It’s not always easy being a mother. Actually, forget that, it’s never easy. There’s always something to be done, and when there’s not, you’re left there wondering what you’ve forgotten to do — or worrying that all your children are happy and healthy. Because being a mother is just about the most stressful job in the world, it’s important to remember to treat yourself from time to time. If you don’t, then the hectic nature of parenting will only turn into stress, and who needs that? Life is hard enough. In this blog, we’ll take a look at some of the best ways to treat yourself. You deserve it!
If there’s one thing that’s guaranteed to bring you back to life, it’s a day at the spa. This will tick all the boxes that sorely need to be ticked. Your body will feel amazing, your skin will look fresh, and you’ll simply leave feeling as if you’ve been on a two-week break. It’s a way to feel completely amazing, and all you need is a few hours — and perhaps a friend or two to join you.
Update Your Style
Remember when you were younger, and you were always wearing the latest fashions? Once you have a child, your priorities will likely change. Now, it’s less likely that you’ll dedicate time to getting that perfect outfit. However, it’s worthwhile putting some effort into your style from time to time, for no other reason than it’ll help you to feel good! If it’s been some time since you upgraded your look, then think about making some changes. There are many things you can do. If you’re unhappy with your current glasses, then visit this website, and invest in a high-quality pair. If your clothes are looking a bit dated, then hit the stores, and engage in some retail therapy. In most cases, simply getting rid of your old and faded clothing and investing in new pieces will do a world of good.
Go Out On the Town
Just as with your style, your evenings out on the town also probably feel like a thing of the past. You don’t get too many opportunities to grab your friends and hit a restaurant or bar when you’ve got kids. But that doesn’t mean you should never head out; you absolutely should, at least once in a while. Hand over parenting duties to your partner or family member, call up your friends, and enjoy some laughter and good times, just like the old days.
Give Yourself a Break!
Finally, what about simply giving yourself a break without feeling guilty? You can draw a lot of pleasure from simply spending a few hours on the couch, reading a book, or playing an online game, or whatever it is you like to do unwind. You’ll be doing an excellent job as a parent; it’s fine to take a couple of hours for yourself. It’s absolutely fine to put yourself first every once in a while; you deserve it, you really do.
Parenting is a beautiful journey that we can pretty much compare to a roller coaster ride – filled with ups and downs that does not seem to end. Unfortunately, there are times when parents can feel excessively tired, cranky, unproductive, useless, and not enough. Have you felt the same way too? Then this means that you are suffering from parental burnout.
What is Parental Burnout?
Parental burnout exists and is becoming more prevalent lately. It is a term that describes resentment, physical and emotional fatigue, de-motivation, and even depression in some parents who are overly stressed with parenting and a pile of other obligations.
According to studies and research, the changes in our society and culture are huge contributing factors that brought about the rise of this syndrome. So how do you know if you have parental burnout? These are the signs that you need to watch out for:
Emotionally distancing from child
Lack of motivation to go on
Feeling useless as a parent
Easily angered by the child even for simplest and smallest reasons
The bad thing is that not only parents are affected by parental burnout. This can take a toll on your child, too and the effects can last for a long time. For this reason, moms and dads should partake in activities that allow them to “recharge” and prevent fatigue.
Having said that, I decided to ask other parents for practical solutions on how to cope with parental burnout.
How to Cope
If you feel like you can no longer take it all, here are some of the many suggestions from parents like you and I to avoid falling prey to parental burnout:
I shop for my son to de-stress. I usually do this with a mom friend so I have a chance to talk to another adult (and keep my sanity lol). This technique is like hitting two birds with one stone – shopping for things that my kid needs while socializing with other moms without feeling guilty of leaving my husband and kid behind. I feel invigorated after doing this kind of errand. You should try it, too.
Have a Vent Buddy
It is really frustrating for me every time my 3-year old son and I argue. I always remind myself that I need to understand his context because he does not always get my point of view… and shouting at him does not help at all.
Whenever I feel like I am about to explode, I take a break from arguing with my son and call or text a friend. I whine, and nag, and even swear if need be just to let everything out of my system. After this, I feel a bit better and all my anger has simmered. By the time I go back to my son, my head is already clear and I can better “hear” what he is saying. This way, we can better communicate with each other.
If I can’t reach anyone, I simply send an email to myself – the same thing I want to tell my vent buddy during a phone call or text message.
Relax and Watch a Movie
I feel overwhelmed with all the responsibilities – imagine another human being is fully dependent on me for everything. As a result, I worry almost every time even when I am near my kiddo. This is where parental burnout comes creeping in.
When this happens, I watch a movie – more than once a month. I choose movies that do not last for more than two hours. As I am engrossed with the characters in the movie, I temporarily forget about my woes and worries. This, honestly, feels like a mini-vacation for me. As soon as I go out, I feel like a different person.
Go for a Run
This is the same thing as having a vent buddy as this helps keep my head clear. Before I go to work, I run for 15 minutes to decompress and work on things that are stressing me out.
This 15-minute run might not be much but it helps me work something out on my head while keeping my body healthy and active. By the time I get home, I feel happier and, surprisingly, more patient.
Let Your Partner Take Over
Parenting on your own is hard. Plus, it makes you crazy as you incessantly want to control everything. Sometimes, I decide to take a step back. I tell myself to bail on some activities and let my husband handle it.
