What Self Care Really Looks Like (Hint: It’s Not a Vacation or Spa!)
Self care is a popular buzzword in the mom community, and for good reason! Being a mom is tough and exhausting, and you need to fill your cup in order to be able to take care of your family. But self care doesn’t have to be big and elaborate; read on to see what self care really looks like in your day-to-day life!
I don’t know about you, but I have a toddler at home and a limited income, so I’m not going to be jetting off on any moms’ vacations or fancy spa days. Ain’t nobody got time – or money – for that. But self-care doesn’t have to look like a 5 star hotel, and you don’t have to think that you just don’t have time/money/energy for some self-care in your life. Read on to find out what self care really looks like for the average mama.
Here’s the actual definition of self-care: the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.
That’s it. Preserving or improving your own health. Not spoiling or pampering yourself or anything outrageous (although there is certainly nothing wrong with the occasional splurge to spoil or pamper yourself!).
So what does self-care look like in your day-to-day life if it’s not the spas and resorts and steakhouse?
Self-care looks like getting dressed in the morning.
It doesn’t have to look buying a whole new outfit.
It may be tempting to stay in your pajamas or yoga pants or athleisure all day every day, especially if you’re a work-from-home mama or a stay-at-home mama. But, resist that urge. Get up, get dressed, comb your hair and brush your teeth every weekday and it’ll make a world of difference. When I don’t get dressed, I feel sloppy, gross, and honestly, less confident about myself. Getting dressed – even in jeans and a t-shirt or sweatshirt – makes me feel put together and my confidence and mood are instantly lifted.
Self-care looks like taking 10 minutes a day for yourself.
It doesn’t have to look like a long bubble bath and wine.
Pick something that you really love doing, something that is just fun. Maybe you like reading, or playing a game on your phone, or watching t.v. Choose a time of day that you can dedicate 10 minutes to yourself every day. For me, that’s reading a book right before I go to bed. For you, it might be getting up 10 minutes early to watch t.v. and drink coffee. Whatever it is, knowing that there are 10 minutes where you are not thinking about kids or a messy house or work will make you instantly feel better. Here are 8 self-care ideas that each take 20 minutes or less!
Self-care looks like learning to say ‘no.’
It doesn’t have to look like buying pretty fancy planners to keep filling up every bit and square.
As a mom, woman and people-pleaser, I’m inclined to say ‘yes’ every time someone asks me to do something. And then I look at my schedule and realize I’m so overbooked that I’m not sure how I’m ever going to do it all and still have time for my family. Learning to say ‘no’ means learning that I need some empty blocks in my days (and even whole empty days) to spend in my home with my family. Learning to say ‘no’ means saying ‘yes’ to things that really matter and things you are seriously passionate about.
Self-care looks like fancy coffee or a new nail polish.
It doesn’t have to look like a fancy dinner out or a new high-end item.
Once a week, I splurge and get fancy coffee from Starbucks (loving their ICed Cloud Macchiato! is omg!). To me, that treat (knowing it’s just coffee and Aldi-creamer the rest of the week) perks me up, makes me feel a little more put together and special, and just feels like a special way to take care of myself. Sometimes I like to splurge on a small-ish item when I’m out shopping – something I wouldn’t normally buy, like a book (get yourself this one!) or nail polish (love this pregnancy/baby-safe one!).
Self-care looks like a ‘no-dishes’ dinner every once in a while.
It doesn’t have to look like hiring a babysitter and going out to dinner.
I’m not advocating for spending a bunch on eating out – but go for it if you want to! I don’t like to use paper plates often, because they create waste, but every once in a while, I just need a no-dishes dinner. That means eating leftovers that I can heat up on paper plates and we can eat with our hands or plastic utensils. It means nothing else is going to pile up to be washed or to squeeze in the dish washer. It means dinner is cleaned up in just a couple of minutes. Instead of cleaning up and washing dishes after dinner, I’ve got 20 or 30 extra minutes to play with my family or do something for myself. A small, simple way to give yourself the gift of time when you’re feeling overwhelmed.
Self-care looks like taking a walk.
It doesn’t have to look like an expensive gym membership.
Even if I can’t get away without my mini, I take him with me and go for a walk. Walking, especially if I can get outside, is so stress-relieving. It is active, so it releases all the great endorphins. And breathing in the fresh air and getting some Vitamin D is one of the best ways to improve your health! If I have my mini with me, we start out in the stroller so I can walk quickly and burn some energy. We walk to a place that’s not along a road, so it’s safer, and I let him get out and do some walking too. Letting him walk is a form of self-care, too, because the more energy he burns, the calmer he’ll be for me the rest of the day!
Self-care looks like drinking enough water.
It doesn’t have to look like pricey spa treatments.
Drinking enough water seems almost too basic to be proper self-care, doesn’t it? But I’m totally serious! When you drink enough water, you get so many benefits. It boosts your skin health, making you look better. It boosts oxygen’s ability to move through your body, making you feel better. Drinking enough water helps your digestive system and your brain, so you feel and think better.
Self-care looks like buying a houseplant.
It doesn’t have to look like growing an entire garden or visiting a tropical island.
I admit it – I am the worst at keeping houseplants alive. I do well with Camden and the cat and dog, because they are very vocal when they’re hungry. Plants, though- they don’t say anything. But, plants are great for your health. Plants like anthurium help reduce stress levels, and plants like orchids help purify the air in your house. Plus, a flash of bright color in the dark, dreary winter can be an instant mood lifter. House plants are very affordable, and you can enlist your family to help you remember to water it!
Self-care can be big or fancy if you’ve got the time or financial means for it. And every once in a while, if you can splurge for a massage or spa day or vacation without kids, you totally should. But in the daily, weekly, monthly grind, self-care looks different. Small, simple habits or treats can help you take care of yourself without breaking your bank or taking time you probably don’t have or want to give up.
If you enjoyed this post, please subscribe (and get a freebie) and make sure you never miss a post!