Motherhood is a rewarding and joyful experience, and nobody would contest that.
But it’s also pretty hectic. That’s not changing any time soon. According to surveys, today’s moms are busier than ever, handling childcare, housework, and their own careers.
Does this sound familiar? If so, it’s important not to neglect yourself when addressing others’ needs. Self-care is still essential.
10 Self Care Tips for Moms That Are Actually Achievable
Don’t worry if you feel you have no time to treat yourself. The following self-care tips for moms can help even the busiest of moms find opportunities for self-care.
1. Prioritize Your To-Do List
Creating a to-do list is a simple way to make life less stressful. When you have a clear list of what you need to get done in a day (or week, or month, etc.), you’ll spend less mental energy trying to remember everything.
Make life even easier for yourself by prioritizing the items on your to-do list. Make sure self-care is included among the top priorities. You’re more likely to practice it if you treat it the way you treat any of your other major responsibilities.
2. Write It Out
Again, a to-do list is valuable because it frees up mental energy. Journaling can also have this effect.
You’re a human, just like everyone else. That means, just like everyone else, you probably struggle with worries and unpleasant thoughts from time to time. Writing these thoughts down helps you get them out of your head and onto the page.
It is important to keep in mind that constant negative thinking may be a sign of a mental health issue requiring treatment. Speak with your doctor if this problem becomes overwhelming. However, if you don’t have depression or chronic anxiety, but do feel your unpleasant thoughts get in the way of self-care, writing them down will give you perspective.
3. Listen to Music
Practising self-care is all about looking for every opportunity to treat yourself well. Sometimes those opportunities are simpler than others.
For instance, listening to music you enjoy has been shown to have a positive impact on mood and stress levels. The next time you’re doing chores put on some of your favorite tunes and feel the stress melt away!
4. Combine Activities
Socializing is key to effective self-care. Studies show it offers a wide range of both physical and mental health benefits. Spending time with friends can reduce stress levels, boost immunity, and much more.
Exercise delivers similar results. If you don’t think you have the time for both, combine the two by taking a fitness class with friends or family. It’s an efficient way to double-up on your self-care activities.
Don’t give in to the impulse to “get more done” by sacrificing sleep. In the long run, lack of sleep will actually have a major negative impact on your overall productivity. If you want to take care of your loved ones, you need to get a good eight hours every night.
That’s not to say you can’t set the alarm a little bit earlier than usual from time to time. If you go to bed and wake up a little earlier, you’ll have more time in the morning for calming self-care activities, such as meditation, reading, or simply enjoying a cup of morning coffee.
Broadening your intellectual horizons is a very smart way to practice self-care. It’s also easier than ever these days. During your commute, meal prep, or a similar task, listen to interesting audiobooks and podcasts. The mental stimulation will yield emotional benefits.
7. Modify Self-Care
You do need to be realistic: being a busy mom will involve some degree of sacrifice. You can’t practically indulge in every form of self-care you once enjoyed. That said, you can modify certain activities according to your new daily schedule.
For example, maybe you used to enjoy treating yourself to a day with friends, where you would meet at your favorite restaurant for lunch, then go shopping together.
Odds are good you won’t be able to fit that type of activity into your average day now that you are a busy mother.
Still, you could invite a friend over to your home for lunch, then spend a few hours chatting while also browsing online shops. It’s not the same as going out all day, but it’s certainly better than giving up on your preferred form of self-care entirely.
8. Get Rid of Negativity
Prioritizing self-care may seem difficult at times. When negative energy-zappers are preventing you from focusing on your own needs, it’s easy to, well, lose track of your own needs.
That’s why it’s important to identify which energy depleting people and situations you can cut out from your life. They may include the following:
- Negative “friends” and relatives
- Clients who aren’t worth the energy you waste on them
- Intrusive thoughts that offer no value to your life
- Habits that drain your energy, such as eating poorly (see the next entry in this article)
- Excessive exposure to negative media
Finding out what saps your energy can take time. However, it’s necessary. You’ll be surprised how much more joyful life can become (and how much more self-care you can squeeze in) when you rid yourself of any experiences and circumstances that don’t allow you to be your best self.
9. Eat Well
Food is fuel for your body and mind! Although it can sometimes seem easier to snack on junk food, you’re better off focusing on nutritious meals. (Exactly what I’ve learnt on Noom).
Prepping meals beforehand is a simple way to save time if you often find yourself struggling to eat well.
This is also worth keeping in mind when feeding your kids. Remember to hold yourself to the same standard by preparing foods that your little ones will eat along with you! By prepping meals ahead of time, you can ensure your children are getting proper nutrition without stressing about it every single day.
10. Ask for Help
You’re not superhuman. No one is! As a mom, you might be eager to be and do everything for everyone, but that’s impossible.
Learning to ask for help isn’t always easy. That said, it’s necessary. You already do enough. When you’re willing to let others help (and let them know you need help), you can truly be your best.
That’s important to remember. Despite the name, self-care isn’t selfish. It’s actually one of the best ways to ensure you’re able to care for all the important people in your life.
Rae is a graduate of Tufts University with a combined International Relations and Chinese degree. After spending time living and working abroad in China, she returned to NYC to pursue her career and continue curating quality content. Rae is passionate about travel, food, and writing for Yumble.