Looking After Number One: Self Care Strategies for Moms

Moms tend to forget that they are number one.

When you’re a mom, it’s very easy to devote all your time and energy to parenting. Children have a lot of needs, especially when they’re younger.  And although their needs tend to be time sensitive and consuming, using the right self care strategies can ensure that you make yourself a priority.  It’s important to be selfless, but it’s also crucial that you find the time to look after number one.

Here are some helpful self-care strategies that moms should remember.

Self Care Strategies for Moms

*This is a collaborative post*
*This post contains affiliate/paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.


Managing stress

Stress is a very common problem faced by parents. Sleep deprivation, having to be on the go all the time and feeling like you never have enough hours in the day can all increase the risk of stress. Other factors, such as relationship worries, money problems and trying to balance work and parenthood may also play a part.

If you’re struggling with stress, the one of the best self care strategies is to try and work out exactly what is bothering you and causing you to feel on edge. Often, there are practical solutions.

Take the example of managing your money. If you’re finding it tough to get by from month to the next, or you’re trying to figure out ways to boost your credit score to get a mortgage, or you’re attempting to pay off debt, there are steps you can take. It’s useful to see a financial adviser, to start budgeting, and to use services like my fico to monitor your credit score.

There are myriad causes of stress, but if you let them take hold of you, even the most innocuous-seeming problem can spiral into something all-consuming. Learn to spot signs of stress, and try and manage it before it gets worse. Everyone is different, but popular self-care strategies include exercise, meditation, and creative activities.

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Taking time out

It’s no lie that parenting is a full-time job. Even when kids are fast asleep, as a parent you’re still thinking about them and probably worrying about them too. Children do take up a lot of time, but there’s always room in the day for a bit of ‘me time’ too.

Make sure you take advantage of breaks.  Schedule in half an hour to do yoga, an hour to catch up with friends or a night off from time to time to go out with your partner. It’s so important to be able to have that time out to recharge your batteries, relax, and connect with others without the kids in tow.

We all love our children, but there’s no harm in having a breather now and again.  Scheduling some alone time is one of the most important self care strategies a mom can do.

How to Create a Self-Care Routine as a Stay-At-Home Mom
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Doing what makes you happy

When you become a parent, you tend to focus on what makes your kids happy, but try not to lose sight of what perks you up or brings a smile to your face.  None of these self care strategies even matter unless they’re bringing you joy.

It’s crucial to work on your mental health and to find time to pursue hobbies and interests, engage in social activities and enjoy time doing things you love. Whether you like reading, painting, writing, dancing, or running, give yourself time to do what makes you content.

7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuary
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As a mom, you probably spend most of your time looking after your children.  While they may feel like your number one priority, remember that you are still responsible for taking care of yourself too.  And you will only be able to take care of them if you also take care of yourself.

5 Things to Do When You’re Feeling Over Touched

A mother’s touch is known to have magical healing powers for a child.

The connection between a mother and their child is as physical as it is emotional.  They are a part of our bodies, we feed them from our bodies, and we comfort them with our bodies.  Our bodies are the go-to place for our children when they need to feel safe and secure. So at the end of a long day, mothers often end up feeling over touched or overstimulated.

The sensation of being over touched can have a big impact on our mental health.  With our skin being our largest organ, it’s no surprise that a large amount of extra stimulation can cause us to feel frazzled and overworked. We end up feeling irritable, annoyed, anxious or even angry.  It can cause insomnia and other sleep disturbances.   And feeling over touched can have an effect on our relationships as well because it’s unlikely we’ll want to be intimate at the end of the day, either.

If you are feeling over touched after a constantly caring for and hugging babies, try these five techniques to help reset your nervous system.

5 Things to Do When You're Feeling Over Touched *This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust. Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


1. Take a Time Out

It makes sense that if you’re feeling over touched, a quick fix would be to spend some time not being touched at all.  It’s easier said than done for a busy mom, however.  The sensation of feeling over touched on a regular basis can build up.  Eventually causing worse symptoms, such as anxiety or depression.  So it’s important to break that cycle of feeling over touched as regularly as possible.

Start by scheduling yourself some self-care time.  Pick a day when your spouse (or someone else) is available to watch the kids in the evening and take an hour or two to yourself.  Retreat to your bedroom or another comfortable space and focus just on yourself.  You don’t have to do anything at all if you don’t want to.

If you can make this a regular habit, whether daily, weekly or longer, then you can reset your sense of touch and feel refreshed and re-energized.  Having the kids crawl all over you may be unavoidable, but at least you’ll be better equipped to handle another round of it.

How to Create a Self-Care Routine as a Stay-At-Home Mom
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2. Try Dry Brushing

Now, this one might sound like it makes a little less sense.  If you’re already feeling over touched, then wouldn’t brushing your skin just make it worse?

If you’re not familiar with dry brushing, it consists of brushing your skin with a dry, natural bristle bath brush to help stimulate blood flow and massage the lymphatic system.  It also has great skin exfoliation benefits, obviously.  You can read more about dry brushing in this detailed guide.

One of the benefits of dry brushing is that it stimulates the lymph system, which is the system that is designed to cleanse our body of toxins and waste.  Keeping this system moving throughout our bodies can actually boost our immune systems and keep us healthy.  Dry brushing can produce an almost instant energy boost just by helping to circulate our lymph.

Dry brushing the entire body can help to reset the sensation of feeling over touched.  It is a controlled and intentional way of stimulating the nervous system and sense of touch.  Unlike being tugged at and climbed all over by our kids, we are in control of how our skin is being touched and stimulated.

7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuary
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3. Have a Hot Shower or Bath

Water can do wonders to wash away the feeling of being over touched.  A hot shower, especially one with a massaging shower head, is another great way to provide full body stimulation to eliminate that feeling of being pulled and tugged at.

Try alternating between hot and cool water to encourage blood circulation and give you an energy boost.  You can enhance the experience by using essential oil shower steamers or luxury soaps and body washes.  A shower is especially wonderful after you’d tried dry brushing, as it helps to wash away all the exfoliated skin.

If you’d rather soak in the tub, then add a scoop of Epsom salts to the bath water or try some relaxing bath bombs.  The magnesium in the Epsom salts will relax tired muscles and soften the skin.  You can even brush your skin during or after the bath, just add a bit of coconut oil, or other essential oil to your brush.

And most importantly, don’t forget to moisturize afterwards.  In fact, you should use a good quality moisturizer as often as possible throughout the day.  Dry skin is much more sensitive to being touched.  Winter can be especially harsh on skin, and if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder, feeling over touched can contribute to other symptoms as well.

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder and How to Treat It
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4. Lie Under a Weighted Blanket

A weighted blanket, like dry brushing, is another form of intentional touch. It might sound counterproductive to use deep touch pressure therapy (DTP) when we already feel so over touched.  But again, this is a different kind of touch that works like a giant reset button on our nervous system.

Think of a fussy baby being swaddled, or an anxious child being hugged tightly.  Steady pressure that consumes our entire body at once can make us feel calm and boost our serotonin levels.  But as an adult, it’s harder to find a way to create that sense of steady full body pressure.

Weighted blankets are an excellent solution. You can lie under a weighted blanket for anywhere from a few minutes to an entire night, depending on your preference.  You are in complete control of removing it, so you don’t need to worry about feeling trapped or suffocated.

