make sure you are not burning yourself out, and make a conscious effort to exercise self-care. Treat yourself to reduce stress, boost your mood, and help you get through each challenging day.