“Your style, fashion & beauty will suffer if you don’t take care of yourself. Therefore, self-care is extremely important!”
Unfortunately, this is a lesson I had to learn the hard way.
There was a time when I wouldn’t hesitate to indulge in self-care. Things like trips, treats, trinkets and time alone were regular habits that I took for granted and never imagined I’d ever be without. Through it all, I never thought that treating and taking care of myself may one day be considered self-fish.
Then I had children.
Suddenly, I found myself being self-less, catering to their every need, all the time. Meanwhile, my self-care became less and less of a priority. No more trips, treats, trinkets, and time alone.
As a wife and mom, I especially missed my alone time.
Additionally, I was convinced it was pointless to enjoy some self-care. I told myself, “I dare not treat myself because the mom guilt would be so overpowering I wouldn’t enjoy the treat anyway. So what’s the point?”
Does this resonate with you?
If so, then my 6 day self-care strategies cheat sheet can help you!
Most moms I know never question their mom guilt and just get on with their long to do list. I used to be that kind of mom. Then I realised that this was doing no one any good, especially not me. I had to learn the hard way that constantly being on the go without a break or a treat will cause things like, illness, stress, overwhelm, exhaustion, anxiety and frustration.
When you are stretched too thin, you’re unable to appropriately take care of your children, your husband and others around you. By ignoring your mom guilt and giving yourself regular self-care, you can decrease the pressure that has been building up over time. Regular self-care also results in a nicer, calmer, more patient and tolerant momma. It also makes you more energetic and less exhausted. The health benefits to your immune system are also a bonus. You’ll be healthier and happier when you take care of you.
It doesn’t matter how you take care of yourself. What matters most is that you actually do make time for yourself, without the mom guilt to make you feel bad about it.
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Here’s how to take care of yourself, relieve your stress and not feel guilty.
1. Learn To Love Yourself
Learn to love yourself. I don’t mean you should be a know-it-all, conceited, narcissistic, so and so. No one likes a know-it-all.
I mean that you should learn to appreciate yourself for who you are and what you do.
Learning to love and appreciate yourself is the start of self-care. After you get used to loving and appreciating yourself for all that you are and all that you do, you’ll be amazed how much more you appreciate those around you.
As a busy momma, I know that it can be hard to appreciate yourself because of all the extra time and energy it may take from your busy schedule. However, it’s so worth it to stop and just remind yourself of your successes, big and small.
Don’t dwell on the mistakes, the obstacles, the setbacks, and the disappointments of the past. See each and every life experience as an opportunity for learning and improving your future.
Like fine wine, you just get better with age and experience.Like fine wine, you just get better with age and experience. Click To Tweet
It’s important for you to ignore the haters and the critics. One of my favourite quotes says,
“Don’t be distracted by criticism. Remember ~ the only taste of success some people have is when they take a bite out of you.” Zig Zigler
One of my favourite songs has a line that says,
“Hey ladies, hey fellows, you know you’re doing good cause they’re jealous.” Usher
So love and appreciate yourself so much that your love and appreciation spills over unto those around you, like your husband, your kids, your relatives and your friends.
After you’ve learned to love and appreciate yourself, your confidence will increase. This confidence boost will help you be better able to solve whatever change, challenge or chaos inducing thing that life throws at you.
Top Tip: Take 30 minutes to write, rest, read, or relax every evening before bed
Writing, resting, reading & relaxing are all an excellent way to unwind after a long day. Habitually doing one of these things every evening will rejuvenate your mind & replenish your body without the mom guilt of sacrificing something else on your endless to-do list.
2. Give Yourself A Daily Dose Of Tender Loving Care (TLC)
You know how you are always in mommy mode, ready to dish out the hugs n’ kisses and make everything all better with the right words at a moment’s notice? Do the same for yourself. Sometimes, the same TLC that you so naturally and freely give to everyone else, you need to save some for yourself.
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I know that we moms can be our own worst critic at times. We are the first to be too hard on ourselves. So, I’m reminding you to give yourself TLC. If necessary, to avoid that inevitable meltdown, take that break right now.
Find a way to help yourself feel better, before continuing to cater to everyone else. What does this look like for you? Does it mean getting your husband/relative/friend/babysitter to take care of the kids for a bit while you go to a movie, a spa, an art gallery, or somewhere else you weren’t able to visit since having babies? Or maybe it means, leaving the chores for another day and just chilling. Trust me, the world won’t stop spinning if you leave the laundry, or the dishes alone for another 24/48 hours.
Better still, if you can, bribe someone else to do the chores for a change. Your children, your husband, anyone… as long as you get some time to yourself.