Using a weighted blanket can be especially helpful if feeling over touched is causing insomnia or night time anxiety.  Over stimulation is a major cause of sleep disturbances.  Using a weighted blanket can help you fall asleep faster and stay asleep throughout the night.

The hardest part about using a weighted blanket is trying to choose which one is right for you.  There are so many options in weight, filling, covers and sizes so how do you even know where to begin?  Here are some tips about how to choose the right weighted blanket.

Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia: 15 Ways to Get Better Sleep
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5. Sensory Deprivation Tank

This is, perhaps, one of the more extreme forms of therapy for feeling over touched, but it’s a luxurious way to relax and reset.  Sensory deprivation tanks, or “float tanks” are popping up everywhere now.  While it’s actually an ancient form of healing, they’ve become popular in modern society for their known benefits of relaxation.

If you haven’t heard of them, they’re basically a tank filled with water that is as close to your body temperature as possible.  It also contains a high amount of Epsom salts so that your body easily floats and remains suspended in the water.  It is designed to mimic the feeling of floating in space.  Here is a detailed article that contains more information about sensory deprivation tanks and how they work.

In addition to the water, the tank is in complete isolation, which means that it’s dark and you’re cut off from outside sounds and smells.  You are basically floating in complete nothingness.  By depriving the body of all of it’s senses, you can be in a state of mindfulness and complete relaxation.


My Self Care Workbook - A Free Printable PDF
Click Here to Download

As a mother, you’re always ready and prepared to give the hugs and cuddles and be the rock for your children to climb on.  Even when you’re feeling over touched, you’d never want to deprive them of that.  But you can give better and stronger hugs when you’re feeling relaxed and rested.  This is why self-care is such an important task for moms.

If the thought of being touched makes you cringe, it doesn’t make you a bad mother.  While you may have to take a few additional steps to reset your senses each day, the feeling won’t last forever.  So take care of yourself, mama, and then hug those babies.  Because before you know it, you’ll have to chase them down just to get one.

5 Things to Do When You're Feeling Over Touched 5 Things to Do When You're Feeling Over Touched

16 Gifts That Will Boost Anyone’s Mood

The holidays can be exciting.  But what about when they’re not?

For many people, the holidays can be stressful and offer more to dread than look forward to.  Mothers suffering from a mood disorder can feel an added amount of pressure to make things special when they really don’t feel up to it and anxiety can worsen with all of the extra socializing.  And anyone who has lost a loved one may miss them more than usual around the holidays.

Between the cold weather, long stretches of darkness and the financial strain of the holidays, it’s no wonder that up to 20% of people report suffering from Seasonal Affective Disorder.

If someone you love is feeling down around the holidays, then consider one of these gifts from Etsy that are sure to boost anyone’s mood.

16 Gifts that will Boost Anyone's Mood

*This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.


Light Therapy

Warm, soft lighting is a great mood booster.  One thing that often makes us feel down during the winter is the lack of sunshine.  Anything that simulates natural light will help to boost our mood naturally.

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NewMoonBeginnings on Etsy

This lamp from NewMoonBeginnings is made from raw, natural Selenite, which is a crystal used for cleansing negative energy.

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SaltBay on Etsy

A lamp made from Himalayan Rock Salt is another great option.  It diffuses the light and also has cleansing abilities.  This one from SaltBay is a beautiful pyramid shape, however you can also get them in more natural designs.

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mixcrafts on Etsy

A lettered light box is a fun gift that’s right on trend.  Not only does it provide an additional light source for those dark winter days, but it comes with the ability to customize a message each day.  This one from mixcrafts comes with 85 characters and can be plugged in or battery operated.


Inspirational Messages

Quotes and sayings that inspire us have a way of boosting our mood, both directly and subconsciously.  Being surrounded by inspirational messages, whether it’s a framed print in our designated self care sanctuary, or worn on clothing and accessories, is a great way to remind someone of how strong they really are.

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RaincityPrints on Etsy

RaincityPrints does some beautiful work on famous inspirational quotes including everything from Buddha to the Gilmore Girls.  You can have it professionally printed in different sizes, or get it in a digital file and print it yourself (a great last-minute gift idea)!

JessieGirlJewelry on Etsy

These gorgeous minimal cuff bracelets from JessieGirlJewelry have a secret hidden message engraved on the inside of them.  Not only will you look stylish, but you’ll have a little mood boost with you wherever you go.

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TattooMoments on Etsy

Believe it or not, these are temporary tattoos!  This collection from TattooMoments includes 14 tattoos that can last up to 7 days.  This is a great way to show off a motivational message without the commitment of a permanent tattoo.  


Download these 4 FREE 8 x 10 Inspirational Prints in the Running in Triangles Free Resource Library, available exclusively to subscribers of the Postpartum Depression Survival Guide. Click here to subscribe.


The Gift of Comfort

Perhaps it’s our natural instinct to want to hibernate come cold weather, but nothing makes us feel happier than being warm and cozy.  Comfort gifts are a great mood booster, not only because they make us feel good, but also because receiving one is like getting permission to be lazy all day.

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LittleMimis on Etsy

If you’re gonna give a blanket as a gift this year, then you have to go with a weighted blanket.  There are so many benefits of a weighted blanket for someone suffering from depression, anxiety or insomnia.  Even those without a mental health condition will still benefit from the comfort of a weighted blanket.  It’s like being wrapped in a giant hug.  This one from LittleMimis comes in different weights, colors and patterns and can even be custom embroidered.  

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WineALittleGifts on Etsy

These socks are a great way of telling your loved one to put their feet up and relax.  Don’t worry if they’re not a wine drinker because WineALittleGifts sells over 100 different designs, so you’re sure to find the right pair!

LaAquarelle on Etsy

Sleep deprivation can have a negative effect on a person’s mood.  Help your loved one get better night’s sleep with this sleep mask set from LaAquarelle.  It comes in a choice of organic fabrics and includes a lavender satchet you can put under your pillow to help you sleep.


Meditation Tools

Meditation and mindfulness are great ways to improve your mood.  Even for a beginner, the practice of meditation can be easily incorporated into anyone’s self-care routine.  While actual “tools” aren’t a necessity for meditation, there are several gift ideas that can help to enhance the experience.

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SenseSationCanada on Etsy

Aromatherapy is an excellent mood booster and supplement to meditation.  There are so many options available but this necklace diffuser set from SenseSationCanada makes a perfect gift.  The necklace features the popular “Tree of Life” design and comes with interchangeable colored pads, as well as six different essential oil blends.

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mixcrafts on Etsy

Tibetan singing bowls have been used in meditation for thousands of years.  The tone they produce is designed to help relax the mind and body and drown out background noise to aid in focus and concentration.  This copper bowl from mixcrafts is not only a stunning art piece, but useful for meditation and relaxation as well.

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GlimpseGlass on Etsy

Indoor plants have so many incredible mood boosting benefits.  Being surrounded by lush greenery indoors while everything lays dead and dormant outdoors is one way to keep spirits up during the winter.  Choose a low maintenance option, such as this set of 12 air plants from AURAMORE.   Air plants are a great way to incorporate greenery without needing to worry about pots and soil.  Instead, you can put them inside one of these glass terrariums from GlimpseGlass for a beautiful combination.