For instance, I let my husband take my son to the park so I can stay at home. I can clean, read a book, catch on my favorite series, or just sit down and relax. This rewards us both – my husband gets to bond with my son and I get some time to reboot.
Remember that parenting is not like a job wherein you can just resign anytime you want. You cannot give up or quit on your kids. But if you take note of the practical tips in this post that are proven effective by other parents, I am sure that you will feel happy. You will never fall prey to parental burnout ever again.
Author Bio: Elkyra Park is a first-time mom who can no longer count how many baby products she has reviewed for her sanity and her son’s sake. She discusses about the realities of parenthood and how to gracefully cope with the struggles over at www.easyparentinghacks.com
If you are a parent then you might feel as though at times, your work is never done. You may find that you are being constantly torn between homework, dentist appointments, soccer practices and more. If you want to help yourself, then you need to practice self-care. This will help you to become way less stressed in the day and it will also help you to recharge too.
Find Ways to Recharge
As a parent, you may feel as though you need to put other people’s needs before your own. You need to start focusing on yourself more and you also need to set some money aside so that you can pamper yourself too. Of course, the way that you do this will depend on your circumstances and your budget. If you are stuck for ideas then get a manicure, buy yourself a new item of clothing or even go for that haircut you’ve been meaning to get. This will help you to stay focused and it will also give you the chance to truly unwind.
Children and their Bedtime
If your children have a bedtime, then don’t be afraid to take advantage of it. Children are often deprived ofsleep, even if they don’t know it themselves. If you set an earlier bedtime, then you may have to face a bit of a battle but if you are able to push through, then it will benefit everyone involved. Your kids will be more alert, and they may even do better in school as a result. If finding your children a school that they can attend next year is on your agenda then you can find outinformation on Montessorri schools here.
Mindfulness is the practice that helps you to be in the current moment. If you are able to do this then you will lower your stress levels and you may even find that you are able to enjoy your day to day tasks more. If you are driving, then don’t let your mind race ahead. Instead, just focus on your hands being on the wheel. Mindfulness will take time to master but if you are able to do it then you will soon find that you can reap the benefits far more than you realize.
Carve out Time for Yourself
Designate two or even three 15-minute intervals per day to focus on yourself. If you have a schedule or a planner then do this in a way that you would everything else. When you do, you will soon find that you are much more likely to stick to your plans and this can really work in your favor. You may be tempted to avoid doing anything in your alone time, and this is understandable, but you have to avoid it as much as possible.
Prioritize Partner Time
If you have a partner, then you need to do everything you can to spend time with them when you can. This could involve putting the kids to bed early or it may even mean trying to book the day off work from time to time. Either way, if you don’t make time for each other then you may find that you never have it, and this is the last thing that you need.
Keep in Touch
Keeping in touch with your friends or even your family can be a way for you to recharge your batteries. If you want to do this then try and hire a babysitter or even have a special afternoon out. You can also plan some afternoon activities at home if you want, either way, if they have kids then there’s a chance that they’ll need a break as well and the more you can give them this, the better you’ll all feel.
Have a Good Diet
If you don’t have a good diet then this won’t work in your favor at all. You may feel that you are far more tired during the day and that you struggle to get through the day without having a nap. If you want to get around this then you need to try and make sure that you are eating plenty of fruit and vegetables, and that you are also staying away from caffeine. After all, caffeine may give you a short-term fix, but it won’t do you any good in the long-term so do keep that in mind. If you don’t have time to have a good diet then making meals ahead of time is certainly the way to go, not to mention that you can get the kids involved too!
When it comes to winter fashion, expectant moms often struggle. Any mother can tell you that, while pregnant, there’s a whole separate set of fashion challenges to face. Simply put, your body is changing, and this can leave even the most confident of fashionistas uncertain about how to dress. This is especially true during the winter, when it can seem that all maternity clothing consists of bulky outerwear and unflattering sweaters, without too many stylish options mixed in.
Thankfully, there are so many comfortable pieces that can be found outside of the maternity section that will keep you stylish and warm, and fit just fine.
So here are five chic, cozy winter fashion staples for moms-to-be!
A figure-hugging turtleneck dress is a great way to show off your adorable baby bump without really feeling confined or compressed. There are actually a lot of good options for this kind of garment making the rounds this winter season, though we’d have to say Elizabeth and James’ latest turtleneck dress is a particularly festive choice. The Clementine Space-Dye Wool Turtleneck Dress from the brand looks like something straight out of a 1970s fashion magazine – which, with vintage looks trendier than ever, is always a major bonus!
Fleece Lined Footless Tights
Even when you aren’t pregnant, fleece lined footless tights can be life savers when temperatures drop. They’re also quite handy, given that they’re fairly versatile and can be dressed up or down depending on the occasion. For instance, some of these tights paired with a jersey top and tennis shoes is an adorable look when you have to head out on some holiday errands – but you’d also look incredible rocking the tights with a sequined silver sweater and a pair of chunky black boots at your next festive get-together. The main draw of these pieces for expecting mothers specifically, though, is that they’re super stretchy, meaning they can adjust and last through the duration of your pregnancy.