Top Tip: Take a break from the kids
If your home is anything like mines, then you know that things can get manic with kids, especially early mornings & bedtimes. Take a break and get away from it all once in a while. Ask your hubby, a friend, or a family member to take charge while you rest and rejuvenate so you have the stamina to get through another the day.
3. Stay Strong, Focussed & Positive
For many mommas, I know it’s hard to stay strong when it comes to self-care. You may start off with the best intentions but then slowly return to your old habits of taking care of everyone, except yourself.
I understand that sometimes life gets in the way. You can easily lose focus and beat yourself up. It is normal for you to sometimes feel defeated or deflated. During these times, self-doubt causes you to nurture negative thoughts about your life and your circumstances. If you keep comparing yourself to others this will only make bad matters worse.
“Don’t compare yourself to others. That’s when you start to lose confidence in yourself.” Will Smith
Here are some tips on how to stay strong, focussed and intentionally positive.
- Plan activities, events, or even alone time to look forward to.
- Express your emotions creatively –sing, dance, write a poem, etc….
- Remember everyone who loves you and is cheering for you, like your family and friends.
- Write down your negative thoughts to get them out of your head.
- Remember every mistake/disappointment/setback is a learning opportunity.
- Expect and accept life’s unexpected incidents and accidents.
- Prepare in advance for when you have an off day. Have little treats, trips and treasures at the ready for when you need cheering up.
- Write down your thoughts for the day and focus on the positive ones.
- Remind yourself that you are amazing and think about all your success, no matter how big or small.
- Try cheering up someone else who needs some positive inspiration.
Top Tip: Get a babysitter just because you deserve a break
Get help from your friend, your family, your hubby, or whoever you can. When they arrive, just do whatever you want without the stress of planning and preparing. Doing something just for you because you can, will motivate you to be happy, positive and focussed in the future when you return to your daily tasks. Don’t be scared to have some fun, just because you can. Why not de-stress while wearing a new dress?
4. Don’t Worry About Being Stressed
Stress is a part of life for everyone. But mom stress takes it to a whole new level. Unfortunately, you can’t wave a magic wand and make it all disappear. The best you can do is try not to worry about being stressed.
I don’t mean burying your head in the sand and telling yourself, “Maybe if I ignore it, it will go away.” I mean that you should learn to manage your stress to the point where it doesn’t cause you a meltdown or a breakdown.
You can change your reaction to whatever stressful events will inevitably happen in your life. If you expect things to go wrong and the unexpected to happen, when it does, then you shouldn’t be so surprised or upset about it.
Your reaction to what happens in life will determine your stress levels. If you are determined that you won’t get upset or stressed out when the kids argue for the billionth time today over who said what, or when the dishes are piled so high you consider investing in disposable plates, or when the laundry basket is taller than you, then you’ll be less stressed and more relaxed.
Worrying about stress only leaves you with little time and energy for patience, tolerance, empathy, enjoyment, and worst of all self-care.
Your loved ones end up getting the worst of you because you’re so stressed out and strung out all the time. They feel unimportant compared to all the other things you’re constantly busy doing, or rushing to do. No one likes feeling neglected, especially by their mommy.
To avoid this, here are a few tips to de-stress.
- Stop overthinking things. You are a superwoman, but you’re also human. Don’t be so hard on yourself because no one knows all the answers. The answers will appear when you least expect it.
- Time heals almost everything. In time things will either get better, clearer, or you will learn from the experience.
- No one is in charge of your happiness and self-care, except you. You are the best person to make yourself happy and satisfy your own wants and needs.
- Don’t dwell on the past that gets you down. Be at peace with your past so that it doesn’t mess up your present or your future.
- Smile. If you can’t do it naturally, then fake it until it becomes real. Look around you and focus on your blessings, not your burdens.
- What others think about you is their business and their problem, not yours. So stop stressing about being a people pleaser.
- Stop being your own worst critic and comparing yourself to others. There will always be greater and lesser people than you. So, why bother?
- Treat yourself often, just because you deserve it.
Top Tip: Have a drink in peace & quiet.
It can be a glass of wine, your favourite tea or coffee, or whatever you fancy. As long as it’s in silence and you can enjoy it in some peace and quiet. This could be after you’ve put the kids to bed at nights, or if you get any time alone when the kids are out. You deserve a drink, darling!
5. Live In The Moment & Enjoy It
My 6 year old son has a nasty habit of asking for things he wants in the future. He does this before he even enjoys or shows appreciation for what he has now.