Encourage Creativity

Being bored and cooped up inside the house during winter will put anyone in a bad mood.  For the holidays this year, consider giving the gift of creativity.  If your loved one already has a hobby, then you’re off to a good start.  But here are a few suggestions if they’re looking for something new to keep their mind distracted and to help lift their mood.

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KirstenBurkeDesign on Etsy

The art of calligraphy is so modern and popular right now.  It’s also an art form that isn’t time-consuming, tedious or strenuous and offers a lot of different applications.  With this beginner’s set from KirstenBurkeDesign, anyone can learn this fantastic skill, all while keeping busy to beat the winter blues.

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Legacy4LifePlanners on Etsy

Coloring offers a simple way to turn off the brain and soothe the mind.  The array of colors can also work as a mood booster on the dark, grey days of December.  This coloring planner from Legacy4LifePlanners not only offers the benefits of coloring, but also provides a place to jot down notes, goals, passwords and make resolutions for the new year.

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HawthornHandmade on Etsy

There are so many different ways to encourage creativity.  Crafting of any kind can make a person feel proud and accomplished, but it’s also a way to ban boredom during the winter months.  On Etsy, you’ll be able to find so many different DIY crafting kits, such as this weaving wall hanging kit from HawthornHandmade.  Some other popular favorites include a macrame kit, a beaded embroidery kit and paint by number sets.  


Celebrations
Give the Gift of Etsy

If you didn’t see something specific on this list that appealed to you, or if you just couldn’t decide, then consider giving an Etsy gift card instead.  It can be printed or emailed to the recipient so it makes a great last-minute gift.  And with thousands upon thousands of different things to choose from, it’s a gift that will definitely put a smile on someone’s face.


I know, firsthand, how difficult winter can be – no matter how much you love the holidays.  The extreme high of celebrating with family and friends ends so abruptly, that it’s common for people to feel depressed shortly after the holidays are over.  By giving a gift specifically to help boost their mood, you’re encouraging long-term happiness.

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16 Gifts that will Boost Anyone's Mood 16 Gifts that will Boost Anyone's Mood

7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuary

Creating a self care sanctuary in your own home is easier than you might think.

While the term “self care sanctuary” might sound fancy, it’s really just a place filled with things that make you feel comfortable and at ease.  Having a dedicated space to practice regular self care can make doing it seem like less of a chore.  For women battling postpartum depression and anxiety, it can be a place to get away from the everyday mess and chaos that’s associated with motherhood.

Your self care sanctuary can be anywhere you choose.  It doesn’t need to be a separate room in your house – it can be your bedroom, bathroom, or even an outdoor space in your backyard.  You should be able to access it easily and on a regular basis.  Most importantly, it should be a place that you enjoy being and where you feel like you can focus on yourself, regardless of how much time you have.

Here are some tips on how to turn your space into a self care sanctuary.

7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuar *This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.


Detoxify the Environment

The first thing you need to do to create your self care sanctuary is detoxify the space.  Clean the area thoroughly using non-toxic cleaning products and get rid of any clutter or unnecessary items.  A minimally styled space opens the door to peace and healing and will allow you to focus on yourself without being distracted (and let’s face it, who can relax in a dirty room?).

Once you have a clean, clutter-free space, you can start to incorporate different things to purify the air.
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Your self care sanctuary is a place where you can go to detoxify from the inside out. 

This is why it’s so important for it to be free of toxins and negative energy.  The environment should never feel sterile, but it should feel fresh, clean and pure.  Every mom should have a place where they can avoid dishes, dirty diapers and scattered toys – even if it’s just for a few minutes a day.


Select Comfort Items

When it comes to self care, comfort is essential.  It’s almost impossible to relax when you feel too hot or too cold or if your clothes are restricting and uncomfortable.  Escaping to your self care sanctuary means you get some time away from being climbed on like a jungle gym, or constantly being needed and pulled in different directions.

Consider all the different aspects that make you feel comfortable.
  • Choose furniture that you truly love to curl up in.  It can be a bed, sofa, lounger, hammock, swing or something else.  Try to think outside the conventional idea of comfort.
  • Dress comfortably, whatever that means to youYou can put on pajamas, a robe or even relax completely naked!  Slip on some wooly socks, house shoes or try some toe spreaders.
  • Invest in a weighted blanket.  Weighted blankets have been scientifically proven to help ease stress and anxiety.
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Your self care sanctuary is the ultimate place of comfort and relaxation.

This means different things to different people.  For example, I prefer to be warmer rather than cool and so I love my cozy blankets and fireplace.  But someone living somewhere hot may need a fan or open window to feel comfortable instead.  Try out different things until you find the right combination of comfort.


Surround Yourself in Beauty

Stimulate your brain visually and create a feast for the eyes.  Even if you plan to keep your eyes closed the entire time, your self care sanctuary should still be filled with beautiful views.  The things we look at each day, whether we focus on them or not, form part of our subconscious.

Use positive imagery to help retrain the subconscious mind.
  • Look out the window.  If you have a naturally beautiful view through your window, then make it your focal point.  If you don’t have a great view, install beautiful window coverings or hang plants or sun catchers instead.
  • Cover the walls. Cover the walls in artwork, favorite photos or motivational posters.  Paint the walls a soothing color or make a chalkboard wall where you can write your own inspirational messages.
  • Decorate with intention.  Lighting fixtures, decor, plants and furniture all contribute to the overall feel of your self care sanctuary.  Try to choose pieces that you love or that have special meaning to you.
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get this from btdesignco on etsy
Your self care sanctuary is a visually stimulating place that inspires you.

If your self care sanctuary is normally a communal space, then you can still keep it in line with the design of the rest of the house.  Print and frame quotes that inspire you and hang them up in the rest of the house too (Etsy is a great place to find some). Even if you don’t read them everyday, your mind will soak up the beauty, inspiration and positive vibes.

Download these 4 FREE 8 x 10 Inspirational Prints in the Running in Triangles Free Resource Library, available exclusively to subscribers of the Postpartum Depression Survival Guide.  Click here to subscribe.


Soothe the Skin

Our skin has a lot to put up with on a daily basis, and yet, it’s one of our most neglected organs.  We can end up feeling really over touched at the end of a long day of caring for children.  Treating the exterior of our bodies is a great way to feel refreshed and should be an essential part of any self care routine.  As mothers, we tend to keep things low maintenance on a daily basis, sticking to the bare necessities of skin care.

Escaping to a self care sanctuary is the perfect time for a little bit of pampering.
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Your self care sanctuary is where you go to feel renewed and refreshed.

Keep a basket of your favorite skin care products in your self care sanctuary.  This way, you’ll be able to pamper yourself any chance you get.  You don’t need to go all out on skin care every day, but remember to take care of yourself on the outside as well as on the inside.


Cleanse the Body

As important as it is to take care of the outside of our bodies, we also need to remember to take care of what’s inside as well.  Leave any thoughts of  dieting or weight loss outside the self-care sanctuary.  Eating healthy food is something we should be doing all day long and not just during our self care time.

There are still things we can do routinely while in our self care sanctuary that help to cleanse the entire body.
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Your self care sanctuary is where you can reset your mind and body.

Create a routine for yourself that includes daily trips to your self care sanctuary.  Then incorporate all the things you should be doing on a daily basis, such as taking vitamins and checking in on your overall health and well being.  Eventually, it will become second nature.


