Being a mom is one of the hardest jobs in the world, and to do this job well, you need to invest in yourself. What this looks like exactly, though, depends on you as an individual as well as on your personality type. For example, if you are an introvert, you will not practice self-care in the same ways an extrovert might. Similarly, self-care is not uniform among extroverts or introverts, either.
No matter what, it’s important to set aside time to help yourself de-stress. What that time looks like is up to you — and while the actual self-care process will vary from person to person, moms who practice self-care have similar results. Aside from making yourself feel better, ensuring your needs are met can make you a better mom, too.
How Taking Care of Yourself Makes You a Better Mom
#1: Be Pretty Patient — Treat yourself to a manicure or pedicure. Taking time to pamper yourself will help you react with grace and mercy when your kids mess up. When you haven’t practiced self-care for a while, you feel empty and exhausted. Making the split second decision to get angry over a spilled cup is harder to avoid.
When you give yourself the time you need to feel beautiful and special, you’ll be more likely to have the patience to go with the flow — or the spill as the case may be. Ask your spouse or a friend to watch the kids for the afternoon while you treat yourself to some pampering.
#2: Send the Kids to Bed Early — Be strict about bedtime. Find a schedule that will get your kids in bed at a reasonable time. This will give you time to yourself when the day is over. You can reflect on your day and prepare yourself for tomorrow. When you practice self-care like this, you are more resilient.
Little incidents that could upset you are less likely to become full-fledged disasters because you feel rested and grounded — so you’re able to take a deep breath and respond with kindness. You’ll also likely be more resilient on a physical level, too. When you’re rested and not stressed, you’ll be less likely be get sick — and you’ll just feel better overall.
#3: Schedule Time With Your Spouse — Include time in your schedule for a date night with your spouse. Your relationship with your spouse is very important when it comes to mothering your children, so be sure to put some time into your marriage.
Sometimes it’s really easy to take out frustration on the only other adult in the house. When you practice putting care into your marriage and do fun activities as a couple, however, you’ll be less likely to reach frustration levels. Kids can tell when their parents are angry with each other — so when you and your spouse are happy, your kids will be happy, too!
#4: Decompress the Stress — Treat yourself to a relaxing massage on a regular basis. A massage will help you relax and feel more rested. This method of self-care keeps the stress away plus it can untangle those knots in your muscles.
Think of self-care as a way of getting your life back in balance. When you feel more balanced, your household will be a happier place.
#5: Treat Yourself — Find a new outfit to wear — or even treat yourself to your favorite Starbucks drink. You deserve it. Whether you stay at home or go to work, every mother struggles with whether or not she is doing her job well. Be reassured that you are doing a great job and reward yourself!
Self-care allows you to appreciate your own hard work, but it begins with loving yourself. Pick a self-care activity and put it on the calendar. It doesn’t have to be fancy — it just needs to happen!
#6: Release the Endorphins — Take some time out of each day to exercise. You don’t have to do much, either. Just 15 minutes a day of cardio gets your heart rate up and can help you feel better about yourself, increase your energy stores and help make you more mentally alert – which you need to keep your toddler from pouring their yogurt all of the dog at the dinner table.
Exercise is also important to help you stay healthy and strong so you can handle whatever comes your way. An added bonus is that eating right and exercising teaches your kids to form healthy habits, too! When everyone is healthy and in good shape, your kids will be happy — and so will you.
#7: Connect With Your Passions — Read a book, take an art class, play a game or write in a journal. Even sitting down to watch your favorite TV show can be beneficial. You are constantly doing things for other people. Do something you love to do and practice self-care.
No kids to look after. No dinners to cook. Just you and your favorite book, hobby, activity or relaxation technique. As a result, you will be happier, and you will be authentic. You will remember what you like to do, who you like to be with and why you are unique.
Practicing self-care sounds easy, but it can be hard to find the time you need to relax. However, it’s very important to make it a priority. You will appreciate the time you make for yourself — and ultimately, so will everyone else around you.