The idea of more self-care for moms can sometimes feel like just one more thing moms feel like they’re failing at.
It’s hard to read a single blog for moms that isn’t touting how more self-care for moms is needed and how beneficial it is. In the real world, though, moms already know this.
They know they need to make more time for themselves, but they’re struggling to actually make it happen.
There simply isn’t enough time most days.
Trust me, I know how hypocritical that sounds.
I blog a lot about self-care and motherhood, but here’s where most bloggers miss the mark on what self-care really looks like.
It isn’t always a shower alone or a massage at the spa.
Self-care doesn’t always look like pampering, and it is possible for moms who have absolutely no time (or energy for that matter) to practice more self-care.
1. Start Your Day with Gratitude
When you have no time, no energy, and no coffee, yet, starting your day with gratitude is the perfect way to invest in yourself for just a few moments at the start of your day.
Whether it’s your alarm or the sounds of little feet or little cries waking you up, take a minute in those first few moments to think of something you’re grateful for today.
When my eyes are heavy and my whole body is screaming to stay wrapped in the warm covers, I try to focus on just one thing I can get out of bed for.
Some days that might be:
- I woke up today.
- We survived yesterday.
- It’s raining outside, but that means the pollen is being washed away. Hooray!
- My new favorite show is waiting for me on Netflix.
- The baby slept through the night/only woke up once.
- There is just enough milk for cereal, by far the easiest breakfast for this sleepy momma.
- Everyone is healthy today.
- She might be crying now, but the second I open my toddler’s bedroom door, I’ll be her favorite part of the day.
Check out A Life of Productivity for even more things you can be grateful for every day!
2. Hide in the Pantry and Don’t Share the Chocolate
I think we’ve all seen the Facebook video of the mom hiding in the pantry so she doesn’t have to share her snack, and every mom can relate.
Just because you don’t have time to take a steaming hot bath doesn’t mean you need to deprive yourself of all treats.
Create a secret stash of goodies just for you, and take just a few seconds here and there to grab one and enjoy it all alone. Trust me, it works.
I hide my treats from my toddler, but my older daughters know all about mommy’s special stash. They’ve grown up learning that having something just for yourself is perfectly normal and well-deserved.
I like to think that in the long-term I’m teaching them that their needs are important, but for right now, I’m totally okay with adding this to my list of must-have self-care practices for moms.
3. Have a Family Dance Party
Sometimes self-care for moms means letting yourself be silly!
When I’m most stressed out, I gather the kids into the kitchen where we have the most open space and play some of their favorite get-up-and-move songs.
My older kids take turns choosing the next song, and everyone gets into the silly spirit. It’s such a great stress reliever and really helps me boost my mood!
Try having your own family dance party in your kitchen or living room. It can last for one song or many songs, and it’s great for kids of all ages. Everyone in our household from the baby to our moody pre-teen finds themselves joining in.
4. Create a New Positive Habit
They say it only takes 2 weeks to create a new habit, but I’ve found that the positive effects of a new habit happen far earlier.
Try looking at the parts of your day that are the most emotionally taxing—these are when more self-care for moms is especially valuable.
Think about actionable steps you might take to make those moments less taxing, like Marie Kondo tidying your home. Even if it isn’t totally realistic (like a luxurious foot rub would be great right about dinner time), make note of it.
Next, think about what you can do to make those moments easier. What would be realistic?
I’m not a morning person, but I have to log into work at 7 am. Unfortunately, that’s the same time my kids need to get up for school, meaning the first hour of my day is spent getting 3 kids ready for school/daycare and balancing work.
Instead of continuing to bulldoze my way through the stress, I began getting up between 5:30 and 6 am. I’d get everything ready for the kids’ day, set out breakfast, and sit down by myself to enjoy my own breakfast and drink my tea while it was still hot.
That first week felt amazing!
It took another few weeks to get my brain in gear with the new morning schedule, but now I find I actually enjoy that time and often get up early on the weekends, too.
Coming from a person who worked night shift for years and could sleep until noon daily if given the option, that’s huge!
5. Journal for 5 Minutes
Journaling has been an integral part of my self-care since I was a teenager.
Whether you choose to keep a daily journal or take the therapy journaling approach (where you mostly journal to process complex feelings or events), setting aside just 5 minutes can dramatically improve your mental health.
I typically journal on the hard days.
I often joke that I really hope no one reads those posthumously and thinks it’s an accurate picture of my life.
Other days when I just need to write, I’ll journal in a stream-of-conscious style.
For that, I just sit down with my journal and a pen and start writing. Set a timer for 5 minutes, and dedicate all of that time to writing. It doesn’t matter what you write or whether it’s spelled correctly or uses proper grammar.
The idea is to just write.
Even if that means jotting down, “I don’t know what to write,” keep writing.
Sometimes I’ve found that my problems aren’t as big as I thought, or I’ll stumble onto the root of what was really bothering me earlier in the day.
Other times it’s simply one more tool in my self-care arsenal.
No matter what ultimately works for you, I promise that investing in yourself will be worth it in the end. Self-care for moms doesn’t have to be complicated or focused on long soaks in the bath or aromatherapy.
Sometimes it really just means being aware of your needs and finding creative ways to meet those needs. How do you practice more self-care when you have little to no time?