We have now entered the month of love. I am lucky enough to get extra pampered since February is also my birthday month. This got me thinking... what are the best ways on how to take care of yourself as a mom and continue it year round? Let’s face it: being a parent is not super glamorous and taking care of yourself both mentally and physically may get pushed onto the back burner.
I am not a very fancy person, but when I became a Mom I quickly realized even little snippets of ‘me-time’ I used to come by with ease became very few and far between... I mean, I am often searching for the time and energy to wash my hair.
There are two methods on how to take care of yourself as a mom: Physically and Mentally. Once I found a way maintain a balance of these two in my weekly schedule I found my day-to-day life as a parent to be less stressful and overall more enjoyable.
Taking Care of Yourself Physically:
1. Get Outside: Something about good old fashioned, fresh air always makes me feel better, especially when my almost two-year-old is having a pre-dinner meltdown. Even a simple walk to dump the compost at the far end of my yard can rejuvenate me! Other times I need longer walks or runs with my dog when my husband is playing with the kids. Whatever gets you out there, breath in and make it count!
2. Yoga/Meditation: I considered myself a yogi but I still had trouble meditating. Then I realized there are so many different forms of meditation. It can be as simple as downloading this helpful app called Calm and doing it on your own time. I have also found mixing yoga and meditation helps. Try Yin Yoga and Restorative Yoga - they're both great ways to learn how to take care of yourself as a mom.
3. Sports Club/Gym Membership: Finding the time to be physically active can be one of the biggest obstacles as a parent. I was never a gym member until I had kids for one reason: I never used the BEST part: Childcare!
It is important to find a gym or sports club with a quality kid center so you feel comfortable taking them there. Do some research in your area. Is there a local sports club or a YMCA? The best facilities will have a great kid center and many amenities. Our current sports club has everything from exercise classes to indoor/outdoor pools. It even has social events and a salon/day spa.
Jonah, my oldest, is excited about the art he made in the kid’s center at our sports club while Mommy was at yoga class.
Taking Care of Yourself Mentally:
1. Audio Books: I used to devour literature, but when the kids came along I struggled to complete even a few books a year. When my friend recommended trying audio books it opened my mind to so many new stories. The trick is to find well-narrated books that keep your attention. Then you can pop in some headphones and build your intellect while accomplishing mundane household chores, or even while pushing your kids in the stroller. I use the overdrive app and get my audiobooks through the library - super great tip on how to take care of yourself as a mom mentally.
2. Date Nights: Let’s not forget the love that led us to create our wonderful little humans in the first place! Try to fit in one day a week to focus on your significant other. This can be done through developing a good network of babysitters or utilizing family members near you. Taking this quality one-on-one time away from the kids helps you and your partner remember who you each are as individuals and keeps your relationship alive.
3. Friend Outings (with or without kids): Since I'm a stay at home mom, I like to have a decent amount of play dates set with my other parent friends during the weekdays. Quality adult conversation is a nice break from the toddler talk I have more frequency and a great way to learn how to take care of yourself as a mom. Whether you work or stay at home, finding camaraderie with other parents can help through some of the most trying times of parenthood.
My current audiobook binge.
Of course there are weeks I can’t fit everything in, but by simply making my own pampering more of a priority and having multiple outlets as options I am able to make more of an impact on my physical and mental wellness.
Here’s my advice: START SMALL and actually schedule yourself in. That yoga class you always wanted to go to on Saturdays… just make it part of your Saturday routine. Schedule other activities around it. Once something becomes a built-in habit, it's just another regular thing! The rest will follow.
Walks are always better with a furry friend. Ours is named Penny Lane.