As a mom, it is easy to overlook your own needs. We spend so much time attending to the demands of parenting and put ourselves last. However, practicing self-care is vital for your overall well-being and ability to navigate the challenges of motherhood. In this blog post, we'll look at the importance of self-care for overwhelmed moms and provide practical strategies to prioritize your well-being amidst the demands of parenting.
Understanding the Importance of Self-Care for overwhelmed moms:
First, let's look at why self-care is so important. We have heard over and over again we should do it, but is it really that worth it when I have a million other things on my plate? YES! Self-Care is a crucial aspect of maintaining balance and preventing burnout for moms. By nurturing your physical, emotional, and mental well-being, you can better meet the needs of your family with renewed energy and positivity. Okay, so how do we do this?
1. Identifying Your Personal Self-Care Needs:
We are all different so it makes sense that we all have different needs. We also know that we are different from our pre-mom self. The self-care needs we used to have are going to be different than the ones we have now. I mean look at me, I used to hate doing the dishes and going grocery shopping and now they feel like breaks! To figure out what self-care looks like for you, take a moment to reflect on your personal needs and preferences. Do you like alone time, social time, time to get dressed, time to workout... Think about the activities that rejuvenate now that you are a mom. These may have changed from your pre-mom self. What are some activities that bring you peace? If you spend time reflecting on what will actually be self-care for you, rather than just trying something you saw that worked for someone else, you will have a more effective self-care plan.
2. Incorporating Self-Care into Your Daily Routine:
Discover simple and quick ways to incorporate self-care into your daily life, without adding stress or complexity. Consider the following ideas:
Morning Intention Setting: Begin each day with a few moments (like the one minute you have to pee in the morning) of quiet reflection, meditation, or deep breathing exercises to set a positive tone and establish a sense of calm.
Mindful Moments: Embrace mindfulness throughout your day by fully immersing yourself in the present moment. Savor a cup of tea (even if there is chaos around you), take a walk (put the kids in the stroller), or engage in a creative activity with undivided attention (after the kids go down for the night, break out the adult coloring book!).
Delegate and Seek Support: Remember that you don't have to do it all alone. Reach out to your partner, family members, or friends for support. It is okay to be afraid that people will say no, and easy to think that asking for help is burdening others. Give people a chance to show you that they are there for you! Delegate tasks and responsibilities to free up time for self-care activities. Set up boundaries for yourself and communicate them!
Establish a Self-Care Ritual: Dedicate specific time each day to focus on self-care. Again, this can mean anything that feels rejuvenating to you. Taking a walk without the family, meeting up with a girlfriend, yoga, meditation, journaling, or engaging in your favorite hobby. Treat this time as a non-negotiable appointment with yourself. If the day doesn't go as planned, we all know we have days like that, move the appointment around rather than canceling on yourself.
Don't know where to start? Here are some self-care ideas for all areas of life. Explore self-care practices in multiple areas of your life to get a holistic sense of well-being:
Engage in regular exercise routines that you enjoy, like yoga, dancing, or walks in nature.
Prioritize nutritious and balanced meals
Get enough rest and sleep.
Treat yourself to relaxing activities like massages, spa days, or indulging in a pampering session. (yes, you can task this to your partner if you do not have the extra funds)
Use journaling as a tool to process and release emotions.
Cultivate self-compassion by speaking kindly to yourself.
Seek joy by engaging in activities that bring you happiness, or spending quality time with loved ones.
Establish healthy boundaries with technology to create designated "tech-free" times. (we all know we get stuck doom scrolling)
Stimulate your mind through reading, puzzles, or pursuing a new interest. (maybe photography! I mean, we take enough pictures of our family right)
Practice stress-reduction techniques like deep breathing, mindfulness, or meditation.
Overcoming Barriers to Self-Care and Prioritizing Yourself: Recognize and address common barriers to self-care with these tips:
We know that self-care is important, and yes it is still hard to prioritize! It will feel hard until you build the habit of taking care of yourself before taking care of everyone around you. Here are a few things to keep in mind while you are working on building this habit.
Release the Guilt: Self-care will feel selfish at first because you are not in the practice of prioritizing yourself. I promise you, there is a big gap between selfish and doing something that is necessary for your well-being. Embrace the fact that caring for yourself enables you to better care for your family and is the most selfless thing you can do for them. (This is a work in progress even for me, keep practicing!)
Start Small: Begin with habits that are challenging but doable. If finding time for self-care seems overwhelming start with the first step in doing that activity. If your self-care goal is to workout 30 minutes a day, that might mean that you start off talking the kids for a walk every day for 10 minutes. Eventually with many steps in between, it will turn into a habit of 30 minutes a day with kid free workouts! Even a few minutes each day can make a significant impact.
Seek Support: Connect with other moms or join supportive communities where you can share experiences, gain insights, and discover additional self-care strategies.
By prioritizing self-care and implementing these strategies into your routine, you can enhance your overall well-being and effectively navigate the challenges of motherhood. Remember, self-care is not a luxury but a vital investment in your own health and happiness. You deserve to prioritize yourself and enjoy the benefits of a well-nurtured mind, body, and spirit.
Hi, I’m Kristina Anzell, I am a Clinical Social Worker dedicated to providing compassionate and tailored mental health support for moms at all stages of motherhood. My mission is to empower you to thrive in your role as a mother while nurturing your own well-being. If you enjoyed this blog post, check out my blog here! If you want more information or are seeking treatment, feel free to reach out!