As woman and especially as moms we tend to care for and shower others with love but somehow we forget to take care of ourselves. We serve everyone and give till we feel there’s nothing left to give, then somehow we give even more… We get worse the more kids we have, the more responsibilities we take on and before you know it self-care seems impossible. A luxury we simply can’t afford.
We judge ourselves harshly, feel guilty and worry about everyone before thinking about ourselves.We don’t have time for ourselves.
Self care is so important. When you take time to replenish your spirit, it allows you to serve others from the overflow. You cannot serve from an empty vessel. – Eleanor Brown
Change is needed, not just for you but for your loved ones too. Today I share 10 easy self-care tips for moms. Small changes I’ve made that in turn made a big difference.
1. Start with a change
We all get stuck in a rut but change really is as good as a holiday!
It doesn’t have to be big… Change the way you start your day, maybe all you need is a change of heart or perspective. Maybe you’ve always dreamt about getting a pixie cut or becoming fit…
Think about something you’ve always wanted to do or achieve but for some reason couldn’t. Take the first steps, no matter how tiny, in achieving your goal and bringing about the change you long for. Change the way you see yourself and the things you value most. Make sure you are on your list of priorities and never doubt why.
Whatever you decide to tackle, be sure to take things slow. You want this change to last.
2. Find something you love
This has to be the most difficult tip. It certainly challenged me… I had lost myself in the hustle and bustle of motherhood. Not able to remember what I really enjoyed doing. I’m still figuring it out but as soon as I started on one thing, I remembered another. I just needed to reawaken myself.
Now I have a few things that feeds my soul;
- I collect teapots and cups and drinking a fresh cup of tea from any of these instantly makes me happy.
- I am a huge music fan and going to various music festivals was one of my favourite things to do. This isn’t all that possible anymore so now I collect vinyls (old and new). Listening to them, dancing and reminiscing has a way of calming me.
- Reading is a must. And not parenting books. Travel guides has me dreaming about our next family vacation and reading one of Jamie Oliver’s books inspires the inner cook I have always dreamt of becoming.
- Taking photos – just for fun and memories opens my eyes to all that I am blessed with.
- Sleeping in and having a pyjama day (even when it’s just me) is FANTASTIC!
- AND eating jam tarts. It’s the best! Every bite pure joy!
The list keeps growing…
Routine can be a mama’s best friend and enemy all at once. We get so caught up in the day-to-day flow of how things need to be and without noticing we create our own prison. You’ve done a great job mama – the household will run without you for a hour or two, maybe even an entire evening…
Schedule that “mom’s-night-off” or take an hour long bubble bath. Garden, paint, journal, phone a friend. Do your 20 minute workout. Give yourself a break and moment to breath.
I know, I know, you’ve heard this one before… Taking time to reflect upon all the things happening in your life is important. Whether you go for something fancy or use a old note book. The process stays the same. Journaling gives you an opportunity to put your thoughts into words, to work through underlying feelings you may not even be aware of. It also opens your mind to the things you may have missed – gratuity journals are especially useful for this.
You don’t need to be a writer. Journaling is something personal, completely for yourself.
Have you heard about The Minimalists? If not, you need to watch their Netflix documentary and while you’re at it, subscribe to the podcast too. They have opened our minds to the true principles and value of living with less.
Things attract more things, more stress and more work. Declutter your life and get rid of the exes, bit-by-bit.
This doesn’t just apply to the things we own but also the way we spend our time and the people that share in it all. Choose what you will and won’t accept in your life. What it is that you value and hold most dear. That should be your priority and what takes up “space” in your life and home.
While on the topic of decluttering – why not also declutter your mind…
I’m the first to admit, organisation hasn’t always been my strong suit. Over the years (and with the addition of every child) I have become better and now I understand why taking the time to plan is essential in self-care.
Women are natural multi-taskers. We need to be but, juggling it all is stressful. Jotting down each month’s schedule, adding birthdays, events, school engagements and work obligations will help you clear your mind.
Combining this with a daily planner gives you the opportunity to set goals, plan ahead, easily getting a handle on everything expected from you. As soon as planning is done, execution will be easy. You only need to focus on that day or that week’s “list”. The biggest of projects are easily accomplished when broken down into manageable bites.
If you’re like me, planning might take a little getting use to but before you know it, you’ll feel less stressed and more present (not having your mind run away with next week’s schedule).
The mstudio “My Beautiful Life Planner” makes getting organised easy and it’s so pretty… Just owning one makes me feel a little better taken care of.
7. Sleep and relax, completely switch off
This might seem like nothing worth mentioning. We all know we need sleep and rest but do you ever really disconnect and completely switch off? I know my cellphone is my biggest distraction (and if you’re honest it’s probably yours too). Then I also constantly worry about our girls.
We need to set aside time to do nothing. Time to only unwind, destress and get ready for a peaceful night’s rest.
Ban the cellphones from your bedroom – don’t let social media be the first and last thing you see each day. Rather have a relaxing cup of tea, go to bed 40 minute before you plan to go to sleep. Be old-school and read a book. No screen-time. Give your mind time to let go and unwind from all the stres of the day.
8. Say NO
The power of NO cannot be overestimated. It’s hard. We feel so much guilt when saying no but actually every time you say no to someone, you are also saying yes to yourself. Be precious about your time. Being busy might seem like the norm but always remember what you are giving up when you say yes to something that should have been a no.
9. Be unapologetically YOU
Accept and honour who you are, right now at this very moment.
You are allowed to change, make mistakes, grow and become a new person. It’s expected, especially after a life-changing experience such as motherhood. There are no rules and the perfect woman, wife, mother… doesn’t exist. She would anyway be a bore.
Find the quirky, unique traits that make you who YOU are. The things you love about yourself. Embrace them and soon you’ll be appreciating and accepting the flaws you once dreaded. Embrace the season you are in now, even if it’s not your favourite or living up to your expectations.
Forgive and accept all of you – it will change your entire life.
10. Invest in yourself and keep to it
Know that self-care is important. You are important. Just as important as your husband, your kids, your work colleagues and everyone you take care of so well. It’s going to take time, practice and discipline but be consistent and don’t give up!
Monthly self-care dates will become weekly and soon you’ll be able to take some me-time every single day. It’s not about being grand and spending money. It’s about you!
BONUS TIP: Keeping the faith.
Starting the day with scripture and knowing I have access to a power far greater than my own has given me the strength and calm that’s needed in some of life’s most challenging times. God has never failed to hold me in His hand, comforting and protecting me even when I didn’t realise. His word and love is an instant recharge.
PHOTO CREDIT | Anje-Ilana van Dalen from Madison and West.