Everyone talks about the importance of self-care, but when it comes to actually doing it, it's often a constant struggle for moms.
Whether you work outside the home or stay at home, your schedule is jammed packed. So it's easy to put yourself last. But in the end, I believe the longer you put yourself last, the worse you feel.
There was a long period of time where I was not prioritizing myself. And it definitely can lead to exhaustion and burnout. Which in the end is obviously not good for your family, friends, and overall health.
Self-care is defined as any activity that we deliberately do in order to take care of our mental, emotional, and physical health. Therefore, self-care will look different for everyone. One may enjoy going to the gym while another person may enjoy sitting quietly on the couch with coffee for 30 minutes before their kids wake up.
So how can you prioritize self-care, even when you feel too busy to put yourself first?
- Start small and go from there. Start with planning 10-15 minutes of self-care time daily. Examples of this can be meditating, journaling, reading a book, putting the phone down and enjoying your coffee or tea, a quick workout at home or a walk. Start in small increments and increase from there.
- Make it a daily habit and be realistic. It may not be doable to exercise for 45 minutes daily or get a pedicure every week, right? (hey, a girl can dream!) But a 10-15 minute walk, bubble bath or reading a book before bed instead of scrolling social media is more realistic.
- Put it on the calendar. WRITE IT DOWN in your planner or to-do list. Don't put it last- make it FIRST! Prioritizing yourself is NOT selfish. Please repeat that out loud to yourself now. If you still feel too busy to find 10-15 minutes of me-time, you may need to re-evaluate your commitments and make some sacrifices. Talk with your spouse about how you can get a little time each day of self-care.
- Let the benefits of self-care inspire you. What is the end result when you focus on taking care of yourself as well as your family? You may notice improved sleep, more energy, or that you are not as irritable or frustrated. You're also likely to feel more motivated to focus on your goals and your overall health will be better. Once you begin noticing the effects of prioritizing yourself-you won't want to stop!
- Own your priorities. If something is important, you will make time for it. I know that's hard to accept, but it's the truth. If your goal is weight loss, but you don’t make time to exercise and meal prep, then you are setting yourself up for failure before you even begin! We all have busy days but we all have 24 hours each day. If our priorities really matter to us, we need to make time for them in our busy schedules. Remind yourself of what you're choosing to prioritize and why this matters to you.
When you don't prioritize yourself, it's impossible to give the best of yourself to your loved ones. The saying “you can’t pour from an empty cup” is true and I found this out after having twins. That's why I am so passionate about helping other moms feel and look their best. I’ve been there- and it ain’t easy! But I am here to support you every step of the way. And if you're looking for more tips and inspiration, come join our community, The Healthy Mama Huddle, where you can connect with other moms committed to improving their health!