Mother’s Day is almost here, and, if you are like, many moms I know, I am going to bet you are too busy to think about how you might treat yourself that day. I am going to further assume most of the time you are thinking about your kids, your marriage, your endless to-do list, leaving little time to focus on yourself.
I am a mom of school-age kids, long past the fog and exhaustion of the early parenting years, yet even I find myself forgetting to take care of my self. Making a more conscious effort to focus on my needs not only improves my mental health, it makes me a better mom and wife. As the old adage goes, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
Mother’s Day is a great time to make the decision to do more for yourself. They don’t have to be huge things. As you will see below, my suggestions do not require a great deal of time and can be incorporated into your routine with a few adjustments.
Find Time For Mindfulness
Mindfulness is a funny word. Aren’t our minds already full? Full of tasks to complete. Full of worries. Mindfulness isn’t about filling our minds; it is about allowing ourselves to be aware of the present. Mindfulness allows us time to pause, breathe and just be. While this can be done through meditation and simple breathing exercises, I find it helpful to have an activity that focuses my energy on a simple task.
For me, painting is one such activity, however, dealing with paints and cleanup can be a pain and detract from the whole point of finding time to relax and just be. This is why I love the Buddha Board. Made with a special canvas that enables you to paint beautiful designs with just a brush and water, the Buddha Board is perfect for when you need a few moments to let your mind go of all the things and just be. Even better, the designs disappear when the water dries up, leaving you with a blank canvas to use again. The disappearing art also serves as a reminder to not get too caught up in the stresses of life and to just let go.
Get Better Sleep
Notice I didn’t say “more” sleep. Parenting makes it hard to get nine hours of deep, uninterrupted sleep. Instead, we have to focus on getting the best rest we can. While we can’t control how much our babies will cry in the middle of the night, or whether our preschooler will wake up scared from a nightmare, we can set ourselves up for a good night’s rest.
One way to do so is getting in the right mindset for sleep. For me, this means (although I often fail to follow through), limiting the amount of screens, particularly my phone, I view before bed. At the very least, making sure I take a few moments to take some slow breaths and allow my body to relax. For some, simply telling yourself to relax is a non-starter, so using your favorite meditation app, a sound machine, or having your partner lead a guided meditation may be useful.
Use Products You Can Feel Good About
My skincare routine is minimal, and as you may guess from the name of this blog, I am hardly the person to give advice about personal hygiene. However, as I get older, I am finding new ways to better care for myself.
Using beauty products with healthy, natural ingredients makes my hair, skin, teeth feel better, and makes my mind feel better for choosing items that have less of an impact on the environment. While there is no denying these products can have a higher upfront cost than many of their conventional counterparts, over time the benefits prove worth the investment.
Spend Some Time Outdoors
Whenever I am feeling stressed, sluggish, overwhelmed, or just not myself, spending time outside always makes me feel better. I am lucky to live near a bunch of great hiking trails, and I am grateful for the solace I find in the woods. However, you don’t need drive hours out of your way to enjoy a soul-cleansing walk. Even a short walk around your neighborhood, or a trip to the park can be enough to lift your spirit.
No time to walk? I get it. If you can find five minutes, open your front door, or step outside onto your balcony/fire escape, and just take a few deep breaths. Just that quick experience can be enough to get you in a better place.
Read A Book Just For Fun
While there is nothing wrong with reading parenting books, or books that are part of your coursework or to obtain a specific skill. Reading for pure joy is a great way to treat yourself. No one type of book is best. I just finished The Golden Compass and followed it up with a book on economics. Reading a diverse variety of books keeps my mind sharp and reminds me I am more than just mom brain.
I am a huge fan of my local library, as it allows me to try new books before my shelves start piling up with too many titles.
Remember self care is unique to you and what works best for some might not work best for others. Just remember that you matter and you deserve to show yourself some love on Mother’s Day and every day.
Disclaimer: This post contains a paid link as well as links to sponsored posts. All views expressed are my own.