Hey there, shiny new mama! Hangin’ in there? I know you must be so busy that it probably seems like you barely have time to even read this blog post! Becoming a mom is one of the single best feelings out there. However, it also happens to be one of the most exhausting jobs there is. When I had my daughter, I remember one day where I didn’t eat anything but some yogurt all day long. Sure, newborns sleep a lot. But they also poop a lot, and eat a lot, and the list goes on and on. You are SO in the trenches caring for your baby that you forget to care for yourself, and then by the time your partner comes home from work you realize you kind of forgot to eat. When you don’t care for yourself, you aren’t going to be the best you can be for your baby or the rest of your family. This is a fact.
What Is Self-Care?
Self-care is a phrase you have probably been hearing a lot lately. It is all about giving your body, mind, and spirit what it needs to perform and be an ultimate beast at whatever it is you do. It is exactly what it sounds like. You are CARING for YOURSELF.
Self-care can mean lots of things. There are just two qualities that self-care must have: an activity that makes you feel relaxed and something that helps you to be a better you. Why is it so easy for us to shove our own needs aside for someone else’s? As a mom, it is raw intuition that tells us to put our baby first at all times. But mama, you have got to remember to fill your own cup. If you don’t, you will run yourself ragged and lose sight of who you are BEHIND THE MOM.
But I am a mom. What else is there?
If you are a mom, then you know what I am saying when I state that being a mom is the most important role I have ever had. I am directly responsible for a little being and forming her core values. I am responsible for influencing her core qualities, like respect and honesty, and teaching her how to be a good person. That is a lot of pressure, and I gladly accept all of it! With all of these new responsibilities, it is SO easy to get caught up in the thick of motherhood and forget that you are still you!
You still have your own likes and hobbies. You still have things that you are passionate about. There is still always room to improve yourself and reach your personal goals. Behind the mom, you still have hopes and dreams. And THAT is so cool! Embrace it.
Ask yourself: Who am I behind the mom? What is it that I love and that makes me feel good? Where do I want to go from here? I encourage you to create a life of balance for yourself. A balance between being the awesome mom you are and who you are in your core. Wake that soul person up!
One way to do that is with #selfcare. So I have compiled a guide to self-care for you so that you can take care of the person you are behind the mom, and in turn be an even better parent to your child! Help yourself in order to help those around you. Isn’t that just beautiful?
How to Start Your Own Self-Care Routine
Below I outline some things to keep in mind when creating your own self-care routine that you can start up AT ANY TIME! You don’t need any special products or programs. You can create a routine that works for you with or without the ideas listed. That’s right, these are just ideas. Nothing is set in stone here and I encourage you to do your own research and come up with a routine that truly makes you feel refreshed and amazing. You are so worth it!
Here are some guidelines to keep in mind when planning your self-care routine:
- Schedule this time with yourself! Write it down. Set a phone alarm. Whatever you need to do to keep yourself consistent. Have you ever heard that you should pay yourself first when it comes to money and budgeting? Well this works the same way. Care for yourself first! The only way to make sure you do this self-care routine is if you have it at a certain time of day that is consistent with your schedule.
- Next, think of what relaxing things you can do at home. When you keep your self-care routine at home, there are limited excuses to not follow through. You don’t need to drive or walk anywhere to get this going!
- Since this is a new routine, I suggest you start with only one or two rituals in your self-care routine. You don’t want to overload yourself because then you won’t make this a habit. Select just one or two important self-care rituals that make you feel best! I say ritual because this time for yourself should be sacred. Maybe you will want to choose one ritual that takes longer and one shorter ritual. Another option is to have one ritual that you do only a couple of times a week (like a bubble bath) and one that you do daily (like journaling).
- Don’t think too hard about this! Your self-care routine can include as much or as little as you want! You don’t have to do anything extreme that you have never done before. In fact, I recommend you choose things you HAVE done before so you are comfortable and confident in keeping up with this routine. You can add something new to your rituals in the future when you feel like you have a solid routine down and want to master something new.
