Mommy Self-Care to Fill Your Cup
As a mom, you might hear this rumor from time to time that "you must practice self-care." To you, it might sound like a faint and quiet echo, filtering down to you through a veil of diapers and sleep deprivation - a distant voice to which you might rouse yourself momentarily to say, "Self care? Who has time for that?"
As a mom, your instinct is to give give give. But there is truth in the adage that you cannot pour from an empty cup. So, in order to give, you must first have something to give.
So, how can you take care of yourself in a way that makes your cup runneth over?
The 5 key components of mommy self-care
Type in self-care on Google and you might come across pictures of spas and massages and epic shopping excursions to the mall. All of these things sound great, but they might not be telling the whole story. For revitalizing self-care, there are 5 main components:
Physical: movement and health and wellness
Spiritual: focuses on cultivating a sense of peace, self-love, and purpose
Intellectual: intellect and mindset
Social: feelings of belonging
Mental/Emotional: building resilience to stress and anxiety, feeling safe in one's body, feeling stable and secure
How to achieve these 5 components of mommy self-care
Carve out time to do what you love
You will probably have mom-brain most of the time as a mom, but remember that you have other identities besides mom. Take time when you can to do the things that bring you joy.
Practicing gratitude is one of the best ways to increase joy and wellbeing, because it is an intentional focus on the good rather than the bad. When you wake up in the morning or before you go to sleep, count the things you're grateful for or keep a gratitude journal.
Boundaries are oh so important in every relationship. Boundaries are limits that say what you are and aren't willing to do. Practicing and enforcing boundaries in a healthy way also lets people know how you want to be treated. So by honoring your boundaries, you are taking care of yourself in a very profound way.
Having healthy boundaries also helps you to respect other peoples' boundaries including your partner's and your children's, which means a happier, healthier home life. Plus, it teaches your children what healthy boundaries look like so that they feel comfortable and secure in their relationships.
Rely on your partner (if you have one)
Take turns getting up in the middle of the night when the baby cries, or watching the baby when one of you needs to get some exercise. You and your partner are each other's best resources.
Enjoy your partner
Also on that note, carve out time to spend with your partner just the two of you. Maintaining a healthy, loving relationship will create a happier home and a happier you!
I don't know about you, but I can't accomplish anything when I don't get any sleep! We all have to give some things up when we have kids, but sleep should be non-negotiable.
Remember BC (before kids)
Bring something back that you used to do before you had kids. What's one hobby you had before children that you miss? Is it possible to start integrating that back into your life? If so, go for it!
Be gentle with yourself
Practice loving, positive self-talk. Forgive yourself if you make a mistake.
Have a growth mindset
Learn from your mistakes and focus on improving your relationship with yourself.
Limit Social Media
It might be tempting to scroll through Instagram when you have some downtime, but too much time on social media takes us away from the things that connect us to ourselves and to the things we love. Plus, it's hard not to compare ourselves to photo-filtered moms!
Have a creative outlet
Do you love to draw? Write? Dance? Make time for these things in your life.
Being in nature invigorates us and fills us a sense of awe. Get outside on a walk, a hike, or even a picnic to reconnect with yourself.
Do nice things for your family and for others. Being kind and giving helps us attune with others and creates bonds, enhancing a sense of wellbeing and belonging.
Have a purpose
Why do you get out of bed in the morning? What drives you? Find out what this is and strive toward it. Setting goals, big or small, toward your purpose also helps to fulfill your sense of why.
Practice being present
Unfortunately, living in the past and the future seems to come much more naturally than maybe we would like. We worry about the future (anxiety) and we fret over the past (depression). Living in the present creates a better sense peace and allows you to be fully engaged with the ones you love.
Having a space free of clutter feels more restful. Plus, less clutter means fewer things to put away which means less work and less mess which ultimately means.... More time for mommy self-care!
As silly as it sounds, self-care does not always come naturally. Especially when you have tiny humans that you love so much you would do anything for. This is wonderful! But it's exactly why you need to practice self-care. Do these things and find your own self-care routines to have a cup that runneth over.