If you’re a Mom, chances are pretty high you have a huge to-do list. I’m picturing your to-do list right now. It probably includes things like “make dinner, fold the laundry, and buy new school shoes.” Boring, I know. But these things gotta get done, right?
What about YOU? Is there anything on your list that’s just for you, and you alone? Half an hour for a bath? Some time at the end of the day to curl up with a book? Even just a walk around the neighborhood?
If you answered yes, congratulations!! I am thrilled that you’re taking the time you need to refresh and recharge.
However, if you’re like many Moms, your self-care never gets on the list. We’re so busy with the practical, everyday chores that it may not even occur to us to add our own needs to our “to-do” list.
The “Taboo” of Self Care
If you’re not taking care of yourself, it’s not your fault. So many of us are guilty of this! The reason why it’s such a problem is that there are so many myths and taboos related to self-care.
I invite you to reconsider negative myths you may believe about self-care. It’s not selfish, expensive, or overly time-consuming. It’s what we all need to be healthy, energized, and at our best.
Once you reevaluate self-care, you’ll realize it’s one of the best things you can do for your health. It’s a win-win because not only will it make you healthier and happier, it will also make you an EVEN better Mom.
Myth 1: Self-Care is Selfish
Perhaps the most damaging myth of all is that self-care is selfish. How can we even begin to take care of ourselves if we feel that by doing so, we’re bad Moms?
Friends, there are plenty of bad and selfish things that we can do. But trust me, taking care of ourselves is not one of them. Here are some reasons why taking care of ourselves is not selfish:
- When we exercise and eat right, we will have more energy to give to our families.
- When we take care of ourselves emotionally, we have more patience with our families (that’s a polite way of saying less screaming …).
- When our children see us taking care of ourselves, we set a wonderful example for them.
- When we feel better (emotionally and physically), the day-to-day struggles get easier. Although life with kids is never easy, when we’re in a good mood and feeling well, life flows smoother and feels less like a daily battle.
If you’d like to learn more about giving up the guilt on self-care, click here to read about why self-care is the most important thing you can do as a Mom.
Myth 2: I Don’t Have Time for Self-Care
The next myth is almost as damaging as the previous myth. Moms may know that they need self-care, but they tell themselves they just don’t have time.
My friend, if you are one of those Moms, I invite you to use your creativity and realize that you have the time you need to take care of yourself most days.
- Little bits add up. You can do little bits of self-care throughout the day. If you’re in the office or busy at home, you can sneak in little mini-self care routines into your day. For example, you can sip lots of water throughout the day to hydrate yourself, you can take five minutes (lock your bathroom door) and meditate, perhaps you can take a walk during lunchtime or in the early morning. Self-care isn’t all or nothing. Doing little bits throughout the day add up.
- Reevaluate routines. Another way to add self-care into your life is to reevaluate your routines and switch things up — just a little! For example, if you usually start Sunday morning being woken up by little ones, perhaps you can set your alarm clock to wake up 15 minutes before the kids usually come in. These 15 minutes can make the difference between a good day and ….. our usual day. Having a few quiet moments to drink some coffee or do some stretches before being bombarded by kids is a beautiful thing.
- Developing different habits. This is my favorite way to squeeze in self-care without adding any time to your day. Make it a habit to do self-care!! Habits are incredibly powerful and can change your life — for the good or the bad. If you develop great habits that help you care for yourself, you’ll be doing self-care without thinking about it. Start with one easy habit (such as going to bed 5 minutes earlier than usual) and build up to adding more great habits to your life. It’s a game changer.
Myth 3: I Can’t Afford Self-Care
Self-care is not about getting a manicure every blue moon or going on an expensive retreat to the Bahamas. It’s about doing things every day that nourish your body and soul. It’s about going to bed at a decent hour, eating healthy foods throughout the day, and spending the time to relax. You don’t need to spend extra money to do self-care. What you need is an attitude and mindset to start taking care of yourself. That’s free!
Here are some examples of self-care ideas that cost nothing:
- Enjoying a cup of tea before the kids wake up
- Going to bed 15 minutes early
- Writing in your gratitude journal
- Drinking lots of water throughout the day
- Taking a walk outdoors
- Reading a book
- Calling a friend
- Enjoying a hobby
Get Started with Self-Care
Now that we’ve dispelled the myths, I hope you will consider adding some sprinkles of self-care to your day. It’ll change your life!
My recommendation for beginning your self-care journey is to start small. This article is full of suggestions you can do that won’t overwhelm you. Don’t worry if it sounds “too small.” Even a little bit of self-care adds up and can have a big impact.
Think about how you feel when you get just a little more sleep than usual. It makes all the difference, doesn’t it? Or how about drinking a little more water than usual?
The key is to start small and stay there for a bit. Don’t choose five things to change. Change one at a time and see if it makes a difference it makes in your life.
I’m excited about your journey and wish you every happiness as you begin to enjoy the energy and joy that self-care gives you.
Let me know in the comments below if you have any questions or thoughts about self-care myths.