Make Room for Physical Movement

While your self-care sanctuary doesn’t need to be fully stocked with gym equipment, it should have enough space for some physical movement.  You should never feel obligated to “work out” during your self care time, because that can cause added pressure and might make you avoid it altogether.  But physical movement releases happiness-inducing endorphins, which are definitely a good thing.

There are several different ways to incorporate physical movement within your self care sanctuary.
  • Stretch.  Simple stretching can loosen up a stiff neck or back, a common side effect of stress. 
  • Run.  Running on a treadmill can help to burn off extra pent up frustration or anxiety. 
  • Yoga.  This popular option has several benefits for treating depression and anxiety. 
  • Dance. Turn on your favorite music and let it move you.  You can literally dance like no one is watching.
  • Punch.  If you find that you suffer from anger management problems or postpartum rage, install a punching bag.
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Your self care sanctuary is an outlet for releasing emotions in a physical way.

The point is not to burn calories or build muscles.  The point is to connect with your body, get your heart beating and find an outlet to express any negativity.  And if you just don’t feel like doing anything physical that day, it’s perfectly fine. Don’t ever feel pressured to have to do anything at all during your self-care time.


Embrace Your Creative Side

A self care sanctuary should be a safe place for you to express yourself.  Often, it’s hard to communicate what we feel using words alone.  Art is a different outlet for expressing the stress and feelings that often get built up inside of us.

Artistic expression comes in a variety of different forms.

Journaling, drawing, coloring or painting.  You don’t need to be a professional artist, and it doesn’t have to be a masterpiece.  

Crafting, knitting, sewing or macrame. Don’t try to copy something you saw on Pinterest.  Instead, use it as a way to express yourself and only do it if it makes you happy.  Check out some of these DIY craft kits on Etsy.

Woodworking.  This one is a little more extreme but many people use woodworking as a form of therapy.  The art of working with your hands to create something out of nothing can be so rewarding.

Singing or playing a musical instrument. Don’t feel like you need to be a good musician, sing along to your favorite songs or teach yourself how to play a new instrument without any judgement.

Blogging.  This can be a job, but it can also be a hobby that helps you express yourself through writing and graphic design.

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Your self care sanctuary is a place for self-discovery.

It might take some time to find the right creative outlet and it may change regularly.  If there’s something new you wanted to learn how to do, then the serenity of your self care sanctuary could be the perfect place to start.  You never know what you are capable of until you give it a try.  Having some time and space to work on what’s important to you is a great way to practice self-care.


Once you’ve created the ultimate self care sanctuary, schedule some time to use it!

Download this free PDF workbook designed to help you establish a working self care routine, even as a busy mother.

My Self Care Workbook - A Free Printable PDF
Click Here to Download
7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuar 7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuar 7 Ways to Make your Space a Self Care Sanctuary
7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuary

How to Create a Self-Care Routine as a SAHM

Fitting in a self-care routine for stay-at-home moms may sound easy to do with all the time spent at home…

But trying to find the time and space to do it in is where the challenge lies.  Stay at home moms very rarely have any time throughout the day where their kids are not following them around or in need of something.  Even nap time presents moms with the decision of either getting caught up on work or taking time for themselves.

Developing a self-care routine is so important for stay at home moms.  It’s a way to stay positive and energized throughout the day.  Taking care of ourselves should be as much of a priority as taking care of the children, the household, or the finances.  It may take some time to figure out how to create a self-care routine that works for you.

Here are some tips on building the essential self-care routine for stay at home moms.

(Plus – download a free workbook to help you put these tips into action!)

How to Create a Self-Care Routine as a Stay-At-Home Mom *This post contains affiliate and/or paid links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.  Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


Eliminate the Guilt

Feeling guilty about taking care of yourself is normal for stay at home moms.  We are inclined to put others first and take care of their needs, pushing our own to the bottom of the list.  We keep thinking that we’ll start our self-care routine once everyone and everything else is taken care of.  But no matter how much we do in a day, there is always something else that needs to be done.  We need to make ourselves a priority.  It can be hard to feel worthy enough, especially for moms battling postpartum depression.

The best way to avoid feeling guilty about time for yourself is to think of it as something that we are also doing for our loved ones. 

Following a daily self-care routine means that we will be happier and healthier. 

We will be more pleasant to be around, more present in the moment and less inclined to be frustrated and moody at the end of the day. 

We are setting excellent examples for our children by taking care of and respecting ourselves.

9 Reasons Why Moms Don't Talk About Postpartum Depression
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In order to eliminate the guilt associated with self-care, you need to answer Why, Who and What:

WHY do you need a regular self-care routine?  Are your mood swings out of control? Do you feel exhausted and overwhelmed all the time?  Is there a health concern you want to focus on?

WHO you are doing this for?  In addition to yourself, what else is important in your life?  Do you want to set a good example for your children?  Do you want to be a better partner in your relationship?  Is your work or family life suffering?

WHAT is your ultimate goal?  Do you want to be happier?  Healthier?  Have more energy?  Are you struggling with postpartum depression or anxiety?  Are you trying to wean off of medications that you’re taking?


Timing is Everything

Finding the time to fit in a self-care routine is probably the biggest obstacle for a stay at home mom.  Usually we are surrounded by children from the time we get up in the morning until they go to bed, at which time we are too exhausted to do anything else.  There are a few moments throughout the day when a stay at home mom could choose to fit in her self-care.

The first step is identifying the changes in your mood throughout the day.  Try keeping track of your moods on a daily, weekly and monthly basis to see how and when they fluctuate.  Often, the winter months can be worse for our moods, especially if you suffer from seasonal affective disorder.  To make it easier, you can download a printable mood tracker from Shine Sheets.

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Early in the morning

If you’re a morning person, this could work for you.  Getting up early before everyone else is up and taking a nice, hot shower in peace sounds amazing.  Drinking an entire cup of coffee and eating a warm breakfast while watching the sun comes up is a great way to start the day.

Not so early in the morning

But if you’re not a morning person, then the idea of sacrificing those last few moments of sleep are a crime against humanity.  There’s nothing wrong with fitting in that shower and coffee when you get up in the morning, it just means that your children will probably also be awake and ready to start their day at the same time.  Try holding them off by offering them a small snack, a sippy cup of milk and a half-hour show to buy you some time.

Everyone will have a much better day if mom can get in coffee and a shower before all the action begins.

Lunchtime

Make it a point to eat lunch together.  Don’t feed the kids and expect to grab something later because later may never come.  Eat when the kids eat and make yourself something healthy, don’t just pick at their leftovers.

7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuary
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Nap time

If this is still a thing at your house, then congratulations!  It hasn’t existed at my house in 2 years and I miss it so much.  Nap time is the perfect time for fitting in a self-care routine.  Don’t do the dishes or laundry or mop the floors.

REST

Binge watch Netflix or read a few chapters in that book that’s been collecting dust on your nightstand. Don’t think of it as “being lazy.” Escaping into an imaginary world, whether it’s through the pages of a book or the television, is a way to relax your brain for a little while.  You need to shut that thing off sometimes otherwise it overheats and doesn’t work as well.

Download these 4 FREE 8 x 10 Inspirational Prints in the Running in Triangles Free Resource Library, available exclusively to subscribers of the Postpartum Depression Survival Guide.  Click here to subscribe.

Another easy way to relax is by changing your scenery.  Rather than plopping down on the couch or crawling into bed – try lounging in an inflatable couch (whether outdoors or in) or relaxing in the backyard in a hammock.  Resting somewhere other than your bed can feel like a mini vacation!