Wool-Blend Long Plaid Coat
A plaid wool coat is arguably one of the classiest types of winter fashion outerwear you can buy. Typically though, some pregnant women may feel that wool coats can be too restrictive (especially during the last trimester). A long, more relaxed version of the coat, however, can be just the thing. The brand Woman Within presents a number of coats and jackets suitable for all sizes, and happens to have a Wool-Blend Long Plaid Coat that perfectly combines the chic quality of the garment with the inclusive fit so many moms-to-be will appreciate. Its flattering cut will suit any body type, and it can even be worn open if it’s not too cold outside.
A good pair of blue jeans is always a winter fashion essential (if not a year-’round one) but wearing denim can be somewhat tricky during pregnancy. It’s not the most forgiving fabric, particularly with a new pair, and so it can be difficult to find a pair of jeans that is both comfortable and fashionable. But this is where boyfriend jeans come in. These jeans – which tend to have a far more generous cut and relaxed design – happen to be very much “on trend,” and will look great with other seasonal staples, such as a black thermal top and a cozy cardigan.
Lastly, if you’re in a bind and can’t figure out to what to wear for a holiday party while pregnant, we’d suggest an always-fun billowy jumpsuit. For this season, the stylish designer Halston has a gorgeous option with a relaxed fit that’s well worth looking at, either as a specific option or simply as inspiration. The Asymmetrical Wide Leg Jumpsuit is designed in ultra-chic fashion, but made such that it’s roomy enough to remain comfortable during your pregnancy. A piece like this in white, or perhaps a festive red, can actually be quite the statement at your next holiday party!
Being pregnant can make some women feel extra large and unattractive over the holidays. And no one wants to splurge on maternity wear they may only wear for a single season. These winter fashion tips can help you enjoy your pregnancy, and the holidays, even when it’s cold outside. And the best part is, they’ll likely be staples in your wardrobe for years to come!
Let’s be honest, when it’s your first pregnancy, you are showered with gifts and attention and the spotlight is always on you.
Your partner, your family and friends constantly check on you and ask you how you are feeling, if there is anything you need or want. You feel like royalty and I loved every second of it.
But by your second, or third/fourth/fifth pregnancy, you have found yourself lost in the background in the story of your ever growing family. Ironically, by this time you are so exhausted from looking after your current little humans, that the body growing your newest addition needs more love and attention than ever before!
With the holidays fast approaching, if you are stumped on what to get that pregnant not first time mom-to-be in your life, here are a few ideas.
A Prenatal Massage
Whether it’s the first or the fifth pregnancy, a mom-to-be is sore all over. Her back aches, her neck hurts, she always has some strange shooting pain in some part of her body. A prenatal massage specializes on a growing mama’s needs. Although there is a very good chance she’s gonna snooze on that massage table, because… motherhood.
By the middle of the second trimester, and for sure by the third, we can barely bend over to put on our shoes, never mind paint our toenails. Plus, for a NOT first time mom-to-be, there’s the added problem of having other children with their own busy schedules. So we can hardly remember the last time we did something just for ourselves. Sending a pregnant mom for a pedicure is one of the best gifts you can give her (and I love going just to sit in those massage chairs!)
A Back or Foot Massager
Speaking of those massage chairs at the nail salon, how about one that we can use in the comfort of our own homes? Being able to sneak in a massage while watching our other children play is multi-tasking done right! This is a gift that will definitely keep on giving because we’ll also be able to use it postpartum, including while breastfeeding or as part of our regular self care routine. In fact, the luxury of being able to enjoy a massage while binge watching Grey’s Anatomy after the kids going to bed sounds heavenly!
I had one when I was pregnant with my first baby. I lived in it postpartum, those middle of the night feedings and sitting in a rocking chair all night. But that was 6 years ago. It’s worn out and I’ll admit, a little on the small side now… (it MUST have shrunk in the dryer). But a brand new comfy robe would be the perfect gift for a NOT first time mom-to-be. Make sure that it has some good pockets because we carry ALL the things: washcloths, pacifiers, baby monitor, phone. Bonus points for some new house shoes to go with it!
A Subscription Box
A box full of goodies showing up her doorstep each month is enough to make a NOT first time mom-to-be tear up (not that it takes much). If you want her to feel special and remembered this is one of the nicest gift options. And where else would you go than Bump Boxes? They are specifically designed for the pregnant mama and contain high quality products that she’s probably never tried before but will be super excited to.
A 3D/4D Non-Diagnostic Ultrasound
There are several companies that offer non-diagnostic ultrasounds for expectant mothers nowadays. This is a great way for moms to get a look at their babies before they are born and have a keepsake of their pregnancies. It’s also a great gift for the entire family, including older siblings, and helps them feel more involved in the pregnancy. There are even mobile ultrasound companies that will perform the sessions in your own home! But they can be costly and are often neglected by moms in subsequent pregnancies. A gift certificate for one of these sessions would make an awesome gift.
Hair Salon Gift Certificates
We want to get our hair done. We want to get it colored and cut and styled. We really do. But sometimes our kids’ ballet lessons are more important, or the van needs an oil change. So the money that we want to spend on ourselves needs to go somewhere else. We say we’ll do it “one day” and we throw our hair into a mom bun and move on. A gift certificate to her hair salon is the the gift of guilt free beautiful hair. That postpartum hair loss is about to do a number on her, so she might even want to use it after the baby arrives to help give her the much needed cool mom pick me up!
