Self-Care For Moms
I know what you’re thinking, self care is a lot easier to accomplish when you don’t have kids. Let’s be honest,we all had more time, energy, money and attention to give to ourselves in our pre-children days than we do now.
BUT… in order for you to be the BEST mom you can be for your kids, you need to take care of yourself and love yourself FIRST…. that’s because self-care (or Self-LOVE as I like to call it) is a REQUIREMENT for your health.
Before you can commit to increasing your level of self-love you need to uncover any limiting beliefs you have around it. For example, a big one would be, “I will feel guilty if I do things for myself” or, “I don’t have enough time to take care of myself” or, “In order to do more for myself I’ll have to do less for my kids.”
It is NOT wrong to take care of yourself! I would argue that it’s wrong to not take care of yourself. The guilt (or the thought of the guilt that we might experience) is taking a toll on your health, happiness, and ability to perform in your roles.
… well it doesn’t have to take long! It can be 2 minutes before getting out of bed or before falling asleep at night, 2 minutes during nap time, it can happen while you’re doing chores, or it can even involve your kids. The bottom line: stop making excuses about not having enough time. By doing more for yourself, you’ll be able to do more for your kids, your spouse, your friends etc., simply because you’ll be healthier and happier.
With that being said, here are some simple ways you can add a little more lovin’ to your life:
Connect socially with people that are going through the same stuff as you are. Join a mom group, networking group, coffee date group, exercise group etc. Staying at home because it’s easier is a recipe for loneliness. In such a seemingly “connected” technological world we are more disconnected than ever before. Nothing beats the health benefits of real face-to-face interaction.
Spending time in nature has been proven to be beneficial for our emotional and physical health. I’m sure a walk through a forest would be optimal but hey, even sticking your head out the back door in the morning to mindfully take in a few deep breaths of fresh air is better than nothing!
It’s simple, easy, and free. It can involve your kids and pets too! The benefits of walking apply to your body and your mind. Living in Fredericton with over 80 km of walking trails is a gift… take advantage of it!
Spend time without computers, cell phones, or TV. Technology, as amazing as it is, tends to take over our lives and any free time we have. You’d be surprised how much more “time” you will seem to have if you shut off the screens every once in a while. Minimizing screen time will also help you be more present with your family and friends.
Romantic relationships can take time to resurface following the birth of a baby. Hug your significant other for 10-20 seconds multiple times a day (the time it takes to activate the bonding hormone, oxytocin). This will help keep your relationship with them strong, while also modelling intimacy for your children and helping them understand the importance of maintaining healthy relationship habits.
Practicing gratitude increases your overall sense of well being. Do it every morning and every night before bed. It will increase your satisfaction with your life and can actually change your brain to expand its capacity to feel fulfillment. The best way I have found to stick to this routine is by using an app on my phone. 5 Minute Journal and Grid Diary are both great options.
When you’re doing the dishes or folding laundry, try to not think about your to-do list, your kids’ hectic extracurricular activity schedule, the disagreement you had with your spouse, fears you have about your kids etc; just be aware of what it is you’re doing in the present moment. Try turning off the autopilot every once in a while and notice what’s coming in through your 5 senses.
EAT REAL FOOD.
Cut out crap. There, healthy eating explained in 6 words! Fill your body with things that are good for you, that will give you more energy and vitality, that will make you feel better about yourself. Self-love is not eating a whole bag of chips, half a pizza and a bottle of pop.
Find the time. That’s all I have to say. Whether it’s a dedicated hour to yourself, or 60 seconds here and there throughout the day… fit it in.
Chiropractic and massage are two of the best ways to care for the one place you have to live in for your entire life. Take care of your body and help it function optimally…. regularly!
Some bonus tips on self-love:
– When your external stress goes up, self love should go up. This will help prevent burnout.
– Don’t think of self-love as a reward or treat – it is something that is ESSENTIAL.
– Schedule it in – make it part of your routine.
– Think about what self-love means to you. I’m sure there are a few personal things you can add to this list. Maybe its painting your nails every week, getting your makeup on every morning even if you’re not going anywhere, reading a book, or taking a hot bath with lavender essential oil every night.
– In everything you do, think about what you are teaching your kids. The first 6 years are the most impressionable years of their lives…it’s the time when they develop their perception of the world and their place within it. Self-love is teaching your kids to value themselves and take care of themselves first.
I hope this has inspired you to take some much needed “me” time!
Happy Mother’s Day!
PS. Check out Stephanie’s Success Story – Chiropractic has helped her be happier, healthier and a better mom!