Whatever you decide to do while your children nap – make it something just for you and don’t feel guilty about it.  Nap time only lasts so long, so enjoy it while you can.

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When your shift is over

If your day has been an overly exhausting one, there’s no harm in asking for help.  Calling in reinforcements just so you can have some time to yourself is not being selfish.  It’s something that is essential to your well being and mental health.  If there is a time when your spouse is home to watch the kids, of if you have family or a friend who can watch the kids for an hour – then take it!

Mothers are not expected to be able to handle everything all at once.  Asking for help is not a sign of weakness or inability.

After bedtime

Once the kids are in bed, if you’re like me, you have no energy left for self-care.  (Is sleep training stressing you out?  Check out this post. But you’d be surprised how easy it is to fit it in.  A hot shower before bed will help you sleep better.  Turning on an essential oil diffuser in your bedroom as you go to sleep will help to calm your mind and relax you after a long day.  A few simple yoga stretches or some guided meditation are perfect to incorporate in your self-care routine at bedtime.

As much as you might want to just collapse on the couch at the end of a long day, try to fit in at least ONE thing to help you relax before getting some much needed sleep.

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Figure Out What Works

Your self-care routine should consist of things that specifically work for you.  Sure, yoga is great but if it’s not your thing, then forcing yourself to do it isn’t going to help you relax.  Unfortunately, there is no one-size fits all self-care routine, so this is something you’re going to have to figure out for yourself.

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Start by categorizing the things you enjoy doing, so that you can get a better idea of when to fit them into your day.

Things that make you feel energized should be scheduled for the beginning of your day.  Maybe it’s going for a walk or a run, listening to your favorite music or podcast, or taking a refreshing shower.

Save the things that make you feel relaxed for your evening self-care routine.  Maybe you prefer a hot shower or bath before bed. Or having a warm cup of tea and watching the sunset.  Guided meditation is another great way to calm the mind before bed.

List off all the things that make you feel happy and try to include them throughout your day.  These could be things such as cooking or baking, gardening, crafting, chatting with a friend or anything else that you love to do.

Consider things you do for yourself all year round.  Do you need a monthly trip to the salon?  Or a spa day each year on your birthday?  If summer is around the corner, schedule yourself a pedicure.  Cold weather coming? Prepare for a round of the winter blues.  Don’t put off these important tasks, schedule them today!

What is Seasonal Affective Disorder and How to Treat It
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Make a Bucket List

Taking care of yourself doesn’t have to be tedious and boring.  While it’s good to have a regular routine in place, there are sure to be things that you could only dream of doing.

Make a list of things that you would love to be able to do for yourself SOMEDAY.  And dream big…  It could be something like taking a vacation somewhere you’ve always wanted to go, meeting a celebrity you idolize or attending the concert of your favorite artist.  Or perhaps you always wanted to learn how to snowboard or ride in a helicopter.

It’s alright if some things on your self-care bucket list are unrealistic, but having them written down will keep you motivated and inspired to live your best life.

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Schedule It

Thinking about a self-care routine is a great first step.  But writing it down and scheduling it makes it real and harder to avoid.  Schedule in your self-care on the calendar or set a reminder in your phone.  Your self-care appointments should be handled with just as much importance as medical appointments, meetings or sports practices.  Adding it to the family calendar lets everyone else know that you plan to make yourself a priority too.

If for some reason, you didn’t get a chance to fit in your self-care, don’t ignore it.  Re-schedule it for another time.  If you are strict about keeping up with your self-care routine, then the rest of your family will follow suit.

Try signing up for a monthly self-care subscription box.

Having a box delivered to your door is like a regular reminder to take care of yourself.  Plus, the anticipation of getting a box full of goodies is something to look forward to each month and can get you excited about self-care.

Blume

meetblume.com

Blume is the self-care box designed specifically for “that time of the month.”  You get a choice of organic pads and tampons plus add in some extras such as acne treatments, chocolaty treats or essential oils to help soothe cramps and PMS.

Pampered Mommy Box

pamperedmommybox.com

The Pampered Mommy Box is exactly what it sounds like.  It was created FOR moms, BY moms so you can expect a monthly box full of self-care items with an excellent value.  Unlike regular subscription boxes, this one can be purchased on a one time only basis, so it’s a great gift idea for your wish list. (You also get a discount when you sign up for their e-mail list!)


Once you’ve incorporated a regular self-care routine into your life, you should be able to see the difference it makes.  Over time, taking a few minutes each day to do something just for you won’t seem so foreign, both to yourself and to your children.  They will learn that mom’s going to take that shower and then she will feel happier.

Mothers with postpartum depression or anxiety should especially focus on maintaining a proper self-care routine.  It’s a great way to keep symptoms under control, regardless of what other form of treatment we are seeking.  While it might seem impossible to make lists of things that bring joy, mothers with postpartum depression can focus on small things and work their way up.

To help you create a working self-care routine, download this FREE Self-Care Workbook!

My Self Care Workbook - A Free Printable PDF
download the workbook

Download a Free Self Care Workbook

How to Create a Self-Care Routine as a Stay-At-Home Mom

Benefits of Yoga for Postpartum Depression

Yoga is known for it’s amazing mood boosting and stress reducing benefits.

Using yoga for postpartum depression can help to improve your overall mood and well-being.  Adding yoga into a regular self-care routine is a simple change that can make a big difference.  Since it is a low-impact way to exercise, it can be safe for mothers who are pregnant or recovering from childbirth.  It’s also a great exercise to do with children or babies around because they love to watch and sometimes even follow along.

In this guest post from Meera Watts of SiddhiYoga.com, you can learn about all the amazing benefits of yoga for postpartum depression.

yoga for postpartum depression *This is a guest post and all opinions are those of the author.  Please note that this post may contain affiliate links*


There are a variety of benefits yoga has displayed. It has been used for centuries for good reason. Instead of using prescription medications, there was the development of yoga to manage physical and mental problems. So it is that yoga can help us in the modern world with depression, stress, and mindfulness.

You are more prone to nurturing yourself when you create body awareness and of course mind awareness. You won’t beat yourself up anymore and let your ego dictate how you’ll feel. Yoga is a deeply grounding practice that brings out your truths. As your heart opens more and you learn about who you really are, you’ll have a profound sense of self. This can only create a place of self-love.

Here are the benefits of yoga for postpartum depression that you might not know about.

Harvard released the suggestion after a recent controlled trial study that yoga can help with the following:

• Reduction of the impact of stress in your daily life.
• Assists with anxiety and depression.
• Teaches you to self-soothe yourself with techniques like meditation, relaxation, and through the exercise aspect of the practice.
• Energy is improved.

Yoga and Depression

The physical things in yoga will have your body moving in all sorts of directions. You get a gentle workout, a core workout, and learn to breathe properly. Then, you’ll do meditation. Yoga teaches you a lot and taps into your mind, body and soul. It can be helpful with depression and the symptoms. For example, yoga helps you to concentrate and helps you with your energy levels. These are common problems of depression that are solved through yoga.

Yoga helps you to manage any mental and emotional problems you’re dealing with. Conditions and disorders that can lead to depression such as chronic pain can be relieved.

