With summer break quickly coming to an end & kids getting ready to head back to school, I think I speak for quite a few moms out there (including myself) when I say “WE’RE TIRED!”. But not just any ol’ kind of tired, because moms are ALWAYS tired, right? It’s part of the job description.. I mean worn out in every literal sense of the word! Exhausted, mentally drained, and maybe just a wee bit crazy from a lack of self care and the whirlwind of complete chaos that comes along with summer vacation..
…I said vacation, but in reality, it’s days slammed so full of working, summer activities, making 3 meals & a GAZILLION snacks, friends coming over, friends spending the night, and MESSES – OH, the messes! It’s a struggle cramming everything that needs to be done each day into 24 hours, so finding any time to paint my toenails? Impossible. (Thank GOD for gel polish, & its magical way of lasting forever). So with back-to-school bringing days of a little less chaos – it’s a perfect time to focus a little more on us! But how can moms relax and de-stress -or- ultimately practice self-care when we have little or no time to ourselves? Challenge accepted!
Why is Self-Care Important?
I know we’ve all heard this one – “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”: And it’s true, so very true. The more we are just “running off steam (or caffeine)”, exhausted and neglected – the less we are able to do for our families; at least do for them as “mom” and not “the sleepless angry monster who just can’t seem to get it together”. Symptoms this mom-ster is well on her way include: forgetfulness, feeling overwhelmed (or maybe depressed/anxious), getting upset a lot easier than usual, and then getting mom guilt about getting upset, or like one more thing on your plate is going to send you in a whirlwind (insert Tasmanian devil clip here – haha). But seriously, there’s a name for this mom-ster – burnout. And it’s easily prevented with self-care.
So, we all know that we need self-care and why.. But what about the how? How horrible would I be to take all this time harping on how important self-care/relaxation is for moms – only to leave you high and dry to figure the rest out on your own? I’m pretty sure that would be against at least half of the unwritten code between moms… I would NEVER!! So -before you resort to Googling “Ways Mom Can Self-Care With No Time”; check out my list of simple, non-time consuming, & inexpensive ways to practice self-care. These can be completed in as little as five minutes – so time is no longer an excuse!
Simple Ways To Self-Care:
Aromatherapy Shower Steamers: There are few things in this world that beat a nice hot shower, BY YOURSELF. Aromatherapy is one of them. Try using one of these shower steamers – to turn your shower into a waterfall of relaxation! These babies WORK! This is also one of the simplest things you can do, since you already shower anyways.. So what’re an extra 5 mins to let the hot water wash your worries away!
Have Some Tea – Herbal teas are a pretty well-known and well-established way of bringing calmness & relaxation to daily life. But why? Studies show that the L-theanine found in certain teas stimulates your brain to promote relaxation during stressful situations. Check out this article from Healthline that goes more in-depth on which teas work best for what.
Jam out in the car – there is NOTHING like a good jam session! Tunes cranked up loud & singing at the top of your lungs is sure to lighten even the worsts of moods. Give it a shot.. You’re already in the car commuting to work, or running kiddos to school – why not be de-stressing at the same time?
Practice Stillness – Although it seems self-explanatory, this one might just be the hardest one to complete.. Just “being”. Enjoy the silence, and be present in the moment. no thought, no motion, no worry about another place to be or another place to go. Meditation is one way to do this, & you can also journal, Or even just literally sit on the couch, bed, etc. stare at the wall and do nothing but take in the beauty of what is. This is probably the BEST way you can self-care, honestly, because .. So give it a try!
Treat Yourself To “Spa El Bathroom” – The better your body feels, the better you will feel! Grab a facemask, lather your body up with whatever moisturizing or relaxation products you have at hand, (I recommend Leef Organic’s R&R Balm – which restores relaxation and wellness, rebalancing your body by deeply nourishing the skin), & give yourself a quick mani or pedi during the 15 minutes it takes for your mask to complete. Talk about a brand new person!
Nap – kids at school another few hours? Younger kids napping? JOIN THEM! There is nothing wrong with mommy taking a nap too, & in fact – it’s the short naps that help the best! Studies show that naps under 30 minutes make you more focused, productive, and creative!
Read A Book – Even if you’re only able to read a chapter, or even a page a night before bed; make yourself get lost in your book! It’s the perfect way to let the day roll off your shoulders as your brain wanders off into the perfectly played-out story written between the covers of a good book! This is especially helpful for moms who have spent all day playing with the kids & their toys and reading them books – as it helps to remind you that “You” as a person is still in there along with you as a mom.
Eat Some Chocolate – now, this isn’t something you want to make a habit of doing every.single.day or you’ll have more problems on your hands than stress, but grab some chocolate! Not only does it taste good, but chocolate contains ingredients that release the same endorphins your brain releases after getting a massage! Pass me a piece, please? This is my favorite way of practicing self-care!
Have a glass of wine – Even if you don’t have time to actually sit down, and quietly drink your glass of wine with no distractions; have a glass while you’re making dinner or carry it around with you as you perform your nightly routine. Alcohol is a depressant, so it naturally relaxes your body and takes the stress away – just don’t go overboard.
Join a Mommy Group, or Group Chat – Having a person, or group of people that you can relate to can make a huge difference in how you face some of the stresses of everyday life. Try joining a mommy group (or just getting a group of mommy friends) in your area. If you’re really pressed for time and don’t really have time to “Get out there” and connect in person – try a mommy group chat! I know venting to my mom friends about the highs, lows, and embarrassingly funny moments of my day is a MAJOR stress killer!
Workout – And here comes the “Workout? Really” with a sigh.. But hear me out! Working out REALLY eliminates stress + ultimately makes you feel good overall because you’re bettering yourself, you know – self care! It doesn’t have to be a 3-hour extreme high-intensity workout..has a ton of 5-minute workouts you can do just about any time during the day!
Dance It Out – this one can even be done WITH the kids! Feeling sad & stressed? DANCE. IT. OUT! Dance has been proven to reduce levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. Not to mention, it is SO MUCH FUN. So let loose & let the music take control (do beware of small children that may be around – hahaha)
Go For A Walk – Take a stroll around your neighborhood, the park, or even a shopping mall. Just being out of the house will make you feel better. Looking at my stressors is last on my list during times of stress. So going on a walk is so freeing. It’s a literal breath of fresh air!!
Laugh it up – a Japanese study recently found that laughing directly alleviates anxiety & stress. So give yourself permission to laugh! Watch funny videos on YouTube, or relive hilarious moments in your head.. You could even take it a step further & next time you’re reaching your boiling point – find the humor in it, and laugh rather than getting mad.
There you have it! 15 ways to practice self-care, and promote that stress-free feeling we’ve all longed for since becoming moms. Most of these can be incorporated into your daily routine without even taking up extra time, and the others – well, your sanity is worth 15 minutes a day! Trust me, hubby and the kids won’t mind! Find more Proud Momma’s “How-To’s” [ HERE ] in the How-To blog category!!
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