Learning self-care tips for moms is vital for our physical, emotional and mental well-being.
Many often view self-care for moms as being selfish, having no time for, or a form of luxury.
And while you may know it can be good for you, let’s be honest. Between getting kids ready for school, drop-off’s, work, ball practice, and homework, there is most likely no time or energy left in your 24 hours.
Am I right?
Well guess what, taking the time to make yourself a priority everyday is also one of the most important things you can do for you as well as your family.
Learning and practicing self-care tips for moms holds a strong power on how one views everyday life.
Setting time for you improves health and happiness, even in the simplest moments.
It aides in becoming more productive at work.
And, it helps moms to care for their family with more pride and patience.
In the end, allows you to do the things that you want to do.
Self-care helps your mind, body, and spirit to relax! It also helps to refuel and rejuvenate your energy and focus.
And while it is one of the most sacred things we as moms should practice, it is most often neglected.
We get pulled in so many directions as moms and often times just want to throw our hands up in the air!
But, as motherhood is a wonderful, long-lasting adventure, it is important to not lose care and focus on you too!
My goal for sharing self-care tips for moms from a nurse mom is to serve as a reminder to love yourself and work towards re-discovering what brings you joy!
This is something I am constantly preaching both in my clinical practice as well as wellness coaching.
Because by taking more care of your wants, needs, and desires, you will become a better mom, person, friend, wife, and servant of the big man upstairs.
You can view self-care tips in various ways.
Below, I mention some simple things that you can do daily, weekly, or monthly.
But I also love how others view self-care as three different levels.
- Focusing on the simple and minimalist requirements such as rest and safety.
- Nurturing your mind, body, and soul.
- Investing in yourself to grow, transform, and evolutionize.
You can read more on these three different levels by visiting the African American Wellness Project.
Here are some of my most recommended self-care tips for moms:
*Get up in the morning before everyone else.
This allows you to focus on your ‘mom goals’ whether it be time to read, exercise, meditate, enjoy coffee outside, or journaling. I often times recommend to patients starting a gratitude journal.
Initially, they may look at me like I’m crazy! But, I suggest starting with writing two sentences before going to bed of something that occurred that day that they are thankful for. This is a slow process of retraining the brain to automatically going to the positive things in life instead of the negative, which it so easily does.
The 5-Minute Gratitude Journal is a great one to get started with. It provides insightful prompts that make it easy to get your thoughts and emotions flowing.
If you would like to learn more about journaling, check out how it can help with having compassion fatigue also in Compassion Fatigue: 30 Warning Signs for Frontline Workers in 2021.
* Schedule in ‘ME’ time.
Moms especially need to make this a priority. We are always taking care of everyone else, maybe working full-time, or even having to juggle a million things on our mind. By taking time for yourself, this may include getting up early, leaving the office for lunch, taking mini breaks at work by sitting outside for 10 minutes, or pampering yourself even if it is once a month.
Yes, a massage plus a mani/pedi sounds wonderful! And, I highly encourage taking the time to get these. But pampering yourself can even mean something small such as buying yourself a new nail polish color, magazine, or a pair of earrings. Have you ever bought yourself flowers? You deserve them. Or, take time to escape for a 20 minute cat nap or even a hot bath. Treating yourself is a powerful self-care tip for moms as it releases serotonin, which is the hormone responsible for our mood, well-being, and happiness.
* Explore your passion, goals, and dreams.
It is time for you to re-discover your passion and dreams in life. Think way back when, before having kids, what did you want to do? What did you enjoy before becoming a mom? You will not find your joy, happiness, or purpose if you don’t allow yourself to step out of your comfort zone. Don’t worry about what others may say or think. They will do that anyway. Worry about who you are now and what you feel in your heart is missing. Then go out and get it.
‘If you don’t go after what you want, you’ll never have it. If you don’t ask, the answer is alwasy no. If you don’t step forward, you’re always in the same place.’
*Practice positive affirmations.
Believe it or not, but our mindset can have a huge impact on how we feel about ourselves and where life will take us. Practicing positive affirmations is now-a-days endorsed by most psychiatrists as well as healthcare providers even. It helps to improve positive self value and activates the pre-frontal cortex to boost serotonin levels in the brain. A few simple steps to get the most benefit from practicing positive affirmations is to start when you wake up in the morning, repeat at least three times, and create it based on your personal, health, and career desires.
* Take family adventures.
Now, I know you may be thinking this is the last thing you could do for some self-care. It involves tending to the kids, planning, and possibly stress overload. However, it can also have a huge impact on your health and happiness. Think about it, what makes you happier than anything else? Your family. So, why not find fun adventures to do together and enjoy the outdoors with the kiddos. Life is short and there will come a time where we yearn to have these moments back. Plus, doing things together as a family has a huge role on your children’s mental health, behavior, and future relationships.
* Practice box breathing.
This has huge benefits to improving self-care for moms as well as those that suffer from anxiety, stress overload, PTSD, and so much more. Some may see it as ‘resetting’ your breathing pattern, but it works by allowing your body to relax, re-focus, and clear whatever is going on in the mind. An example, lets use the number 4 and imagine taking breaths in the shape of a box. You will inhale for 4 seconds, hold your breath for 4 seconds, exhale for 4 seconds, and wait for 4 seconds before repeating. I would suggest doing this exercise for at least 5 minutes throughout the day or when something occurs that you have a history of getting anxious about. For example, driving to Walmart when you have severe social anxiety.
* Lower your expectations.
Whatever is going on in your world, whether it be trying to design the best costume for the school play or make the highest sales quota for the month, allow yourself to fail. By putting more pressure on yourself, you add more worry, stress, and loss of joy. This brings zero benefit for learning to take better care of you. Allow things to fall into place and learn to not sweat the small stuff. You will be so glad you did!
* Be silly.
This is my favorite suggestion to self-care. It is a time to re-visit your inner child silliness and share moments with your kids. At my house, we often times turn up alexa and dance in the kitchen like no one is watching. Well, that’s how it use to be until Tik Tok and a 10 year old came along. Other ideas would be singing as loud as you can, go outside to yell at the top of your lungs, play in the rain, and make time to have fun with your girlfriends too.
The most important thing, however, is remembering to laugh! This is the best medicine for the soul.
* Go to bed early.
This is one suggestion that I need to work on myself, as I’m up typing this blog at midnight and on a school night. By getting plenty of sleep, your biological clock is able to realign with its natural rhythm and later prevent chronic disease. Adequate sleep also helps to lower your stress level, promote mental well-being, have an effect on weight, and increase productivity the following day. If you are one that has trouble going to sleep, I highly suggest trying a weighted blanket!
Learning new self-care tips for moms is like learning to walk for a baby.
Learning and practicing to put yourself first takes time, practice, and patience. We are automatically programmed as mama bears to put everyone and everything first, until now.
Be kind to yourself.
And remember, there will be setbacks and times of guilt. Buty, by taking a moment to recharge, we actually can become a happier and more productive mom.
I challenge you to start taking time to practice these self-care tips coming from a nurse mom herself as well as sharing some of your own in the comments.
Jessica Berry, APRN
If you feel like someone could use some of these tips, share it on social media or invite them to follow.
And don’t forget to pin this post to go back to from time to time.