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Improve Your Mood

The reason we experience things like depression and anxiety is due to unbalanced levels of certain chemicals in the brain. Serotonin is something that makes us happy and gives us energy. When we don’t have enough, we can feel down. Yoga naturally helps to increase serotonin levels. Yoga is gentle so even if a person does feel low, they can go to a class and get the nurturing benefits. The fluid nature of the moves you do can evoke a nice feeling. As your body moves, you become more conscious of that instead of how you feel emotionally.

Warrior poses can make you feel powerful. That is not a feeling that someone with depression usually feels. You will also concentrate on your breathing which can bring you more energy.

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Reducing Stress and Anxiety

Yoga works to increase your heart rate. Through breathing and encouraging blood to flow better with poses, it can change time between heartbeats. The relaxation response will dominate over the stress response in the body. The body gets better at monitoring itself and fighting against stress. It also reduces levels of cortisol that are released in the body. When you do get anxious, you cause the body to overproduce this chemical. When you have too much in the body, it can cause damage to the mind and body.

Yoga lowers your blood pressure and makes it easier to breathe. When you learn how to do deep breathing in yoga, you can immediately relax yourself. You also increase your pain tolerance by reducing stress. Stress has been shown to lower your pain tolerance.

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Yoga and Mindfulness

A big part of yoga is learning to be mindful. This is the key to solve any negative feelings you have. As you learn to just observe the ego mind instead of going down to its level, you can manage any storm. It is the ego that says you’re not good enough, that you can’t do something, or that there’s something to worry about. Almost nothing it tells you has any true purpose and it can lead you to feel extremely angry, sad, anxious, or afraid.The funny thing is, the ego is basing it’s reality on your past situations. Say you’re triggered by a smell, this is the ego searching for an experience that occurred with a relate-able scent. If the memory is a good one, you feel happy. If it’s a bad memory, it can make you feel instantly terrible.

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Mindfulness is being aware of the emotional pain or the physical pain that manifests in you when these things happen. You may not be able to remember what happened when you were five that created sadness from a smell. You can scan your body and be aware of what the brain is saying. Even just witnessing your thoughts can calm the rest of your body down.

Your ego doesn’t have a chance to berate you. When you’re kinder to yourself, you are less likely to do things like emotionally eat or get angry at people who don’t deserve it. Medical studies and scientific research say that meditation and mindfulness has neurological benefits. Yoga works on the body and through the breath to create a centered mind within you. Stress is decreased and so is depression. You will experience a higher quality of life with that open heart you’ve created. Then you’re not prone to fear and self-doubt.

5 Things to Do When You're Feeling Over Touched
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Meera Watts is a yoga teacher, entrepreneur and mom. Her writing on yoga and holistic health has appeared in Elephant Journal, CureJoy, FunTimesGuide, OMtimes and others. She’s also the founder and owner of SiddhiYoga.com, a yoga teacher training school based in Singapore. Siddhi Yoga runs intensive, residential trainings in India (Rishikesh and Dharamshala) and Indonesia (Bali).

For more information, view her website at www.siddhiyoga.com and follow her on social media.

Youtube | Instagram | Pinterest | Twitter | LinkedIn | Facebook


Yoga
Online-Therapy.com

Online-Therapy.com:  Access yoga videos as part of the online therapy toolbox as well as several other ways to get help for postpartum depression.

Yoga for postpartum depression

Self-Esteem Reminders For Postpartum Moms

Life, as a mommy, can be hard.

It doesn’t really matter how much you want a child. There is nothing to prepare you to the joys and miseries of the postpartum period. Indeed, for a lot of women, the excitement of the pregnancy builds up over 9 months, and suddenly the hormonal imbalance that follows the birth can make it hard mentally and physically to accept your new reality.

A lot of new mothers talk about their lack of confidence and self-esteem following the birth of their child, so it’s essential to address the subject and help them. Contrary to what the recent pictures of Kate Middleton holding baby Louis in front of the hospital, your body doesn’t spring back to its normal shape and energy levels in no time. So, don’t be too harsh on yourself if you feel it’s taking ages to get back to your usual self. It’s entirely normal.

But it doesn’t mean you can’t help boost your mood during the process. Postpartum is an emotional time for mothers. Be gentle with yourself.

*This is a collaborative post*
*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.


A little bit of self-love

A lot of young mothers can’t help but look in the mirror and feel less desirable after birth. Ultimately, your body went through enormous changes – giving birth is nothing to take lightly – and you now need to look after a small baby. So, yeah, you look tired. Your complexion is dull – but how could it be otherwise in those circumstances? You can leave the baby with your parents or your partner and allow yourself some much-deserved beauty brow care from Lustrous Permanent Beauty. It’s not a matter of making yourself more beautiful than you are – you are already beautiful. It’s about helping yourself to see past the mask of tiredness. Remind yourself to take care of yourself.  

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Meet other mommies

Having a baby is both a wonderful and stressful experience, regardless how much you wanted to become a mother. Sometimes, you need to hear reassuring words about your baby, or you may want to receive tips from experienced mommies. That’s precisely why it’s so important to connect with other mothers, either through childbirth classes or even online. You’ll find it great moral support when you’re going through the first steps of parenthood. It’s ok to wonder if you’re doing everything right or to ask other moms for advice. Just enjoy the mama wave of love and understanding.

Be realistic; your body needs time, and so do you

Ignore the VIP photos in the magazines or the comments from friends who don’t have children. Postpartum recovery takes time, in fact, it can take 6 weeks or more for a normal birth, and up to 12 weeks for a C-section. So there’s no point blaming yourself for your lack of fitness after the birth. Self-depreciation and the difficulty to accept their post-pregnancy body drive a lot of new mothers into depressive moods. It’s crucial you remember to be patient with your body and with your mind.

16 Gifts that will Boost Anyone's Mood
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The bottom line is that as much as you need to embrace motherhood, you can’t deny yourself the right to be a woman with doubts, fears, and worries. It’s okay not to feel like a perfect mommy at first! Take the time to look after yourself, physically and mentally. You’re worth it!

7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuary
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Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression

Holidays can be difficult to celebrate for a woman suffering from postpartum depression.  What should be happy days spent making memories, instead reminds her of the pain and shortcomings she’s felt since becoming a mother.

When shopping for a gift for a mother with postpartum depression, look for something that is considerate of her condition.  Not all gifts are appropriate for a woman who feels guilty or unworthy of being a mother.

Here are some ideas for gifts for mothers with postpartum depression.

Gift Guide for the mother with Postpartum Depression

Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression
Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression Gifts for Mothers with Postpartum Depression

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.


A Personalized Necklace

GracePersonalized on Etsy

A necklace with her children’s names engraved on it will remind her of who she’s doing all of this for in the first place.

A beautiful option is this fingerprint necklace from GracePersonalized on Etsy.  Having a necklace that contains her child’s fingerprint, hand or footprints will remind her that she created an entire unique person.

But the kids aren’t the only things keeping her going.  I like this lovebirds necklace from MenuetDesigns on Etsy because it speaks volumes of how important a strong support system is.

[For more ways to offer support, read: 14 Ways to Help a Mother with Postpartum Depression]


Something That Won’t Die

DIY Succulent Terrarium Kit from NimusSucculentShop on Etsy

Cut flowers wilt and die and there’s nothing she can do about it.  Get her something that she can watch grow and blossom.  Growing something will bring her a sense of pride.  So instead of flowers, get her a potted plant or a terrarium.  Gardening or growing indoor plants is an excellent form of self-care as well and can become something that not only keeps her mind distracted, but brightens up her living area as well.

