Self-care has been a buzzword for some time now. Everybody recognizes the need to take a minute to check in with themselves and do something that feels good and promotes wellness. The thing is, self-care has pretty much become synonymous with experiences that are luxurious, such as spa days, staycations, winery retreats, etc. All of us moms know life doesn’t oftentimes allow us to stop for a quick staycation. And more times than not, we have many more family-focused things to spend money on than a spa day. So, for the mom who has too much on her to-do list, or too many moments with kids running around the house, I wanted to offer some “real,” everyday self-care activities.
If you break self-care down into its purpose and intention, it’s really all about doing something that will help make you happier and your life easier. As mentioned earlier, that can come in the form of a “treat yourself” special event. But, it can also be something that makes your life easier every day! That type of self-care can even be found inside the walls of your own home.
For me, self-care means getting small moments of time back. I find myself saying more times than I’d like to admit that I simply “don’t have time” to do things. What I’ve found, among other strategies, is if I take the time to organize myself and my life with new systems, I inevitably have time to do some other things! That started with setting myself up to have an easy, prepared morning routine.
My private moments are most often taken in my bathroom. So every week I make sure I have folded bath and face towels accessible by my bathtub. I set them beside my facial products, which are ordered in the way I plan to use them. Whenever I get up in the morning, I know that I can head to my bathroom and start my day versus running around the house to gather supplies. I’ve practically created my own little home spa every morning!
Minimize material “must-haves”
One of the other lifestyle choices I utilize as self-care is decluttering my life. When I have too much “stuff” around me, life literally and figuratively seems to move in closer to me, and I don’t feel as free. I’m sure other moms can relate to that. To combat that, and to free myself and my surroundings a bit, I’ve intentionally set to de-clutter things that aren’t necessities around my home.
I think that’s a key to realistic, everyday self-care. As humans, if we feel as if we don’t have a lot, or we don’t have much in terms of finances or things, we want to fill our lives and environment with physical or material trappings. Honestly, there’s nothing immediately wrong with that. But if your happiness begins to revolve around “stuff,” once stuff gets old, you’ll tend to want more stuff. Ultimately, collected clutter we can see turns into clutter that we feel, and that can definitely work against caring for what’s really important inside ourselves.
How has that worked in my life? Well, instead of using 10 beauty products, I now only use one. I organized my closets, and I found so many pieces of clothing that I don’t wear. So I’ve donated those items to people in need, and I have more space and organization in my life. It works out on all sides, and I feel within myself that I’ve done one more thing to take care of me and make life easier.
Examine the energy in your environment
You know one of the bigger thieves of our own self-care? OTHERS! We moms tend to take on the cares of the world sometimes. Again, that’s perfectly fine sometimes, especially if those cares involve your family. Beyond them, though, I think it’s good for women and moms to assess the energy they allow around themselves. That includes the entertainment we consume, the social media we engage, and the people with whom we associate and allow in our lives.
This will undoubtedly take some practice and intention for some because moms are wired to help any- and everyone in need. But as we are told on airplanes, it’s so important for us to put our own oxygen masks on first before assisting others. Simply put, moms, for your own self-care, you should reconsider taking on the troubles of others. This is especially important if dealing with the problems of others takes away your joy or brings you down.
It’s okay to create boundaries for yourself, and for your own health and happiness. Don’t feel bad about taking shelter from things that wear down your emotional well-being. You’re only obligated to the things that impact YOU and your world. Compartmentalize everything else, and watch yourself smile more and breathe a little easier.
Self-care is all about freeing yourself, for yourself. These are just a few real-life suggestions of things that can make life easier for you every day. Beyond these examples, though, take inventory of the things that will make you feel and be okay. I’d love to know other things you do in the name of self-care to bring balance to your life. I look forward to you sharing some of your “just for me” tools and tactics in the comments!