This is not to use on her family when she doesn’t want to cook (although it could be!) No, these are for her to splurge on that order of chicken wings, mozzarella sticks and deep fried pickles after the kids are in bed and some strange craving hits her. One of the most thoughtful gifts I remember is our neighbors giving us a gift card for pizza place when our 2nd daughter came home. We were so grateful for such a small thing on those first few days of complete exhaustion.
A Self-Care Basket
Finally… give her all the self care products you can find! Face masks, moisturizers, lip balm, makeup, skin care, exfoliating scrubs, bath bombs, essential oils, deep conditioner, you name it! A NOT first time mom-to-be is even more guilty of neglecting self care throughout her pregnancy and afterwards so she needs as much encouragement as possible. Chances are, if she has the products in her home already, she’s more likely to make time to use them. This time of the year you can find self care products everywhere – or do your one stop shopping online at stores like Rocky Mountain Oils, Aveda or Well.ca.
Hopefully some of these ideas inspire you when it comes to treating that expecting mom in your life. You also don’t have to wait until Christmas morning, a just because gift can be the best ones! We get so used to taking care of other people that it is nice to be remembered. Happy Gifting!
It can be tough to find the motivation for self care in the winter.
It’s in our nature to want to hibernate under the covers all winter long and avoid leaving the house. But staying isolated and failing to take proper care of ourselves during the winter months can lead to bouts of seasonal depression. Self care is important year round, so despite the miserable weather, we should always try to make time for it.
Here are a few ideas for self care in the winter that are sure to keep you feeling warm and cozy.
1. Light a Fire in the Fireplace
There’s no better way to warm up in the winter than sitting by the fireplace. You can read, write, listen to music, watch your favorite movie or even just sit quietly and enjoy the crackling sound of the flames. Flickering light is said to have a meditative effect on the mind which helps to reduce stress. In some parts of the world, firelight is essential to the practice of hygge during the winter.
2. Relax by Candlelight
In the same way, dancing candlelight can help you relax as well. Stock up on candles over the winter and light them whenever you get the chance. Light a few in the kitchen while you’re cooking or dine by candlelight. Keep one on your bedside table while you relax in bed or beside the tub while you soak. Just remember not to fall asleep while they’re lit or leave them unattended, of course.
3. Curl Up With a Cozy Blanket
Self care in the winter is all about wrapping yourself in warm, cozy blankets. You may have several blankets in every room that you use, or maybe you have a favorite one that you practically live in. The soft touch of a blanket wrapped around us helps us to feel safe and secure. Being warm is also better for our blood circulation and improves our overall mood.
4. Take a Hot Bath or Shower
Soaking in a hot bath or standing under a hot shower is a great way to warm up in the winter. Try adding Epsom salts to the bath water for an added dose of magnesium. Or throw in a few shower steamers filled with essential oils. If you find that you prefer hot showers more frequently in the winter, make sure to use all natural products that will keep your hair and skin soft and moisturized without overloading on chemicals.
5. Visit a Thermal Spa
If you haven’t already, check out a thermal spa in your area. They are great places to visit in the colder months because you can access the full range of hot and cold. Natural, mineral hot springs have healing waters that not only warm you up, but can provide relief from muscle and joint pains.
6. Get a Hot Stone Massage
Obviously any kind of massage therapy is a great way to practice self care in the winter. But if you’re not a fan of deep tissue massage, try opting for a hot stone massage instead. The warm volcanic rocks strategically placed on your body can loosen up tight muscles and reduce inflammation, stress and tension. P.S. don’t forget to put SpaFinder gift cards on your wish list to use for this!
7. Warm Up Your Feet
You can warm up your entire body simply by starting with the feet. Warm feet will help you sleep better but if you’re not comfortable wearing socks to bed, try plugging in a heated mattress pad or blanket just at the foot of your bed. Invest in a pair of ultra cozy socks or slippers to wear in the winter. For added benefits, roll some essential oil blends onto the soles of your feet before slipping them into socks to absorb all the goodness.
8. Sip Some Herbal Tea
Don’t forget to keep warm from the inside too! Sipping on herbal tea is a great self care activity to do daily. There are many health benefits of drinking green tea or just plain hot water with lemon. But you can find herbal teas for almost any ailment these days. There’s a reason why it’s such an integral part of any ancient culture.
9. Visit a Steam Room
Many gyms or indoor pools give you access to a steam room so definitely take advantage of them in the winter. Steam is a great way to detoxify the body, clean out the pores and help boost our immune systems. It’s especially helpful to loosen things up when you’re suffering from a stuffy nose or chest congestion. Just make sure to have a good shower and don’t forget to exfoliate and moisturize afterwards to get rid of all the toxins you’ve just sweat out.
10. Go for a Run
Staying active is one of the most important self care practices in the winter. It’s all too easy to neglect our bodies when they’re always covered up. So bundle up and go for a run around the neighborhood. You might start off feeling cold, but the longer you go, the warmer you’ll get. Or run indoors on a treadmill. It’s important to get your heart rate up at least once a day, which will improve your blood circulation to keep you warm all over.
11. Do Some Yoga Stretches
Meditative yoga is another great form of self care in the winter. Despite it’s slow and concentrated movements, you will work up quite a sweat holding those positions. Stretching daily will help our bones and muscles from getting weak over the winter months, when we might not as be as active.
