It feels like just yesterday when you were playing rec volleyball, working out daily, spending Sunday’s food prepping/baking/napping, sleeping 10 hours a night and reading books in the sunshine because you could. These days you likely spend your time navigating piles of laundry, adding to your to do list, carting the kids to their activities, getting bills paid, microwaving dinners and crashing into bed by 11 if you’re lucky (only to be woken up multiple times during the night). How did life change so fast? Having a family is amazing, but …. Having a career is amazing, but…. Having this house is great, but……oh why can’t there be more hours in the day for just a little bit of me time!
Before becoming a mom, you may not have even used the words personal time or work/life balance, you didn’t have to think twice about making time for you, you just did it. And now you dream about it all the time AND you struggle with feelings of guilt when you think about taking time away from your children to practice self-care. But here’s the thing: self-care is anything that you need in order to be happy, confident, and whole. Self-care is a basic need. And all us moms could do a better job at taking more of it.
But how? How do I find the time? Here’s the most important piece of advice when it comes to adding in a new habit: just start. Start somewhere. Anywhere. Start by adding it onto your calendar. Start with little bits here and there. Start with just 5 minutes once a week. Stay consistent and get into the habit of making the time for you. Before you know it that 5 minutes might turn to 50 minutes. I also find it extremely helpful to identify time traps when I am trying to find time for important new habits. Getting rid of time traps are a great way to open up some time for you. Take a look at how you currently spend your time and look for ways to get rid of unimportant things and look for ways to maximize those little bits of your time more effectively.
Once you have made room for self-care, it’s time to rethink WHAT acts of self-care you could be practicing on a regular basis. After watching this week’s Facebook Live on the Move Eat Play group (www.facebook.com/groups/moveeatplay) to help you rethink your idea of what self-care is, use this list of ideas to add regular selfcare into your days and weeks:
- Read a book for fun, alone, in a quiet location
- Lay in the grass
- Write a gratitude list
- Take a walk by yourself
- Buy yourself flowers
- Go for a drive to nowhere
- Wake up earlier and drink a hot tea by yourself
- Try a new recipe
- Practice random acts of kindness
- Clear your schedule for half a day
- Ride a bike
- Walk in a forest
- People watch
- Donate your unused items
- Practice deep breathing
- Turn off your phone for a day
- Be present
- Do nothing
Notice, there was nothing about bubble baths or spa weekends away in there? Though those are amazing in themselves they aren’t always realistic and what we really need is consistent habits that we can eventually put into our everyday. I recently heard the term soul-care. And I loved it. What we choose to do needs to fill our soul and not just ourselves. It needs to run deep and fill our cups right to the bottom. So, your mission on this week ahead is simple: whatever is good for your soul, do that and do it as often as you can <3