When I meet new people and tell them I’m a mom to six children, I get a look of surprise and the comment “You don’t look old enough to have six kids!” Or, “What’s your secret? I’d go crazy if I had six kids! I can barely handle my ____ (insert # of kids here)!”
Want to know my secret? My secret is self-care! Everyday! I fill my cup every day!
I know most moms feel like self-care can be a chore in and of itself. It can feel like a chore if you don’t have support or you feel like you’re being judged, because it can feel selfish.
The discipline here is that you need to devote time to YOU. And it can’t be done by you alone. You really need to sit down and determine how you can delegate tasks that will save you time (and sometimes money) so you can be the best version of you! Over the years, I’ve learned that the more self-care time I get, the less stressed and overwhelmed I am. And that means I’m a better mom!
I don’t yell as often. I don’t freak out when things don’t go according to plan. And I don’t feel like the weight of the world is on my shoulders.
Before I give my tips, you must first be comfortable delegating tasks. Getting your older children to help with chores. Finding a babysitter to come over regularly to help with childcare. Finding someone to help with light house-cleaning. Ordering your groceries online and having them delivered to your house (or picking them up to save you the hassle of shopping!). There are many ways to delegate your tasks, so sit down and figure this part out.
Once you’ve delegated a few of your daily tasks, now you’re able to take steps to devote time to self-care activities. To me, self-care isn’t about affording a spa day or getting a manicure, or even shopping for a new wardrobe. It really is all about recognizing that small and daily rituals is where we can master practicing self-care.
My daily self-care rituals are built right into my day-to-day activities.
How I Practice Self-Care
Tip #1: I Practice Mindfulness
Mindfulness to me is being aware of when I am my own worst enemy and changing how I interact with myself. As moms, we can be our own worst critics. The negative self-talk can turn into physical issues if left unchecked. So, when you notice you’re talking negatively toward yourself as a person, mom, wife, etc., take a moment to tell yourself you’re sorry for saying those things and replace the negative talk with something positive. Here are some daily affirmations I’ve recorded that have helped me keep away from the negative self-talk.
Tip #2: I Carve Out Time to Spend With My Husband
Every day, I spend no less than 30 minutes talking to my husband and asking him how his day at work went. We talk about current events, but mostly we talk about our future. Where we want to be in a year or five years and how we can best support each other toward those goals. For single moms, this could mean finding time to call on your support group. The objective is to spend at least 30 minutes unwinding with another adult.
Tip #3: I Plan Out My Days and Schedule Regular Self-Care
During the day, I have a to-do list, and I make sure to add my self-care rituals on that list with time set aside for each one I have planned, including:
- Drinking tea in the morning before checking my email
- Taking a 15-minute walk after lunch
- Going to the gym from 4 to 6 p.m. on Tuesdays and Thursdays
Here are my 10 Simple Ideas for Self-Care, where I outline my top 10 favorite self-care activities. It isn’t the cost of the activity that matters most, it’s the quality of care you give yourself!
Tip #4: I Practice Daily Meditation
Sometimes this is actual meditations (click here to listen to a quick, five-minute meditation). Other times, it’s practicing a meditative exercise like Tai Chi or yoga. Tai Chi has been very helpful to me in maintaining low blood pressure and not becoming too stressed out. I believe one reason why I’m so “chill” is because I practice Tai Chi almost every day. Here’s an article from Harvard Medical School outlining the health benefits of Tai Chi.
Tip #5: I Release and Let Go of Relationships That Are Harmful to Me or My Children
This one might seem strange to think of when talking about self-care, but having healthy boundaries is a MUST. Look at the relationship. Does it make you feel sick, dread, or uncomfortable? If the answer is “yes” to any or all the above, then it’s not a healthy relationship. If it can’t be repaired, the next best thing you can do is distance yourself from the relationship. Seek counseling if necessary.
So, there you have it! My secret for staying level-headed, stress-free, and relaxed on a (mostly) daily basis is by prioritizing my self-care. If this seems unattainable in your eyes, then please comment, so I can help brainstorm ways you can achieve the goal of daily self-care.