12. Spend Time in a Sauna
Similar to steam rooms, saunas can be found at most gyms, indoor pool areas or spas. The dry heat of a sauna focuses directly on helping you sweat out toxins in your body. You can even find places that offer hot yoga, which is a yoga class done entirely in a sauna for added benefits. Search SpaFinder to see locations near you that offer these specific type of services.
13. Bake Something Warm and Delicious
Baking is a great winter activity, especially around the holidays. But don’t do it out of necessity or you’ll just stress yourself out. Bake just for the fun of it. Having a warm oven on will heat up the whole house and the delicious smells coming from it are an entirely different form of aromatherapy. And then go ahead and indulge. Use the real chocolate and the full fat cream and don’t skimp on the sprinkles.
14. Make a Pot of Soup
Nothing warms you up faster in the winter than a delicious bowl of hot soup. Soup days are perfect and easy for those dreary days when you’re stuck in the house. Or have a pot ready to go for when you get in from being outside in the cold all day. Try making a bone broth from scratch or get the kids to help you make an easy veggie soup. Soup is a winter time staple but also light and healthy.
15. Knit a Scarf
The winter months are a great time to start a new project. With all the extra time spent indoors, you’ll need something to keep you occupied or you’ll end up with a bad case of cabin fever. Knitting a scarf, hat or mittens for yourself, your kids or a loved one is a great place to start. Or work on some other form of art therapy. Creating something will give you a sense of pride and boost your confidence. Depending on how good your skills are, you can even give some away as handmade Christmas presents.
16. Cuddle With Someone You Love
Finally, the best way to stay warm this winter is to spend lots of time cuddled up with the ones you love. Whether you’re suffering from a mental illness like postpartum depression or just a case of the winter blues, nothing heals better than a hug. You’ll stay warm simply by sharing body heat, and you’ll get a mood boost from spending time with others. So this winter, if you plan to hibernate indoors, make sure you’ve got someone to spend it with and find ways to take care of yourself while still keeping warm.
8. What does your existing postpartum depression self care routine consist of?
I need ample amounts of alone time, especially at the end of the day. As a stay at home mom of three kids, it gets very draining and I feel like if I don’t get in a little me time before bed it’s an endless cycle. My husband knows to give me space after the kids go to bed. I just need to not be “needed” for an hour or two. I also do yoga in the mornings and have incorporated aromatherapy into my home. – Vanessa
As of the past month my postpartum depression has been getting better because I make self care a priority. I wake up at 6 am so I can make MYSELF ready for the day (hair, makeup, clothes etc), and do my daily devotions and bible reading. I try to not get lost on social media for hours and get jealous of everyone’s “perfect” life. I shower. Every day! I listen to self development books on audible. I just my MYSELF a PRIORITY!! – Anonymous
Trying to grab sleep whenever I can, even if it’s just 30 mins whilst my husband plays with our child in the other room. I might not actually sleep but I can rest. I go to the gym as often as I can as it has an instant effect on my anxiety- it just disappears for a little while. I try to eat properly and not miss meals I give myself permission to cancel anything I feel is too much, e.g. social engagements. I try to avoid reading/watching anything even remotely to do with child deaths and abuse. It triggers me so quickly it’s not worth it. – Alexandra
Routine!!! Wake up healthy breakfast medication, staying organize and busy with work and kids, I take time for myself to paint my nails or to make a certain snack I enjoy or just a movie. – Amber
Letting someone else take care of my son for a little bit and either playing a video game, taking a long shower, napping or going to Target by myself. – Anonymous
I do keep up with my psychiatrist but I guess I don’t really have a routine right now. – Nicole
Essential oils, breathing, medication, reading and exercise. – Anonymous
A lot of uplifting and telling myself I’m a good mom and surrounding myself by people that love me. – Jodi
Sleep, an hour a day for a TV show. – Anonymous
Talking about my feelings and tons of support from friends. – Ashley G.
