I would like to share a few daily self-care tips that will remind you how important it is to put yourself at the top of the list. First and foremost, you must know that I am not an expert. Nor am I anything close to perfect (perfect is boring anyway).
With that being said, I have spent the last year pulling my focus back to myself. From the years 2011 through 2017, I was either pregnant or had a wee babe to care for. As moms, we know how to get lost in those we love the most. We try to make sure that everyone else’s needs are met before we ever even consider ours.
From this past year, I have learned that not only am I a happier and healthier human being when I take care of myself BEFORE I take care of everyone else, but EVERYONE in my family is also happier as a result (cue the saying: “If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”).
Daily Self-Care Tips
Set Your Intentions
This is a saying that I’ve heard most often in yoga, but it applies to everyday life. I love to check boxes off the list for tasks that I’ve completed. By setting one goal per day, I work to complete it and it allows me to focus. It also gives me a sense of accomplishment when I’ve finished my task.
Some days the task is as ambitious as washing, drying, folding, and putting away all of the laundry. Some days its to just lose my sh*t one less time than I did the day before. Either way, I get to check a mental box for a task that I assigned myself, and I dig that.
Move Yo’ Body
I am not about to preach that you should work out an hour a day every single day. I will, however, suggest that you move your body for 15 minutes a day. This can range from high-intensity intervals to yoga to dance parties with your kids.
Just move. I truly started feeling great about my body when I went back to the gym. I started participating in the group fitness classes (ha, and now I even teach those classes!).
You will feel better, your body will feel better, and you will hopefully feel sexy AF after a couple weeks. Also, do your very darndest to NOT feel mom-guilt during this time.
I know that leaving your child in the gym childcare or not picking up your screaming babe can be tough. But this may be your only opportunity to get your blood flowing and I can promise you that your child will survive and you will feel better.
I love reading, but with three young kids, sitting down to devour a good book is an extreme rarity. However, I do try to read something every single day, other than items related to work.
Some days it is only the email that I receive every morning that fills me in on worldly events. But some days, it is chapters and chapters of one of the countless books that I continue to buy over the years that sit and wait patiently on my nightstand…those days are marvelous.
Drink your water. It’s that easy. Just make it happen so that you’re not a dehydrated monster. Its good for your organs, good for your skin, good for headaches, and so on. Drink up, Buttercup. (Note: while wine is not considered water, it is a liquid, soooo…)
Practicing Self-Care Mentally
The following tips are less “daily”, but ideas that foster a self-care mentality to try.
Take off your judgy-pants and set them ablaze.
As moms, you know how hard it is. You know what it is like to witness your own flesh and blood perform a meltdown at Level 1000 in the aisles of the grocery store, or worse, at a restaurant.
You are familiar with the stares and gazes. If you’re anything like me, you’re ready to pounce on anything that tries to give you a sideways glance for your obvious failures as a mother exhibited by said screaming child.
If you know how hard it can be and you don’t appreciate the feeling that you are being judged as a mother, then for the love of sweet baby Jesus, don’t judge another mom for her choices.
You might feel good about the food you feed your family and the amount of screen time they get. And you feel good about their schoolwork and their behavior. Oh, and the cleanliness of your home and the car you drive and the clothes your entire family wears and blah blah blah…then good for you. Clap for yourself.
But, if you ever feel inadequate in any area of motherhood, would you want someone to judge you for that? If your answer is no, then don’t do it to a fellow sister.
The less you judge another mom, the less you will feel judged, and THAT is a freeing feeling.
I am positive that you are a loving woman who works to improve the lives of those you hold dear with each passing day. I am also positive that you have a lot on your plate, typically with no end in sight.
Life as a mother can be frequently overwhelming. If you learn to be grateful for the season that you’re in, it helps. I am no stranger to crying in a locked bathroom in my own house because I feel like I am drowning because I can’t do it all, all of the time.
And then when a sweet teeny face looks up at me. You know, with eyes filled to the brink with all the love that only a tiny body can hold, I am reminded that this won’t last long enough. That one day my daughter will drive herself to her own practice and won’t search for me to give her a thumbs up when she nailed an activity.
That I won’t even have a supply of boxed mac-and-cheese at my house because I won’t have a child to feed it to. I work to care for myself by being grateful for those little things. So that I don’t roll my eyes at them as often…but then I cry tears of Mommy Sorrow, so ya know, good luck.
You are the Greatest Showman.
As the mother of your family, you are most likely the ringleader, coordinating activities, schoolwork, socialization, nutrition, developmental activities, healthy relationship interactions, and the wiping of tiny butts. It’s a lot to handle, and you’re in the trenches.
Through all of the tasks that you complete and endure each day, your kids are watching you. They are learning from your actions and your tone. When you are constantly stressed and tearing through life like a tornado, your babes will be raised to think that is what is expected of them.
Allow them to watch you caring for yourself so that they can learn to do the same. If you wouldn’t want your child to feel like they should repeatedly place themselves at the bottom of the totem pole, then don’t you do it! Period!
Are you taking care of yourself?
Ultimately, self-care is unique to each person. I have heard more great ideas that include getting yourself ready every day, drinking water immediately when you wake up, subscription face masks, or waking up early for some alone time before the rest of the house begins the day.
With all of these tips, please remember to just give yourself some grace. If you check in with yourself and notice that you could use a little self-care, please take the time and effort to do it.
There is literally nobody else that will do it for you, so you’ve got to make it happen. You may not be able to make yourself a priority every single day, but if you just try to think of your needs a little bit more regularly, you are on the path toward achieving the level of self-care that you deserve and require.
Do you have a special self-care tip that could benefit a fellow mom?
Spill the tea, Honey!
Jenelle Stathes married her high-school sweetheart and they share their love with their three darling and fierce daughters. She works as the CEO of their small family business and as a group fitness instructor for a local gym. Jenelle was born and raised right here in Reno, Nevada, and is doing her best at living a non-judgy and tribe-loving mom life. She has experience with infertility, weight loss, body positivity, fitness, and most recently, a tummy tuck. You can follow Jenelle to laugh either with her or at her as she traverses through the daily adventures of motherhood.