As mothers, we are usually the last ones on our priority list. There is so much to do . . . for the house, for our jobs, for our partners and pets, and especially for our children. It can leave us with little to no time for ourselves. With self-care making a comeback and more people recognizing the importance of “me time” and mental health, people are speaking up and making themselves a priority again. We moms need to do the same. Because, as they say, it’s not “me first,” it’s “me too.” Moms matter! So if you’re looking for some items that can help you put yourself back on your to-do list, we’re sharing our self-care necessities for moms that we love and recommend.
Did you know that the human body is 60% water? That is A LOT of water! You’ll be amazed about how good you feel if you can commit to drinking between 14-16oz (close to 1 gallon) of water a day! As a mom, it can be tough to find the time and brain width to remember to hydrate, but commit to making your hydration a self-care necessity. Do what you need to do to get yourself there. Filter it or make it sparkly! Put a gallon of water on your counter in the morning and see how far you can get through it. Buy a cute water bottle! Drink through straw. Squeeze some lemon in that water! You’ll feel and look your best, promise.
2. Reading Material
It’s amazing what a little bit of quiet time and reading can do for the brain. Whether you pick up a magazine, novel, or trendiest non-fiction, taking the opportunity to focus on something other than your own thoughts is so good for you. This is a big self-care necessity. Lose yourself in a character’s drama or pick up a new recipe to remind yourself that, yes, your brain can think about something other than dirty diapers or whether the dishwasher needs to be emptied. Find ways to make this an achievable self-care goal: subscribe to your favorite magazine, invest in a portable e-reader, or subscribe to audible.com to listen to books in the car or on headphones while you do chores.
3. A Walk
Get outside. Remember when you had a little newborn and she would be inexplicably fussy and if you walked outside all of a sudden she would calm down? You work like that, too. Strap on your baby, grab the jogging stroller, and hook on your dog’s leash. Or even leave the kiddos with their dad for some much-needed alone time, but get yourself outside at least once a day for some self-care. The fresh air + endorphins from the exercise will do wonders for your mental health. Ready to step it up a notch? Take a walk with a friend or put on your headphones and call up a buddy while you walk.
4. Time Spent in a Shower and Hygiene
Taking a shower (alone) is not selfish! It’s a self-care necessity! It’s okay to put baby down or hand her off to your partner in the evening so that you can take 30 minutes for yourself. Light a candle, put on music, and make your bath or shower a sensory activity. Really soak in the feeling of the warm water, take that extra few minutes to do a face mask, and use the bath bomb you’ve been saving up.
5. A Pleasant Sleeping Space
It is truly amazing what a neatly-made bed will do for your mood. Not only is it simply the best to get into crisp sheets at night, but it also effects your mood throughout the day. Looking at an unmade bed in your home is mentally chaotic and cluttering. Additionally, work to keep your bedside tables tidy. Keep only what you need on them: a lamp, a small clock, the book you’re currently reading, and maybe a candle or a framed family photo. Keep all of the rest of the clutter tucked away. Invest in your bedroom as a sanctuary with textiles, fluffy pillows, and serene art. Try to put your phone away 30 minutes before bed too, and invest in smart lightbulbs that you can dim and make warmer (more conducive to sleepiness!).
6. Fresh Flowers
Freshly cut and arranged flowers can brighten up any room and any mood. Flowers don’t need to be just for special occasions. Whether you ask your spouse for some fresh flowers once a month or create your own flower delivery subscription to uplift your mood, that special delivery will bring a smile to your face and a new fragrance in your home. You can also plant a flower garden in your yard and create your own arrangements. And if that’s too much, stop by the flower section at your local grocery store and grab yourself a small bouquet. Place that arrangement somewhere in your house that you will often see it, smell it and enjoy.
7. A Night Off from Cooking
What’s the best thing to have for dinner? . . . Anything you don’t have to cook. Am I right? Take a night off from cooking. Maybe your partner can step in and grill something for dinner for the family. You can also order take-out, or delivery or use any of the new apps that delivers food to your door; Favor, Uber Eats, GrubHub, etc. Sometimes self-care even looks like cereal for dinner. And that’s okay. The kids will survive (and they may even enjoy it) and having a break from worrying about dinner is well deserved.
8. Space to Journal
Moms experience so much throughout the day. We witness big and small moments and tackle never-ending to-do lists, but we also have goals and dreams of our own. Whether you journal in your planner or like to write about your day in a traditional journal, having a place where you can write and express yourself is good for your mind and your soul. It’s a place where you can write down what you experience, feel your emotions, process your thoughts, and express gratitude. We have so much to be thankful for as mothers and a journal can help us document and memorialize it all.
9. An Outfit That Makes You Feel Great
You don’t need a reason to dress up those yoga pants! In fact, you also don’t need a reason to wear real pants! You can, and should, dress for yourself. That might mean adding an easy accessory to spice up your athleisure wear, investing in a colorful pair of rainboots for a gray day, or getting yourself a diaper bag that’s more about you than it is about the diapers.
10. The Word “No.”
The greatest thing we can ever learn and do for ourselves is to learn how to say no to what’s not working or to what’s not best for us at the moment. This is a self-care necessity for everyone. Learn how to turn down invitations nicely: thank you so much for thinking of me, but I’m going to lay low tonight. Say no to the relationships that aren’t supportive and a source of joy. This is something that takes practice. Not everyone is very good at saying no, and this definitely applies to mothers. But once you have mastered the art of kindly saying no, it’s a gift that keeps on giving back to yourself.
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