Self-care: we know it’s instrumental to our sanity. But the mom life is a busy one, so there’s seldom time for regularly scheduled nail appointments, yoga classes, or drinks with friends. Here are some simple ways to sprinkle self-care into your everyday routine, even when you have literally no time to breathe.
For instance, take just 15 minutes for yourself, twice per day. Use this time to close your eyes and breathe, take a shower, or have a cup of hot tea. Bar yourself from checking emails, doing laundry, or making dinner during this “you” time.
Accept Imperfect Help
Maybe your MIL is available to babysit but tends to feed your kids near-lethal amounts of candy and lets them watch TV all day. Accept her help anyways. Your littles will be perfectly fine for an isolated afternoon or evening, and you’ll come back feeling refreshed as a result.
Just like it’s self-nurturing to say “no” to things that don’t serve you, it’s also self-nurturing to say “yes” to requests that can provide a positive distraction from the daily grind of parenting. Offer to proofread your friend’s resume, give someone a ride or make a meal for a family who needs it. This helps you reconnect with other, non-Mom parts of yourself.
Sometimes thinking ahead can provide a sense of relief. This sort of “intentional daydreaming” helps you create internal space when it’s impossible to physically get away. Your daydreaming should take into account your strengths and interests by exploring future career goals or thinking of ways to redesign your space.
Build an empathy team
Positivity is key, of course, but complaining about the ups and downs of everyday life can be inherently therapeutic. Develop a Mom squad or group of other friends who will listen to and laugh with you. Oh, and PS: complaining about your kids doesn’t mean you’re a bad mother or that you don’t love them.