If she doesn’t have a green-thumb, get her a book about gardening instead.  There are also foolproof ready-made herb gardens available.


Matching Mommy & Me Outfits

ByMissSally on Etsy

Bonding with baby can be tough for a mother with postpartum depression.  Matching t-shirts, outfits or hats might seem cheesy, but it can make her feel more connected to baby and remind her of the special connection they share.


Monthly Subscription Box


In the category of gifts for a mother with postpartum depression, monthly subscription boxes should be at the top the list!  Chances are, she doesn’t want to go out and shop for herself.  Even some of the basic necessities she needs become less of a priority for her.  Having something delivered to her door is a wonderful surprise that she can look forward to each month.

Here are a few that I would recommend for a mother with postpartum depression:

The Mommy Mailbox – a box full of things designed specifically to brighten up a mom’s day!

Blume Formerly known as Ellebox. This is the ultimate self-care subscription box!  Mothers with postpartum depression can dread “that time of the month” especially because they haven’t had to deal with it during their pregnancy (and possibly longer if they were breastfeeding) so it becomes just one more thing they need to handle.  The addition of the mood swings and cramping can become overbearing for someone who’s already suffering so much.  Take the stress out of it with this monthly subscription box that includes organic pads and tampons, specially formulated cramp oil, acne and face washes and more!

InstaCandy – who doesn’t love candy?  Getting a box of candy delivered to your door every month is sure to brighten up the darkest of days.

Like the idea of a delivered box full of goodies but not ready to commit to a monthly subscription?  Check out the Pampered Mommy Box! Their “Best of” Box is full of surprise goodies valued over $100! 


A Customized Photo Book

Mixbook.com

Photos can have a lot of meaning for a woman with postpartum depression.  Looking back at pictures of happier times can be an excellent way to relieve stress and help keep her connected to those memories.  Creating a photo book filled with pictures of baby can also help to connect her to her child and reduce some of the guilt that often comes along with missing out on those first few months.

A photo book is sure to be something she will cherish long after she has recovered from the darkness of postpartum depression.

You can create fully customized photo books and/or prints at Mixbook.com


Self-Care Products

Kathy Ireland Pink Sherpa Robe – Zulily

It goes without saying that self-care is SO important for moms to keep up good mental health.  This category of gifts offers such a wide variety of choices, depending on what’s most important to the mother in your life.

A robe, bath bombs, spa sets, or a massage system are all great gifts for her to use on a daily basis to make sure that she’s getting in regular self-care.

The best self-care gifts for a mother with postpartum depression are things that she can use regularly, don’t consume too much of her precious time, and can help her relax and take care of herself.

If you want to really want to give her the gift of self-care, then splurge on a spa day!  Click here to purchase a Spa Finder Gift Card  that she can use at thousands of different locations.  It’s available to print or e-mail so it makes a great last-minute gift too!


[Related Reading: Self Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression]


Aromatherapy

Mom’s Essential Kit from Rocky Mountain Oils

Essential oils and aromatherapy can have a big impact on a mother with postpartum depression.  This kit from Rocky Mountain Oils has everything a mother needs to incorporate essential oils into her life.  You can also purchase a beautiful diffuser so that she can turn her space into a haven of aromatherapy.


A Personal Assistant

Amazon.com

You know what mothers with postpartum depression REALLY want?  A personal assistant…

The Amazon Echo smart speaker connects to “Alexa” a voice-based personal assistant.

The best part is that Alexa will respond to anyone’s voice, as long as they call her by name.  So older kids who ask a million questions a day or want to hear their favorite song over and over again – can now ask Alexa instead of Mom.

Alexa can also look things up online, tell jokes, keep notes, make lists and reminders, play music and make phone calls – all completely hands free!  It’s one of the best gifts for a mother with postpartum depression who is suffering from a severe case of foggy brain!


Journaling Equipment

Indigo.ca

Writing about postpartum depression is one of the best therapies available.  It’s a great way to get all those dark feelings out of the brain and onto paper.  A journal is a great gift option for a mother who needs to express her feelings.

Bullet journals are the latest trend right now.  You can eve find printable bullet journal kits on Etsy to create a one of a kind personalized gift.

[Related Reading: The Postpartum Depression Guest Post Series]


Adult Coloring Books

Indigo.ca

There’s a huge difference between coloring with the kids, and coloring by yourself.  I, myself, have recently jumped on the adult coloring book train, and it’s an incredible way to release stress and shut off the brain for a few moments.

There are adult coloring books everywhere these days so you’re sure to find one that suits the mom you’re shopping for.  My favorite ones are the patterns or the inspirational quotes, but there are also ones with swears for the moms who really need to let it all out.


The Gift of Music

Image of The Gramophone - Tee (Black)
inmusicwetrust.co.uk

Music is an excellent form of therapy for mothers with postpartum depression.  It’s a way to keep the mind distracted from intrusive thoughts and can stimulate all kinds of emotions.  Soothing music can help a mother to relax or calm down when she’s feeling angry or anxious.  Uplifting music is a great way to make her feel happier when she’s feeling down.

There are so many different ways that you can give a mother the gift of music.  You can make her a playlist, get her a subscription to Spotify or buy her concert tickets to her favorite artist, just to name a few.  And if you truly want to support the benefits of music for mental health, then consider purchasing some products that support a good cause, like those from In Music We Trust.


16 Gifts that will Boost Anyone's Mood
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Remember: One of the best gifts for mothers with postpartum depression is your love, support and understanding…
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Gift Guide for Mothers with Postpartum Depression

Self-Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression

Taking time for themselves is something that all moms need to do but practicing a self-care routine is essential to treating postpartum depression.

Self-care doesn’t always need to consist of spa days or alone time.  While different things appeal to different women and personalities – there are some simple, basic, everyday tasks that can make a huge difference to one’s mood and patience level.

In the aftermath of postpartum depression, the key to keeping symptoms under control is to stay one step ahead of them, otherwise it’s very easy to drown in the shuffle of everyday motherhood.

Self Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression

Self Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression

*This post contains affiliate links which means that if you click on one of these links and buy a product, I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you. Rest assured that I only recommend products that I love from companies that I trust.  **Furthermore, I am not a medical professional and nothing in this post should be taken as medical advice. I am simply a mother who has been there and lived to tell the tale.


What is self-care?

It’s all the things you need to do to take care of YOU.  Self-care is a huge topic among parents, especially SAHMs.  Because how the heck are you supposed to take care of yourself AND the tiny humans who demand so much of your attention?

The nature of a parent is always to put their children first and therefore, self-care often gets bumped to the bottom of the priority list.  I’m quite guilty of it myself and sometimes life gets SO busy that I don’t even realize how long it’s been since I showered or blow-dried my hair.

www.peaceofmom.com

If you need some additional help trying to figure out how to fit self-care into your already busy life, you can join this FREE Self-Care Challenge or enroll in the Love Your Life Self-Care e-course from Peace of Mom.

 


When to do self-care

Trying to fit a self-care routine into an already packed day is impossible, I know.  There are never, nor will there ever be, enough minutes in the day to get everything accomplished.