- Be realistic. Don’t schedule 2 hours each day for your self-care routine if you know you won’t have this daily time to work towards your wellness. If you feel like you only have 10 minutes per day to dedicate to your growth and self-care, then go with that to start. Be kind to yourself. With starting a new habit, make it attainable and so that it fits YOUR life.
- Set a goal! The best way to stick to something you want to do is by setting a specific goal for yourself. Write it down or tell a friend. When you communicate this goal in writing, you are setting the intention and putting it out into the universe. Say it out loud to yourself to attract the energy you want to surround your goal. If you tell a friend, then you have an accountability partner! Challenge your friend to create his/her own self-care routine and take charge, too!
Common Problems With Developing a Self-Care Routine
Problem: I don’t have time!
Solution: You will make the time for things you truly care about and want to work on. If you want to treat your mind, body, and spirit to love, support, and growth, then you will make the time for it. It’s as simple as that. If you are a stay at home mom, you might choose to have a routine that is during your baby’s morning nap. If you work, then try to schedule your routine early in the morning before your baby wakes up or later in the evening when your baby is in bed. If you have a partner, tell them this is important to you so they can watch your children while you do some yoga or read a book. The important thing here is to make it a part of your daily routine. Consistency is key to sticking with this routine for a healthy you!
Problem: I don’t know what to include in my self-care routine!
Solution: Check out my list at the bottom of this post for some easy, relaxing, and empowering self-care rituals that you can incorporate into your life today!
Problem: I have some ideas, but I don’t know how to put them into a routine.
Solution: Just pick one or two things from the list below! It doesn’t have to be anything crazy. Just take SOME time from each day that you dedicate to yourself and your own growth.
Self-Care Ritual Ideas
These ideas range from simple tasks to in-depth ideas that may take some learning and researching. Go at your own pace and do what makes you feel good. Almost all of these can be modified to fit your life!
- Exercise: Of course exercise is probably the most common of the self-care rituals. Sweat it out! This can be through going for a run, a walk, crossfit, hitting the gym, or any type of activity that you love to do that gets your heart pumping! My favorite is yoga!
- Journaling: This is something simple that anyone can do. Simply write out anything you want! There are some options here. You can simply do free journaling where you just write whatever is on your mind. You can also get a guided journal, such as the Bella Grace Field Guide to Everyday Magic. This has different writing prompts and beautiful images to go along with them. I love this guide and find it is great when you feel stuck or are unsure of what you would like to journal about. You will uncover some things that you didn’t know were inside you, and those thoughts might lead you to some other pretty fantastic breakthroughs.
- Meditation: Yoga International defines mediation as: “resting the mind and attaining a state of consciousness that is totally different from the normal waking state.” Meditation is the act of clearing your mind and being in a state of focus. You are the conductor and get to choose what you focus your mind on. Perhaps the easiest way to start out with mindfulness meditation is to simply set a timer and breathe in and out through your nose deeply, and as you breathe think “in” and “out” with your breath. You can think the literal words, or visualize it going in and out of your lungs. It is truly up to you and there are about a million ways to practice meditation! You can also easily find guided meditation videos on YouTube or in apps on your phone. One of my favorites is 10% Happier. This app was created by the author of 10% Happier, a great book on meditation and how it can change your life (if you let it!).
- Clear the Clutter: Get rid of some of that “stuff!” I am a collector of things. Are you? I don’t want to be! I am trying to get rid of all of the clutter and things in my household that don’t serve me. It is one of my New Year’s intentions! Read more about that here. The Konmari Method states that if you hold something and it doesn’t bring you joy, then get rid of it. She has a series on Netflix now and also a book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up. You can buy the book here; it is sure to inspire you to clear some of your own clutter!
- Reading: This one is simple! Read a book! Choose anything that lifts you. When reading for self-care, I like to either choose a novel that I can get lost in or a personal development book. Both of these make me feel totally engrossed. It really just depends on your mood what you choose, but you can pick whatever reading choice meets your needs. For added ambiance, diffuse some essential oils while you read!
