3 Practical Ways Busy Moms Can Incorporate Intentional Self-Care Into Your Daily Routine
I know, girl. You literally cannot fit one more thing on your calendar. You have no desire to give the spa your hard earned money. When the kids are asleep, you want to be asleep in an effort to replenish your energy stores. Or, more likely, when the kids are asleep you want to get as much done as you possibly can while you have some piece and quite.
But where does this leave you in regards to finding time for you to tap into YOU? To just BE? Are we, as somebodies mother, even capable of this?
The short answer is “yes”, we are.
I think the reason so many of us lack an established a self-care practice is due to a misunderstanding of what one actually is and what it could look like for YOU. The phrase “self-care” conjures up images of soaking in a tub with cucumber slices over your eyes or spending a few hours at a spa, but these activities are only one small piece of what is the massive intentional self-care puzzle. Baths and spa time are the best, but taking care of your self can be quick, efficient and super assessable to all of us in unique ways.
The first step involved in successfully incorporating a intentional practice is to commit to doing it. Just start. Even if you’re not ready. Our time is so valuable and our lives are so precious that we really can’t afford to start thinking about our wellbeing next week or on January 1st.
Next, focus on doing things you ACTUALLY WANT TO DO. And things that you can do given your circumstances. You don’t have to take up a yoga practice or journal if that’s your style. Maybe you want to dedicate more free time to leisure reading or getting back into your morning run routine. If you need a few self-care ideas or suggestions you can incorporate into your life, check out an article I wrote about it here. The choices are almost limitless.
Once you identify what fills you up, or renews you, or makes you feel centered (either physically, emotionally, mentally or spiritually – or some combination of all of these) figure out how to implement them into your life in such a way that you can do it consistently, and then commit to your new routine for 3 full weeks (it takes about 21 days to form a new habit).
I will offer one caution: Do not try to do it a wellness overhaul all at once. It would not be a great idea to decide to become a vegan, begin a 1 hour daily meditation practice, and decide to train for a marathon all at the same time. As with anything in life, take things one day at a time.
As a newbie on my own self-care journey, here is what I’ve found has worked for me:
1. Wake up early and establish a personalized mourning routine.
This has been a big one for me. Until a few months ago it used to be that I would sleep as late a possible in an effort to “catch up” on sleep (I don’t know if catching up on sleep is really possible…maybe it is?). That said, sleeping at any opportunity you can grab is certainly necessary when you are in the newborn stages, when you are extremely sleep deprived due to erratic sleep schedules. But if your kids are generally sleeping through the night, getting to bed a tad earlier in order to feel good about waking earlier could be a game changer for you.
Why? PERSONAL. TIME.
I began waking up just 30 minutes earlier than normal to incorporate a 10 minute morning yoga session, followed by 15 minutes of a guided mindfulness meditation practice, into my daily routine. It has been so lovely. Thank you YouTubers for creating such good content within these spaces. Not needing to spend a dime to make this change was an added bonus.
I like to light a candle made with naturally derived fragrances (my two favorites are No. 1 and No. 7 by H&B, a black-owned natural product brand operated via Etsy) and apply an essential oil aromatherapy roll-on to my wrists and neck (also from H&B!) before hand. This sets the mood and helps me enjoy being present.
This practice has allowed me the time to focus on my intention for the day, given me the space to be mindful, and helps me to ease into my morning. #Winning
2. Listen to a podcast (or an audiobook).
I love a good podcast. They are an easy way to both grab some inspiration on the go and make you feel productive or accomplished. I’ve found that listening to my favorite podcast has been a great way to add a dose of positivity to my day without causing me to have to carve out extra time to do so because you can do it while doing something else.
I listen to a show while folding the laundry or working out, during my commute, and even in the shower ☺
I’m loving Super Soul Conversations with Oprah and all of her wisdom, Food Heaven, The Goal Digger Podcast with Jenna Kutcher, Pod Save the People, Women Rule, and I’m starting to get into Malcolm Gladwell’s Revisionist History podcast and The Minimalists podcast. I’m slightly obsessed. They feed my soul.
3. Find your night-time unwind.
When the kids are down for the night, it’s time to relax with my husband and unwind.
I love to hop in the bed and do some pleasure reading for about 30 minutes with an occasional glass of wine. I’m in the middle of Whistling Vivaldi by Claude Steel at the moment. If you can’t dedicate 30 minutes to an unwind routine, no big deal. Start with 5 or 10. Minutes. If you’re not a big reader, do something else that encourages your wellness journey. Only you will know what feels right to you.
Keep yourself accountable once you establish your self-care routine, and remember your "why" to stay motivated. You got this, and you’ll be better for it.
You got this:
1. Just begin. The right time to care for yourself is right now.
2. Focus on finding what works for YOU! Not for Instagram self-care guru’s.
3 . Remember your why. What is it that you intend to gain from establishing a daily self-care routine?
"I am the architect of my life; I chose its contents and build a strong foundation”