I’m sure you’ve heard it before, make sure you're getting adequate rest, eating plenty of healthy food, and drinking ounces upon ounces of water. Of course you set out with the best of intentions, but when little hands reach up to you full of longing, just as you’re about to scarf down leftovers, you put down the fork and oblige those chubby little hands. Before you know it, it’s 3 in the afternoon and you realize all you have consumed is the lukewarm coffee that you have microwaved four times already. This season filled with tiny little humans who demand your attention every waking moment can be exhausting. It is so easy to put your needs on the back burner with the promise that you will eventually get to address them. But I am here to tell you that although in the moment it seems like your crying baby or whining toddler needs are more important than yours, they are NOT. Yes, I just said their needs do not trump yours. The day I realized that I needed to take care of myself FIRST instead of last, was the day that I started to feel human again and could devote more energy and love to my sweet boys. I am going to share with you FIVE of the ways that I have learned to incorporate self-care into the mix.
- Wake-up early- I know this probably sounds like the opposite of self-care but for me, it has made all the difference. Having 30 minutes to an hour by MYSELF before the boys wake-up is worth more in weight than gold! Those blissful moments help me to feel human, alive, and positive about the day!
- Be Realistic- There used to be a time in my life where I could get everything done on my to-do list as well as get showered, dressed and ready for the day, however, that time is LONG gone! And I’m ok with that! I give myself permission to have days where not all or even half the things on my list are checked. Realizing that being present in the moment with my boys instead of worrying about everything I need to get done has helped me to feel grounded and less stressed. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not like this everyday, but I allow myself to have days where the dishes stay dirty, the laundry unfolded, but instead I am outside blowing bubbles and collecting rocks.
- The power of THREE- I have learned that if I take my top three priorities for myself I can realistically accomplish TWO of them in a set amount of time. This is what it looks like; I can either a.) sleep in, b.) take a shower, or c.) drink my coffee (while it’s still hot) before my boys wake. I cannot however do all three without waking up at an unholy hour. I usually settle on taking a shower and a cup of joe! Another example is; I can either a.) do laundry, b.) start on supper or, c.) clean up while my boys are happily playing. See what I mean? By breaking down your priorities into groups of three and then choosing your top two you can start to chip down that to-do list into manageable chunks. Most days this works well and I have found that I can almost always get two of my three items accomplished before the boys implode.
- Give yourself a gift- Being a mother is HARD, whether you’re a stay-at-home mom, a working mom or somewhere in between, being a mom is a full-time job and then some! So be kind to yourself and pick a treat once a week. This could be as simple as going to the grocery store ALONE, or treating yourself to a Starbucks, or going for a walk, just do something small that makes you happy and doesn’t involve taking care of your kiddos.
- Get Active- Exercise and vitamin D are miracle workers! Getting outside and enjoying the fresh air can do wonders for your health both mentally and physically. So strap those kiddos into the stroller and go for a walk, or take the kids to the park, just get outside and move!
So there you have it, the five ways I do a little self-care.