- Bubble Bath: Bubbles not required. This one is my personal favorite! I take at least one bath per week, and sometimes more like three! Baths are so soothing to me. I like to use this bath wash. It makes my skin feel so nice, creates luxurious bubbles, and the lavender essential oils make me feel amazingly comfortable and relaxed. I usually like to tackle two self-care items at once and read my favorite book while I am taking a bath.
- Tea: Drink some tea! In different areas of the world, tea is a ritual. From the preparation to the actual act of drinking the tea, this can be considered a form of meditation in itself. I like herbal teas the best. My favorite is to combine nettle, red raspberry leaf, and dong quai teas to promote hormonal health and more. I drink it right before bed while I read or zone out on a favorite TV show (the binge is real sometimes, y’all).
- Foot Treatment: Okay, so this one might sound gross. But it makes your tootsies feel SO dang good! Our feet truly serve us and do so much for us. We put pressure and weight on them ALL day! What I do is after taking a shower or bathing (I am a nighttime shower person), I use this tea tree lotion and slather it on both of my feet. Then, I put on these silicone socks over it and leave them on for an hour or two. It can be a little slippery to walk, so be careful when moving around with these. I find it easiest to do this treatment right before bed and go to sleep with it. Your feet will thank you!
- Face Masks: There are so many different options for this one. You can try a store bought treatment or easily make your own with items already in your pantry! My favorites that you can buy are this one and this one.
- Change Your Hair: Get a fresh cut or color! Okay, so this one might cost money unless you are super crafty and can cut and color your own hair. If that’s you, major props!
- Go for a Drive: This is one of my favorites, too! Simply get in your car, turn on your favorite music or podcast, and cruise around for awhile. Take in some new parts of town that you haven’t seen before or travel along your favorite back road to get some nature views that fill you up!
- Visualize: This one is REALLY powerful. If you have a big goal in place or an idea you are trying to attract into your life, practice visualization. I used to do this one in the shower daily! Picture what it is that you want, and go through all of the steps to get you there. You need to see it as though it has already happened. You are visualizing what you want and watching it happen! Make sure to feel the feeling as if it has already happened, too. For a great guide, check out this book! Visualization is so much more powerful than daydreaming! After you visualize it, see it, and feel it….
- Practice Positive Affirmations: What is it you are visualizing? Make it an affirmation! What is an affirmation, you ask? You are basically putting your visualization into one simple sentence that you can reread, rewrite, or say aloud over and over again. When you say it, read it, or write it so many times you are bringing it into your subconscious as if it is already yours. Try it! Say it daily and you will believe it, and then let it happen! Manifest your desires!
- Take Yourself on a Date: Whether it be a coffee date or a dinner date, take yourself out! Because you deserve it! I love taking myself to a coffee shop for an hour just to sit and be. I also love going to breakfast or lunch with myself. I find it so empowering!
- Meet Up With a Friend: Maybe you prefer to go with someone else on dates! Great! Go to dinner or that new brewery with your friend! Go on a day trip with another mom friend! It can be anything you want. Just make sure it is a relationship that makes you feel good and someone who has the same values and outlook as you, otherwise it won’t be as positive of an experience.
So as an overview, your self-care routine can be as short or as long as you want it to be. You can have 5 of the items in the above list included or just 1. You can do certain ones on certain days or practice the same routine every night with the same rituals. It is completely up to you! You can easily create a unique routine that fits your life. You will feel SO good once you have a special routine in place and are consistently taking care of yourself!
What’s your favorite self-care ritual? Share with me in the comments!
Now I challenge you to come up with your own self-care routine! Even if it is only one thing per day, make it a plan and put it in your planner or your phone. Write it down so you follow it! Hang it somewhere where you see it every day! Tell your partner or a friend that you are doing this so that you can be held accountable!
What is your favorite self-care ritual? Let me know in the comments!