Make sure I’m sleeping well and continuing to take Citalipram to combat anxiety. – Anonymous
Taking my meds, seeing my counselor, exercising, eating well, and taking time for myself when needed. – Amanda
Private alone time to recharge, controlled breathing, naps. – Anonymous
I just had my second baby two months ago and I was put back on medication to take precaution. I made sure to get plenty of sleep this time around and I did not breastfeed. – Katy
Staying active in therapy and with medication. Journaling feelings. Good hygiene. – Samantha
I believe in self motivation, it helps a lot. When I feel down I start to point out all the good that I have done that day and I see how happy my babies are and how happy my husband is and for me that is all I need. – Anonymous
Working out and oils. Taking time to better my self. My son will not know I am talking more time to my self when he is 3 months old. I want to be the best mom once he starts remembering. – Melissa
Taking herbal supplements and some anxiety meds, watching my self talk, getting out, getting time to myself. – Marcella
Therapy, yoga, sleep when I can. – Anonymous
Showers and naps anytime I need. – Emily
Make sure I get enough sleep. Taking time for myself. Self-reflecting. – Lorena from Motherhood Unfiltered
Taking 50 MG of Zoloft a day. – Chelsea
I am focusing on me more. I realize I can just focus on my husband and baby. I have a few medical conditions, so I am now getting monthly massages, chiropractor visits, not to mention what I do daily to take care of myself. – Kathryn
Still on meds. – Anonymous
Hair and teeth don’t always get brushed, I tend to forget deodorant never get dressed up just wear comfy baggy clothes. – Krista
I continue to take my meds daily, but am feeling considerably more stable now, with only a few bad days here and there throughout the month. My “self-care” is really more like a set of rules I’ve given myself. I never go more than 48 hours without showering. I force myself to eat when my toddler eats. I signed up for volunteer activities so I am out and about around other adults on a regular basis. I’ve started telling my friends what are triggers for me, so we can work around those without it being an issue (ex. talking on the phone. On my bad days I cannot for the life of me answer the telephone. I have no idea why). And Saturday’s are my day. My husband takes the baby, and I spend the entire day at a coffee shop with my noise-canceling headphones. – Leah Elizabeth from Lottie & Me
Taking my meds and vitamins and I get a 2 hour bathroom time for just a hot soaking bubble bath. – Jessica
Clean eating, for starters. I determined that eating sugar or dairy made me have almost immediate anxiety. Tracking my cycle is also a huge part of my self care. Staying abreast of my hormonal changes is key. Daily showers and restful sleep are also important to me—that means a nice hot cup of lavender tea and luxurious pajamas at 10:00 pm. And, of course, I move my body. Every day. I can’t say that I “work out” but I do something to get my heart rate up and follow with a healthy dose of ice water. – Amanda from Mom Like Me
Well I ordered the pills and I’m waiting for them to come in. I try to sleep in when my hubby is home and try to go out by myself without the kids once a week. I work out as many times as I can find a babysitter a week. We don’t live close to family so it’s hard to get support. – Anonymous
Taking my medicine and if that doesn’t help enough I will go to therapy.– Haylie
Nothing really. I never even got to sit down never mind “care” for myself during that time. – Crystal from Heart and Home Doula
Making time to keep up with my treatment, being consistent with my medication, finding time for myself everyday .– Anonymous
Medication, sufficient sleep. – Anonymous
Meditating, reminding myself my kids are little and I want to give them the best childhood and not always be irritated when they do natural child behavior like make mess or cry. Having time for myself. Reaching out when I need help. – Anonymous
Routine exercise, time to myself every week, regular appointments with my therapist, healthy eating, plenty of sleep (my husband will watch the baby some nights to give me a full night of sleep). – Anonymous
I have instituted a family schedule giving my husband a defined list of tasks and chores he MUST complete as well as giving me time to shower and get dressed every morning and take the kids off my hands for at least an hour a day every afternoon. I also have a babysitting schedule for my parents and in-laws and force myself to sit down and watch TV instead of doing work or chores during my non-kid time. – Eda
Resting when my body tells me, getting outside a little everyday, essential oils for mood and pain. – Anonymous
I am currently pregnant with my fourth child after remarrying. My youngest is 3 1/2. I have a good support system of moms who have struggled and I can be honest with. I am honest with my doctors and have a doula. I talk to a therapist and I rest when I need it. – Kathleen
I have no self care routine still, when I can I get away to the grocery store etc. – Stephanie
Now I make sure to have time alone. Whenever I start to feel overwhelmed I look at my son and express gratitude for getting to be in my son’s life and watch him grow. He is so amazing and I have the capacity for more love than I knew possible. -Yonat from Embodied Therapy Santa Rosa
Trying to maintain my hygiene. Making the bed every morning. Getting dressed. Opening the blinds. – Beth
We often underestimate the power of self-care.
For women with postpartum depression, it’s too easy to fall into a “funk” and start ignoring basic tasks like brushing our teeth or making the bed. We may not see it as a big deal at the time but it truly has an impact on our mental health. When we neglect ourselves, our brain gets the message that we are not as important. Over time, our brains reprogram themselves to prioritize our needs less and less and it becomes harder to change that way of thought.
What can we do to change this?
Stop thinking of self care as being selfish. Yes, you are a mother now and there are children who depend on you but that doesn’t mean that you have to neglect yourself in order to take care of them. Seek a way to balance how much time you spend taking care of yourself vs. your other responsibilities. When it comes to self care, there are so many different options and levels of intensity. Start by getting more sleep or taking a shower regularly. Eventually you can create a whole list of things you’d like to do for yourself. Treating ourselves as important will program our minds to believe it.
Stop feeling guilty about taking time for yourself.
Self care does not make you selfish. That way of thinking is one of the biggest reasons why moms don’t have a proper self care routine. We are selfless people who live to serve others. But taking some time for ourselves doesn’t mean that we are taking time away from others. When it comes to self care, just like most things in life, it’s about trying to find the right balance.
Here are a few of the many reasons why self care does not make you selfish.
You Deserve It
You’re not an unemployed slob living in your parents basement. You’re a grown adult with real responsibilities. And you take care of those responsibilities every single day, whether you want to or not. Being a mother is a tough job and there are so many days you won’t want to do it at all. But you do. And for that, you deserve a break every now and then. Even well paid employees get a mandated set of breaks, so why not a hardworking mom? Self care does not make you selfish because you’ve earned it.
