As women, we are caretakers and caregivers, but how many of us practice self-care on a daily basis? We care for everyone – all the time – nurturing our children, spouses, family members, friends, companies, and employees. But we also have a responsibility to care for ourselves. Unfortunately, amidst the management of everyday life, the art of practicing self-care is not always so easy.
After all, how do we find the time for ourselves while juggling children’s activities, homework help, work, laundry, preparing dinner, spending time with a significant other, and taking care of the home? Add to that a pregnancy bump or a newborn baby and you may start to feel overwhelmed and under appreciated. It is imperative, and you owe it to yourself and those you love, to practice self-care daily.
How to Practice Self-Care
When you get on an airplane, you are told to put the oxygen mask on yourself first, right? This is for a reason, and it doesn’t just apply to airplanes! If we don’t put ourselves first, just like that oxygen mask, we aren’t going to be healthy, energized, focused, or happy – which will affect the loved ones we are caring for in the first place. In our daily lives it is our responsibility to care for ourselves, and we absolutely deserve it!
Put it on the Calendar
Think of daily self-care as scheduling a mini-date with yourself every day. Intentionally spending time with ourselves is a critical part of our well-being and happiness in the same way that intentionally spending time with your significant other is crucial for the functioning of your relationship.
I suggest you designate time on your calendar for self-care when beginning your practice otherwise it may not happen – as we all know, sometimes life simply gets in the way! Set aside some time on a weekly basis that is just for you. Here are some suggestions for physical self-care that only take an hour:
- Shower with scented oils. Just a few drops will feel luxurious. Keep some of your favorite oils in the shower – this is a great way to incorporate daily self-care that can be done even in a rush!
- Light candles in the bathroom. This is a great way to bring serenity to your space! Pick your favorite scent and, whether you are putting on makeup or soaking in the tub, you will feel more calm and relaxed.
- Soak your feet in Epsom Salt. Turn on the TV and treat yourself to your favorite guilty pleasure or a favorite book while you relax. Perhaps use this time to reflect, organize your week, and set goals. This will create a sense of grounding – add a few drops of essential oil to make your soak even better!
Add some flower arrangements to your home.
You don’t have to spend much money! Treat yourself to a simple flower bouquet next time you are grocery shopping for the family. Alternatively, you can purchase some individual flowers and create your own arrangements. Creating arrangements is a great suggestion for anyone who has a garden – cutting stems is a fun way to spend some time playing outdoors!
Even a few vases scattered throughout the kitchen, bedroom, and living room can make an impact. Arranging and placing flowers around your home can get your mind off of your worries and will give you a creative outlet. Creativity and play are an important part of self-care and generate a lasting effect!
When you see your flowers scattered around the home, don’t forget to stop and enjoy them. You can use your flowers as a visual reminder to stop, reflect, and smile. Enjoy the beauty of life!
Doodle or color on your favorite pad.
Yes, I love to doodle and to color with colored pencils or crayons. It’s easy to find adult coloring books but coloring in one of your child’s coloring books can be just as fun! This is an activity you and your child can do together – a great way to bring peace and practice self-care even when you can’t find the time to spend alone. Doodling and coloring, just for a few minutes a day, can put you in a completely different state of mind and help you relax.
Turn off the television and put away your phone.
Most of us spend way too much time on our cell phones, surfing social media sites and watching TV. None of these activities allow our mind to rest. Take a screen-time break for 10 minutes each day and play an instrument, listen to relaxing music or take some time to do nothing. It’s okay to just sit and focus on your breathing, the thoughts that pass through your mind, or the sounds around you. I promise, you won’t miss much during these 10 minutes and afterwards you will feel rested and energized. There are great benefits to meditation and focusing on being still—this will recharge your batteries which is important for the health of your brain!
Even superheroes take time to rest, and I know that after having children you are dealing with sleepless nights and busy days. You are most likely being woken up numerous times during the night and have an inconsistent daily schedule. All of these things can prevent us from practicing self-care, but this is when it is even more important to find time for ourselves. Taking time to practice self-care will help you be a better parent who is able to be more present and patient.
At Motherhood Center, we are big believers in practicing self-care, which is why we offer our yoga classes and massages. Tell us in the comments some different ways you practice self-care, or how you are going to start to practice self-care.