This means you’re going to have to sacrifice something.  It could be sleep (sleep? what’s that?), it could be that extra time with your kids before bed, it could be the gourmet dinner you cook every night.

Or perhaps there is a way to work your self-care routine into your existing routine with the kids.  There’s no rule that says self-care must equal alone time so feel free to involve your kids or partner.

Whatever you need to do, do it and make time for you.
How to Create a Self-Care Routine as a Stay-At-Home Mom
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Why to do self-care

During my own battle with postpartum depression – I could never look at myself in the mirror.  I was embarrassed and ashamed of the pile of muck I had become.

I had a ghastly image of myself in my head and I feared that if I looked at myself in the mirror I would realize it had come true.  The few times I did make eye contact with myself, I immediately broke into tears because I absolutely hated myself and standing in front of the mirror meant coming face to face with my worst enemy.

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But I wasn’t afraid to look at myself when I had a little makeup on.  When I was showered and my hair was done and I was in decent clothes – for a moment, I forgot about that pile of muck.  This was someone else I was looking at, talking to, admiring in the mirror.  That pile of muck was still there but I didn’t have to look at her.  I didn’t have to face her and all the sadness she brought with her.

So while some might consider self-care a type of vanity, I felt that it was the only way for me to escape the rut I was in.

Developing a good self-care routine is extremely important both during your battle with postpartum depression after you’ve started treatments to reduce the chance of a relapse.

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Start with the basics

Brush your teeth

So simple right?  Not when you’re awoken by the loud screams of children at 6 am.  You rush out of bed to see what’s happening and deal with whatever new fiasco they’ve created.  And then coffee is the first thought on your mind.  You’ll brush after coffee – that makes sense, right?  Then you won’t have coffee breath!  Smart woman!

Except you never, ever, finish that cup of coffee… 

It sits there getting cold.  Maybe you walk by once or twice and stick it in the microwave to heat it up and then forget about it there.  Before you know it the hubby is home from work and for some reason he’s not going in for that smooch…

Take the shower!

There are so many days when this feels like an impossible feat.  It takes more than a few minutes and we all know what kind of trouble kids can get into in that time.

But putting it off means you’re putting yourself off, and self-care is all about putting yourself FIRST!  So take the shower!

If it means putting on a show for them, or letting them use the tablet while they sit on the bathroom floor – then do it.  If all else fails – take them in with you!

A nice, hot shower before bed is a great way to help you sleep at night, so if you can’t fit one in during the day – try to squeeze it in after the kids are down for the night.

If the thought of taking a shower feels like the last thing you want to do after an extremely long day, then it’s what you need most.  Trust me and just TAKE THE SHOWER!!!

Postpartum Anxiety Insomnia: 15 Ways to Get Better Sleep
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Change your clothes

Changing from flannel pajama pants into black leggings counts.  Don’t stay in your pajamas all day even if they’re the comfiest thing on earth and you’re not going anywhere anyway.  I’ve gone so far as to use the excuse that I don’t want to make more laundry for myself.

But even if you wear the same “daytime” clothes for a week – change out of your pajamas.  The act of changing your clothes – even if they are from one pair of sweatpants to another, is enough to trick your brain into thinking you’ve done something productive.

Do your hair & makeup

This one is more important to some than others.  I’ve never been a “full face makeup” type of person, but some women absolutely love the process of experimenting with makeup.

If you have a particular problem area that makes you self-conscious then take care of that so you can feel confident enough to face the world.

It might sound superficial or vain, but it’s amazing how much more confident you feel when you know that you look good.  And keep in mind that the only person you’re trying to impress… is yourself. 


Add in some extras

Give yourself a pep talk

Every time I start to feel overwhelmed, a little “you can do this” under my breath reminds me that I need to stay positive.  It is SO easy to lose that motivation when you are battling postpartum depression because you are in a constant state of darkness.  Find some way to remind yourself to stay in the light.

Download these 4 FREE 8 x 10 Inspirational Prints in the Running in Triangles Free Resource Library, available exclusively to subscribers of the Postpartum Depression Survival Guide. Click here to subscribe.

Take your vitamins

Sufferers of postpartum depression are infamous for their terrible eating habits – either not enough or too much.  And because of that, we often end up with all kinds of vitamin deficiencies which can have a huge effect on our mental health.  So if you’re not able to eat as healthy as you should, you should be taking supplements in order to get your levels back up to where they should be.

Magnesium is what worked wonders for me.  Magnesium deficiencies are known to cause symptoms of depression, so make sure that you take a regular magnesium supplement to keep symptoms at bay.

Vitamin D – get outside in the sun!  Not only does 20 minutes in the sunshine top up your Vitamin D levels but the fresh air does wonders for your soul.

Vitamin B Complex – to make sure you’re getting the right amount of nutrition despite your messed up appetite.

Here’s an article on www.livestrong.com that has more details on the best herbal and vitamin supplements to treat postpartum depression.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy and essential oils have huge mood-boosting benefits.  An easy way to fit aromatherapy into your postpartum depression self care routine is by using an essential oil diffuser.  Have your favorite, calming, essential oils and blends fill your entire home all day long to make sure that you’re surrounded by positive energy.  (Not sure where to start? Check out the mood collection by Rocky Mountain Oils)

7 Ways to Make Your Space a Self Care Sanctuary
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Try Yoga and Meditation

Yoga is a great low-impact exercise that can help to get rid of some of the physical aches and pains associated with postpartum depression.  You don’t need a gym membership or any fancy equipment, so it’s very easy to incorporate into your lifestyle.  It also helps you to clear your mind of distractions and intrusive thoughts, which is important if you want to try to remain positive on a daily basis.  Deep breathing can help greatly to reduce stress and it’s something that you can do anytime throughout the day.

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Find ONE thing

And it doesn’t have to be a BIG thing.  A spa day is great but so is binge watching Netflix.  A beach vacation may not be in the budget, but relaxing outside in a hammock or inflatable couch is. [I like the ones from Pouch Couch]

Focus on ONE extra activity that makes you feel happy and relaxed and ONE thing only.  As moms we spend most of our days multi-tasking, and there is so much pressure to become a mom who can bake and sew and do crafts and plan parties (thanks a lot, Pinterest) and it becomes overwhelming and exhausting.

Your self-care routine should consist of something that makes you feel happy and relaxed afterwards.  It doesn’t have to be productive and you don’t need to justify it.  You just need to do it.

It can be difficult to fit in time for self-care, especially as a busy mom.  Check out my post How to Create a Self-Care Routine as a SAHM for more tips plus download a free workbook to help you create a schedule that works!

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Write about it

Keeping a journal of your thoughts can be hugely therapeutic for postpartum depression survivors in many different ways.  Not only is the act of writing out your thoughts and feelings a way to release them, but it also helps you keep track of whether they are getting better or worse.

[If you need more reasons, check out this post from Happy Mom Brain: Why You Need to Write About Mental Health]

How to Start Blogging about Postpartum Depression
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  • Whatever self-care routine you end up carving out for yourself, make sure that you stick to it in order to prevent relapses.
  • Communicate with your partner about how important these things are for your mental health so that they can support you. 
  • And don’t ever feel guilty about putting yourself first because if mom is happy, then the entire household is happy. 

Download a FREE Self Care Workbook to help you create a routine that works for your busy schedule!

My Self Care Workbook - A Free Printable PDF
Click Here to Download
Self Care Tips for Battling Postpartum Depression