You Need It
Self care isn’t always a spa day or a solo vacation. It’s not a luxury, it’s a necessity. Self care can be as simple as taking a long, hot, undisturbed shower or an afternoon nap. It can also be more long term such as taking a course or joining a gym. But it’s not selfish because it’s something you need to do to improve yourself. It’s especially necessary for healing from a physical or mental illness. Self care does not make you selfish because you need it in order to survive.
You Are Important
The way we treat ourselves says a lot about how we feel about ourselves. If you want to be seen as important and respected, then you need to treat yourself that way. Making yourself a priority tells everyone around you that you matter. But it’s more than just your physical appearance. Meditation, self help books and positive affirmations can help to boost your confidence and thought process. Reading, writing, doing puzzles, painting, crafts or games improves brain functions, making you smarter. Self care does not make you selfish because you are worthy of just as much attention as everyone else.
You Are In Charge Of Yourself
A long time ago, you depended on someone else to take care of you. As you grew older, that task was handed over to you. You learned how to bathe, feed and dress yourself and you learned how to shop, cook and clean up after yourself. You learned how to take care of you. And then you became a mother and the task of having to take care of someone else came into the picture. It’s hard to juggle taking care of kids and yourself at the same time. You can find someone to help you take care of the kids, but you will always be responsible for taking care of yourself. Self care does not make you selfish because you are the only person who can take care of you.
You Are An Example
Now that you are a mother, everything you do is an example to your children. They learn by watching you. So when you take time for yourself, they learn that you are important in your own right, and not just their snack slave. They learn that it’s necessary to take care of yourself and to do things that make you happy. This is an important lesson for your children to learn. If they don’t appreciate it while they’re young, they’ll look back on their childhood when they are parents themselves and realize the importance of self care. Self care does not make you selfish so raise a generation of humans who understand that.
It can be simple to incorporate self care each day of the week, as long as you have a plan.
As a parent, the days are long and filled with taking care of the needs of everyone else but ourselves. We hear all this talk about self care but it sounds overwhelming, time consuming and impossible. It’s easy to start but hard to keep it up.
So try to set a simple self care goal each day of the week. Here’s a sample plan for self care that will help you take care of your body’s physical and mental needs, without requiring a lot of commitment.
Try these 7 days of self care this week, plus download a printable tracker so that you can keep up with it!
Monday: Move Your Body
No one likes Mondays. The weekend is over, everyone is groggy and the boring, mundane tasks begin all over again. You’re going to need to pump up your energy levels in order to make it through the rest of the week. Coffee can only do so much.
So today, make an effort to move your body in some way.
Clear a spot on the living room floor and do some simple stretches. Yoga is an excellent way to move your body, and there are so many different benefits of yoga! Dance to at least one entire song. Plank for 30 seconds. Do some crunches or lunges or jumping jacks. Go for a walk around the block or ride your bike.
It doesn’t have to be a full workout, just move your body! Exercise is a great form of self care and will boost your mood for the rest of the day, if not the week.
Tuesday: Take an Epic Shower
You’ll probably need to shower several times throughout the week and if you’re a busy mom like me then they’re probably really quick and you’re listening for a kid the entire time. But hey, that’s motherhood, what can you do?
Reserve some time today to take one, epic, glorious shower.
Pick a time when someone else is watching the kids (TV shows and iPads count) even if it means you need to get up a little earlier or go to bed a little later. Crank up the hot water and USE ALL THE PRODUCTS! Mask your face, deep condition your hair, exfoliate, moisturize and shave your entire leg and not just the bottom 1/4 that shows when you’re not wearing socks.
The rest of the week may go by in a blur and you won’t have this chance again, so make it count. A hot shower and some pampering can do wonders for your mood, mental health and skin!
Wednesday: Clean out ONE closet
…or drawer, or cupboard or room. But be careful not to get carried away with this one. I don’t know about you but I have several closets and drawers filled with all kinds of junk. And I know that moving junk from one closet means I’ll throw it into another closet full of junk and then feel obligated to clean that one out too.
You only get to do ONE.
Next week, you can tackle on another one. Start small, like that junk drawer in the kitchen or the cupboard underneath your bathroom sink. You can make a list of all the areas you want to tackle and scratch one off each week.
You might not think of this one as self care but I promise you will find mental clarity and a sense of peace once it’s done. These areas are always at the back of our minds, and the longer we procrastinate them, the more unproductive and lazy we feel. This sense of unaccomplishment can affect our self image and confidence. It’s amazing how proud we can feel just by cleaning out ONE closet.
Thursday: Get Creative
Tapping into your inner creativity is a great way to boost your mood and help keep your mind sharp. If you don’t think of yourself as a creative person, then maybe you just haven’t found your strength yet. Creativity comes in so many different forms.
Today, use your skills to create something.
You can do some type of craft, paint, color or draw a picture. Try starting a longer term project like a paint by numbers kit. Make something out of salt-dough or paper. Knit, sew, crochet or string some beads into jewelry. Bake something delicious or try a new recipe.
Kids love to be involved in these kinds of activities, but moms are often busy cleaning up spills and helping with supplies. This time, make sure that you sit down, embrace the mess and get your hands dirty. Week after week, you’ll find that your skills will improve, and your mind will be beaming with possibilities.
Fridays aren’t the same as they used to be before kids. Friday nights were something to look forward to, and we’d be checking in with all our friends to find out where the party was at. They’re not nearly as exciting anymore but that doesn’t mean we have to stop socializing.