For instance, last week we went to watch a movie. During the trailers, he asked if he could come back to watch one of the movies being advertised. Before he even saw the movie we brought him to see, he was already moving on to the one he wanted to see in the future. Instead of enjoying the moment now and appreciating the movie he was about to see, he was busy focussing on the future.
Mommas tend to think like this sometimes. Instead of living in the moment and enjoying life’s magical memories, we are busy thinking about what has happened in the past, or what we need to do in the future. Before we know it, the moment has passed us by and we can honestly say that we didn’t enjoy it as much as we should and could have.
Remember that your kids will soon grow up and be gone. You don’t want to have a mountain of regrets and misery because you didn’t enjoy those priceless moments when you could have.
So, sit and enjoy that birthday party you spent months planning, instead of worrying about everything being perfect and the amount of cleaning up that will have to be done when it’s over. Look at how much fun your little one and his/her friends are having. Enjoy these magical moments that you made happen. Let yourself be happy in the moment.Enjoy the magical moments that you made happen. Let yourself be happy in the moment. Click To Tweet
The cuddles and kisses with your hubby, the bedtime stories with your little ones, those tickle fights with the family, that bubble bath you looked forward to for ages, enjoy them all as they are happening.
Top Tip: Enjoy your own company however you want
There’s nothing wrong with living in the moment and enjoying your own company. It’s healthy to just be by yourself so that you can think clearly, enjoy a good book, watch your favourite show, take a scenic walk, exercise, or do whatever makes you happy & keeps you sane. Try to make it something fun and don’t end up cleaning the house or doing the laundry. Those dreaded tasks will still be there later on. Believe me, there are far more exciting things you could do with your time than doing the dishes.
6. Move It, Momma
Even as a busy mom, it is important to take care of your health. One of the best ways to do this is to get moving and exercise. Exercise is great for helping you tackle the changes, challenges and chores that life throws at you. So if you think you don’t have time to exercise, think again.
Remember, you don’t need to stress about getting an expensive gym membership to get some exercise. To get moving, all you need is some space and some music at home or wherever you prefer.
If you think you’ll feel guilty exercising alone, avoid the mom guilt by playing songs that your kids can also enjoy. Play upbeat songs you all can enjoy and have a crazy dance party in the living room. Or you and the kids can go to the park and have a blast playing tag, or just running around having fun.
Exercise is also an excellent option to add to your self-care routine. It provides many benefits and helps you look and feel better about yourself.
Some of the benefits of exercise include:
- Reduced stress, anxiety and depression, giving you more confidence.
- Causes increased endorphins, which will make you happy.
- It also causes more serotonin, which will calm you.
- Faster healing and recovery after giving birth.
- More energy to cope with the daily demands of motherhood.
- Quicker return to pre-pregnancy fitness and shape.
Top Tip: Make moving even more fun by doing it with your girlfriends/family
You don’t have to go to a gym to get moving. Just meet your friends & enjoy doing something fun without the guilt. You’ll still burn calories by going shopping or even just walking around in the park, a museum, or an art gallery. You and your girls can even go to a theme park and enjoy a day out being a kid again. The walking around and waiting in lines is a cardio workout in itself. How about booking a weekend away, or even a concert, or club that you and your girlfriends can really look forward to and dance the night away. The possibilities are endless.
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Self-care is extremely important. You need to release the mom guilt and indulge in some serious self-care intentionally, and regularly. If not, you won’t be able to give 100% of ourselves to anyone or anything. Intentional and regular self- care gives you more energy, helps boost your immune system, makes you feel calmer, kinder, and more in control of your emotions.
Intentional and regular self-care also helps restore your ability to care of others in your life like your children, your husband, family and friends. If you doubt this, think about when you’re on a plane. You’re told to adjust your own mask before assisting others. If you’re passed out, how can you help your loved ones? The same is true in your day to day lives. Practising self-care is not being selfish. On the contrary, it’s one the least selfish things you can do for your loved ones. So, it’s time to let go of the mom guilt and invest in some serious ME time, moms.
“Your style, fashion & beauty will suffer if you don’t take care of yourself. Therefore, self-care is extremely important!”
To take care of yourself, relieve your stress and not feel guilty.
- Learn To Love Yourself
- Give Yourself A Daily Dose Of Tender Loving Care (TLC)
- Stay Strong, Focussed & Positive
- Don’t Worry About Being Stressed
- Live In The Moment & Enjoy It
- Move It, Momma
If you haven’t already, don’t forget to download these 6 spectacular strategies to help you enjoy some ME time!
What self-care habits do you have, or need to start working on today? Let me know in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you.
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