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How do you practice self care as a busy mom? It’s a challenge I believe many of us mommas struggle with.
About a month ago I was feeling a little blue, and couldn’t seem to get my joy back. I was struggling, because, lets face it, as stay at home moms, or working moms, we are constantly busy, cooking, cleaning, caring, doing, doing, doing, and never reaching the end of the list of things to do. It can get overwhelming!
So Why do I feel like I’m just spinning my wheels day in and day out? Feeling frustrated and worn down?
I decided I needed to take a look at the times I felt my best
When I get down in the dumps about life, I try to work backwards to find my way out. When was the last time I felt the most productive and positive? What were the key ingredients that helped me feel my best?
When my twins were born it was all I could do to keep my head above water. Exhaustion was so overwhelming, and with endless diaper changes, and feedings almost nothing got done. But one thing got me through… Exercise!
Even when I had only 2 hours or less of sleep the whole night, as long as I moved my body for 30 minutes every single day, I felt like I had actually gotten a decent night of sleep!
I put in a workout video most days, or took a walk. Moving my body was my life line! During that time of my life it was as important to me as eating, or sleeping. It had to happen or my day would be horrible, and I’d be unable to function.
Now that I’m out of the baby stages, and I get a full night of sleep, it’s easy to forget how important exercise still is. I have slipped out of the habit of intentionally moving my body daily.
So I’m adding it back into my routine! It’s amazing the difference in my mental health! I feel so much more prepared for my day! My mind feels quicker, and my body doesn’t feel as lethargic. I have more energy to tackle my house work, and when I don’t get it all done, I still feel like I’ve been productive!
For the last couple of years I did the last 90 day challenge, and the 5 to thrive. You can find out more about that here. Something I had never done was to practice gratitude. Daily writing down 5-10 things I was grateful for.
What a difference that made for me!! Even when life was hard, and there were so many negative things I could focus on, when I daily journaled my list of gratitude, I could look beyond the present struggles and see all the joy that was in my life!
So I’m putting that back into my daily routine. No matter that life is tough, and frustrating things seem to pop up daily, when I make my focus joy and gratitude those negative things seem to dim in comparison! I really have so much to be grateful for!
#3 Drink plenty of water
This seems like a no brainer, right? I feel thirsty, I drink water. My body will tell me when I need water, right?
Wrong! I am usually so caught up in my day that I forget to drink water until evening when all is finally quiet again! So bad, I know! If I don’t make it part of my routine it just doesn’t happen!
How much water is enough? Ideally I will drink my body weight in ounces of water, but that’s a lot of water! So I’m starting with 72 oz. or 12 cups of water a day. Then I’ll work my way up to were I need to be. By the way, I love these lids for drinking from mason jars! You can find them here Mason jar lids with straws.
I’m finding the easiest way for me to get my water in is to fill a mason jar up with water and divide my day up into sections.
- My first jar is done by the time the kids are up in the morning.
- The second jar is done before lunch.
- And my third jar is done before the evening routine.
- Ideally I get another jar down before bed. That will come!
#4 Wake up before my children
This is my top tip for how to practice self care as a busy mom!
There were times in my life that this really wasn’t possible. I had to squeeze this time in when I could. But now that I get a solid night of sleep, waking up an hour or more before my children is totally doable! I don’t always want to, but I love this time to myself so much, that it has been pretty easy for me to keep doing it.
It’s the one thing out of all my strategies that has kept me going through this year. It’s also the single most important thing I do that will help me accomplish all my self care needs. If I get this early morning time in I can do all the things without the distraction of my sweet little people!
Here’s my early morning routine: how I practice self care as a busy mom
- Prayer and bible study
- Drink my water
- Writing my list of things I’m grateful for
- Reading a book that focuses on my own personal growth
- 30 minutes of exercise (this often happens later in my day)
I think as a mom, I get so caught up in the growth and spirituality of my children that I forget to work on my own growth and spirituality! I give and give, and forget to take time to fill myself up again so I can keep giving.
Prayer and meditation relieve the mental stress I carry around with me. Trust outside of myself, in something bigger than me gives me peace when life seems to be out of control.
Why putting myself first is how to practice self care as a busy mom
#1 My needs are just as important
I must focus on my own mental, physical, and spiritual health, not only that of my family.
I so easily get swallowed up in the needs of everyone else, so I need this daily goal of putting myself first! That is so hard for me to even write! It sounds so selfish! But I actually take better care of others when I care for myself first!
It’s like the oxygen masks in the airplane! When I was younger I thought it was so wrong that the parents were told to put on their mask first, then their child’s. But now it totally makes sense! Put on your oxygen first so you can help your child, otherwise you will be of no use to anyone.
#2 These actions are actually good for me!
- Of course I already know that exercise is good for me physically! However, another side effect of exercise is that that it releases the good hormones in my body to actually make me feel better mentally!
- Drinking water purifies my body!
- Taking time in the early morning for prayer and growth keeps my brain sharp.
- Being grateful keeps me focused on the positive, which in turn tells my brain to be joyful over the smallest of things!
I’m writing this as a gentle reminder for myself
But I hope that it has also inspired you either to action, or has encouraged you to keep working on you!
If it has inspired you to action, what is one thing you will start doing for yourself first?
If you already practice self care, what are some things that help you stay mentally, physically, and spiritually active? I’d love to hear from you.