Make it a point to socialize with a friend in some way today.
Get dressed up, do your hair and makeup and head out for a girl’s night, or date night. Invite a fellow mom over for a play date, or have a sweat pants and taco night in with your bestie. If that all sounds too exhausting then just call up a friend and chat. You can still socialize without having to leave the house if you need to.
Our social connection needs to be expanded beyond Facebook and Instagram. Our mental health suffers when we keep ourselves locked away from the outside world. We need to see other people and have real, human connections. It’s good for our mood to hear another person’s voice and feel their touch. Laughing with friends is like group self-care!
Saturday: Go Outdoors
Finally the weekend is here! What better day than a Saturday afternoon to spend some time outdoors? Weekends tend to be busy for young families, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fit in some fresh air time.
At some point today, do an outdoor activity.
This could be as simple as sipping your morning coffee on the patio. Or you could plan this day in advance and head out on a camping trip or hike. Be spontaneous and take the kids for a picnic at the park. Yard work and gardening are great ways to be productive outdoors. Even if the weather is cold, bundle yourself up and spend at least 10 – 15 minutes outdoors in the fresh air.
Being outdoors is considered ecotherapy and it has amazing mood boosting benefits for everyone. There are even several health benefits of being outdoors. You should try to spend some time outside every single day. And we’re talking about self care, so relax while you’re out there. Don’t feel obligated to do something strenuous or physical. Napping outdoors is amazing, just make sure you’re in the shade.
At the end of a long and busy week (or beginning of one, depending on how you look at it) there is one thing that is essential to mental health and self care. You need to get some proper sleep. Sleep deprivation is one of the most dangerous factors when it comes to mental health, so don’t ever underestimate it.
Make sure to get in some extra sleep today.
You can sleep in, take an afternoon nap or go to bed early. Try your best to work your sleep schedule around whatever else you have going on today, but make it a priority. If you’re struggling with insomnia, there are things you can do to help you sleep better. Use a weighted blanket or try diffusing some essential oils while you sleep.
You’re going to need to keep your strength up to get through another week of motherhood and if you’re running on fumes, you won’t do any good. Sleep is so incredibly important for maintaining our mental health, especially for moms suffering from postpartum depression or anxiety. Sleeping in is not a luxury or reserved only for Mother’s Day – it’s a necessity!
Practicing self care during pregnancy can benefit moms as well as their growing babies.
Expectant mothers have a lot on their minds, in addition to making it through the discomforts and excitement of pregnancy. These pregnancy self care tips are something all moms can try in order to ease symptoms of prenatal depression, anxiety, stress and to ensure a healthy 9 months for both mom and baby.
Pregnancy is a time of massive change in a woman’s life, and becoming a mom brings the most significant life transformation ever. Society tells us that pregnancy is a magical time, and while this is true, it is also a time of many other emotions too.
Many women can feel overwhelmed by the prospect of their impending arrival and may feel anxious about what they will experience as life as a parent. With such a life-changing moment just around the corner, it can help to put some self-care habits into place to help you feel as prepared as possible for your new baby’s arrival, and to make the rest of your pregnancy as relaxed as it can be. As soon as you find out that you are expecting, subscribe for monthly Bump Boxes to make your pregnancy go smoothly.
Eating a healthy, balanced diet is of course always important, but doing so in pregnancy can feel like a challenge if you are suffering from morning sickness, or worse still, hyperemesis gravidarum. Trying to eat a diet which is as healthy as it can be is not only a great way to keep yourself feeling good but could also keep your baby healthier in the future too.
According to the Early Life Nutrition Coalition, the First 1000 Days are a crucial time, where your diet can impact on the chances of your child becoming obese in the future, and can also affect them having allergies. What you eat at the preconception stage and throughout pregnancy is worth considering carefully to get your child off to the best start in life.
Mindfulness is a powerful tool to use in life in general but can come in especially handy during pregnancy and your life as a parent. Mindfulness is all about bringing your attention to the present moment and letting your thoughts come and go. With regular practice, mindfulness becomes second nature for use at times of anxiety and stress.
Keeping calm, and practicing mindfulness should help you from worrying about future scenarios, and past events, enabling you to focus on the here and now, and yourself and your baby.
During pregnancy, you will probably need to change your existing exercise routine if it could be unsafe to follow during your pregnancy. Although you may have to put your usual routine on hold for a little while, you can try out some completely different activities instead, which will provide you with some gentle exercise.
Pregnancy yoga is a popular choice of exercise, which is no surprise as it offers many reputed benefits. Pregnancy yoga enables you to focus on your growing baby without all the interruptions of everyday life to disturb you. Your yoga session should fit well with your mindfulness practice, meaning that you can relax and exercise all at the same time, which should leave you feeling much calmer after the session. Joining a pregnancy yoga class is also great for making friends with other local expectant moms, and if you keep in touch, your baby will have a ready-made friendship group as soon as they are born!
All women experience pregnancy differently but one thing remains the same. It’s a time to prepare for the changes ahead. Once baby arrives, life will become significantly different. Taking the time to focus on yourself now, means that baby will also benefit from your peaceful state. Using some of these pregnancy self care tips will give you a head start for maintaining your self care routine once you’re juggling the demands of a newborn baby.