Whether you’re sending kids back to school, preparing yourself or a partner for a return to in-person work, or simply caught up in the whirlwind that is the season change from summer to fall, it’s surprisingly easy to forget the piece that holds everything together, YOU. Now is the perfect time to be practicing self-care for mom, as you’re busy caring for everyone else!
Moms make countless to-do lists: back-to-school, weekly meal planning, household chores, birthdays and anniversaries – IYKYK, right? But how often do you put yourself on those lists? Or more importantly, do you have one specifically tailored to YOUR needs? Well, before the hustle and bustle of school activities and the eventual holiday sprint sweeps you up, I’m here to give you the permission you might be looking for to do just that. And as they say, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
5 Easy ‘You’ To-Do Actions
There are plenty of things you can be doing every day to practice good self-care for mom and keep yourself on that to-do list. Or maybe, you’re ready to make a checklist dedicated just to your needs. Either way, here are some easy changes you can make in your routine to keep yourself focused, healthy and happy:
Move for at least 20 minutes a day
I say “move,” not exercise, because YOU should define this time. Yoga, walking, running, riding a bike – no matter the level of intensity, the goal here is to give yourself a change of scenery and get your heart pumping. The physical AND mental benefits of moving your body more as a self-care practice have been found to have amazing benefits on your stress levels, heart health, and quality of life.
This one feels hard – and silly – but there’s a reason practice makes perfect. Start telling yourself daily affirmations while you’re washing your face at night or putting on your makeup in the morning. Then take the next step, and put those affirmations to work in your everyday life. Trade the Insta-perfect-moms scrolling on social media for an extra book at bedtime, or better yet…
Go to bed earlier
Science continues to prove that an early bedtime pays off in spades for your mental and physical health. But it doesn’t always seem doable with the never-ending list of things to do. Self-care for mom means making yourself a priority and should include placing your health and happiness above those other to-dos that can wait until tomorrow (I’m looking at you, dirty dishes). Setting a bedtime reminder on your phone and implementing a no-screens-before-bed rule for your own bedroom are great, small steps you can start tonight.
Pick up or carve out some me-time for a hobby
Maybe you have a hobby you want to practice more often, or pick up entirely. Do it! Before you were ‘mom’, you were a person with dreams, ideas and time to yourself. Set a great example for your kids by demonstrating what it means to make time for the things that make you smile, laugh, and feel accomplished. You could shoot for the moon and start taking classes doing something for yourself, or you could start small with your own adult coloring book and crayons – either way, chose something that brings you joy, and make time for it.
Hug someone or something you love
When I’m at peak anxiety levels, my therapist always reminds me to go hug someone for at least 20 seconds. Which in the hug-moment, feels like an eternity! But there is something to be said about the extended warmth, comfort, and connectedness in hugging for just a few moments more. When my hubby is home, I reach for him. But if I’m solo, my dogs make great backup cuddlers!
If you haven’t yet, check out some of the great Self-Care posts on Lansing Mom already. We may be limited in time as moms with the weight of our little ones’ worlds on our shoulders, but grocery shopping for the family, doing the dishes, or going to the bathroom uninterrupted is not self-care. Self-care is making yourself a priority so that you can be the best mom you possibly can be. And hey, in my opinion, you already are – so you deserve some time to yourself!