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.
Moms can never seem to relax without feeling guilty about it, so maybe it’s time we took a lesson from the Danish.
The Danish people are a happy people, despite the fact that their weather is very similar to that of my hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada (a.k.a. Winter-peg). How do the Danes manage to remain so happy despite the long hours of darkness and extreme cold temperatures, while we’re all miserably suffering from seasonal depression over here?
I believe that it has a little something to do with their lifestyle. Specifically, the hygge lifestyle. Learning more about the hygge lifestyle and incorporating it into our own lives can have a lot of benefits, especially for busy moms. It’s not just something that we can practice on the coldest of winter days, but something that we should be mindful of everyday.
Most importantly, embracing a hygge lifestyle can help moms to feel a little less guilty about slowing down and taking care of themselves.
What is Hygge?
Hygge(HOO-ga or HUE-ga) is a Danish word that does not have an exact translation in English. It is used to describe a particular mood or feeling but also to describe the many different ways a person can create this mood and feeling. And that mood and feeling is one of happiness, contentment, peace and warmth.
Hygge is a certain way of living life. It’s about being conscious of your every action and movement. It’s moving slowly and never feeling rushed or pressured to be anywhere or do anything. To live a hygge lifestyle is to focus on the things that make us feel happy and warm on the inside, despite the cold darkness and chaos that’s happening around us.
Similar to creating a self-care sanctuary, it’s important to surround yourself in the proper environment for practicing hygge. While hygge is most popular in the winter months when it’s cold and dreary, it can actually be practiced year round. All you need to create the perfect hygge environment are the right tools.
Being wrapped up in a blanket provides us with a sense of warmth and security. It’s like channeling the spirit of ancient Vikings wrapped in bear skins as we huddle by the fire. You may not have a spare bear skin lying around but a soft sherpa throw or weighted blanket can do the job.
A Quiet Sitting Place
A comfortable place to hang out is definitely a hygge essential. Whether it’s a couch, bed, comfy chair or cushions on the floor – you’ll want to make sure it’s your favorite place to spend some time. Maybe you already have a designated self-care space, or maybe you have to move some furniture around, but find that one perfect spot in your home that you can escape to.
Comfortable Clothing & Wooly Socks
I’m talking about that one pair of sweatpants that you would never wear out in public. They’re soft and warm and worn in (or worn out). Perhaps the waistband is stretched out or there’s a hole in the crotch from where your thighs rub together, but it doesn’t matter because they are the comfiest pants in the world. Comfort doesn’t always have to mean sacrificing style, either. And socks, you have to get the warmest, coziest socks you can find. Warm feet are the quickest way to feel cozy!
Indulgent Foods & Hot Drinks
Another essential part of the hygge lifestyle is the indulgent, soul warming soups and stews, rich cakes and hot drinks like apple cider, hot chocolate or herbal teas. Normally, these are things saved only for special occasions, which is what makes them so indulgent. Eating foods that remind us of holidays or our childhood can boost our moods as we reminisce on happy times. And don’t worry about the calories, because we’ll need all that extra fat to keep us warm in the winter!
A Hygge Weekend
Adopting a hygge lifestyle everyday is not a practical solution for everyone. But scheduling a hygge weekend can be a great way to practice self care and unwind after a busy week. This is also an activity that can be done with the entire family, with benefits for everyone. So choose a weekend where you don’t have anything else going on and schedule it!
Next, make preparations ahead of time so that you don’t need to worry about a thing:
Stock up on candles and matches. (Or firewood if you have a wood burning fireplace!)
Get the ingredients to make a hearty beef stew, indulgent cake and soul warming drinks like coffee, tea, warm cocoa or hot apple cider.
When the weekend comes, get your Hygge on!
Stay in bed for as long as possible.
Wear your comfiest clothing, slip on cozy socks or slippers and wrap yourself in a warm blanket.
Light some candles or a fire in the fireplace.
And then… do whatever makes you happy. Play board games with the family, watch a movie, read a book or take a nap.
Don’t worry about phone calls, to-do lists, housework, or even check the clock.
Use up your cheat days and eat a hearty meal, load up on carbs and indulge in cake and coffee while sitting around the dinner table laughing with your family.
Remember, you’re not being lazy or unproductive – you are embracing the art of hygge. Doing all these things is good for the soul!
The Benefits of Hygge
Hygge encourages us to live with intention and focus on what’s important. Resting our bodies, spending time with loved ones and indulging are all important. Among all of the things that “need to be done” like laundry and dishes and cooking and cleaning, we should remember that these things are just as important.
Often, when we take time for ourselves, lounge around in sweatpants or eat cake – we feel a sense of guilt. As if we should be doing something else more productive. But choosing to live a hygge lifestyle gives us permission to do all of those things.
And while we can’t eat cake and wear sweatpants everyday of our lives, we can remember to move a little slower and take in every moment of every day. We can choose to do the things that make us happiest and instead of feeling guilty, we can feel proud.This is the hygge lifestyle.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Burn some dried sage. The ritual of sage burning can remove the negative energy from within the room (also called smudging).
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 you. You can put on pajamas, a robe or even relax completely naked! Slip on some wooly socks, house shoes or try some toe spreaders.
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.
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.
Do a home spa treatment.Apply a face mask, cooling gel eye mask (or cucumbers), coat your hair in coconut oil and wrap it in a warm towel.
Try dry brushing.This is one way to stimulate and exfoliate the skin while also improving blood circulation and reducing stress.
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.
Drink lemon water.This simple combination has many health benefits, especially for those suffering from depression and anxiety.
Indulge in healthy drinks.Sip on smoothies, green tea or naturally flavored water.
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.
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.
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.