It’s easy as moms to take care of everyone else and forget our own needs. These four types of self-care will help every mom feel healthier and filled up so she can take care of those around her.
I once had a mentor tell me, “If you feel you need a vacation from your life then you are already overdue for self-care.”
Um, don’t most moms constantly feel the need for a vacation? I mean, after dealing with poop, boogers, tantrums, ever-changing eating preferences, and all other things kid-related, who wouldn’t want to escape for a bit? The beach, warm sand, bright sun… aaaahhhhh. Sounds like exactly what we all need, right?
But I listened to her talk and she explained that if you are actively practicing self-care in four specific areas then a vacation can become a treat rather than a needed break. Plus, let’s be honest, a vacation often means more work than relaxation for parents!
These days, we are all in need of extra self-care. Our normal lives have gotten thrown out the window so far that no matter how much we might have wanted to run away a month or two ago, we are ready to run back to that life just to escape our new reality.
Unfortunately, that’s not exactly possible, so instead, we have to make the best out of what we have and learn how to take care of ourselves right where we are.
What is self-care?
Self-care seems fairly self-explanatory – it’s taking care of yourself. However, we are not simple creatures with a one-size-fits-all prescription for self-care. While getting together with friends for a night of laughter and snacks might be exactly what I need, that could completely overwhelm and burn you out.
Self-care is getting the nurturing you need to flourish mentally, physically, spiritually, and emotionally. Those areas are the most important to feed but how we do it can vary from person to person.
Why do moms need to practice self-care?
When we begin to feel depleted in one or multiple areas, we are out of balance and can lash out at others, try to control everything, or completely disconnect.
Our role as moms is far too important for us to let this happen. But yet it does all the time. I know I will yell about really stupid stuff. I get overly controlling and won’t let the kids help with chores, cooking, or projects because I want it to go a specific way. It’s a real gut check for me when I do these things that something is not being addressed.
Is self-care Biblical?
Jesus is a great example of someone that practiced self-care. He frequently went off by himself to pray. He studied the scriptures. He napped on the boat and prepared food for the disciples. He was mindful of his time. These are all perfect examples of self-care we can practice as moms.
The four types of self-care every mom should try
1. Mental Self-Care
Take care of your brain!
- Practice mindfulness. Acknowledge your feelings, body sensations, and current situation. Admit what is out of your control and focus on what is true.
- Look for “miracle moments” that show you the good in the world
- Do a brain dump. Our minds can be set on overdrive thinking of everything for everyone. Get it all out onto paper so you can see it in a physical form rather than swirling around in the aether.
2. Physical Self-Care
Take care of your body!
- Physical activity. This is the most obvious form of physical self-care, but it’s only going to help if it’s in a form you enjoy. If you don’t love running then don’t go running. Find a way to move your body that you look forward to and helps you feel better. You are far more likely to continue if you do this.
- I like using the Samsung Workout Trainer app because I can build a collection of workouts I enjoy and choose workouts based on type, length, and intensity.
- Physical activity can be as simple as going for a walk, working in the garden, or chasing the kids in a game of tag. Don’t think you need to do something you’ve seen on Instagram
- Healthy eating. As much as I love cookies and chips, I know those aren’t fuels that help my body. Since kicking sugar to the curb I’ve definitely seen an improvement in how my body feels. I’m less sluggish and I get far fewer headaches. When I do eat something with sugar? Instant headache that I immediately regret.
- Use your five senses. God gave us sight, hearing, touch, taste, and smell and yet we often take them for granted in our daily life. Take time to really see the beauty in life, listen to the sounds of a waterfall, give our kids hugs and kisses, taste the fresh cookies, and smell the newborn babies. However, don’t default to taste every time you need self-care! Feed all your senses, not just your tongue.
- Rest & recharge. Sometimes your body needs to stop. Get a good night’s sleep. Turn off your devices well before you turn in for the night and give your mind a chance to wind down. Take a nap if you can when your body is fighting to stay awake.
3. Spiritual Self-Care
Take care of your spirit
- Read your Bible. Nothing can replace the Word of God. I love a good Bible study and devotional, but nothing can be as true as His actual word. During those seasons when I couldn’t sit and read a whole bunch, I read one Psalm or Proverb each day. I also listened to my audio Bible a lot.
- Worship. This might not be for everyone, but I love pouring my heart out to music. I find it easier to sing the words than pray my own a lot of the time. Or sometimes the music moves me to pray. Create a playlist of songs that speak to your soul and crank it up. It’s honestly the perfect way to wash dishes.
- Pray. I’ll admit that my prayer life is not where I want it to be. It’s in short little bursts throughout the day and I don’t spend nearly enough time (if any) pausing and being quiet enough to actually hear from God. It’s something I’m working on. I talk too much in real life so it’s not surprising that I would try to dominate my conversations with Him as well.
4. Emotional Self-Care
Take care of your feelings
- Identify your feelings. Your feelings are valid and deserve to be named. No one has the right to tell you how you should feel about your circumstances. If you are having trouble understanding how you are feeling, perhaps try finding a feelings wordlist to give it a name.
- Know your love languages. It can seem like a silly thing but knowing how you feel loved and how you show love can be a huge help in not only relationships but in how you take care of yourself! Words of affirmation is high for me but if I’m speaking negatively to myself I’m definitely not showing myself love!
- Know your indicators. I know that when my patience is running thin and every extra noise is making my shoulders inch closer to my ears that I am running low in my self-care tanks. If I don’t do something soon, I will probably let the mommy-monster out and then immediately regret it.
Other FAQs about self-care
- How much self-care is selfish?
We need to do enough self-care to have the ability to care for others but focusing too much on our own needs means we can ignore the needs of everyone else. Our needs and their needs change during various seasons of life so the needs of a mom during the infant stage are going to be different than when her kids are in elementary school and different again when they are in high school.
- How do you create a self-care plan?
Figure out what area you are the lowest in. For a lot of moms, it’s probably the sleep area. As great as it is to stay up without the kids you will feel loads better when you get a few quality nights of sleep. Keep adding in one thing every few days or each week to address different types of self-care that you feel are depleted. If you feel overwhelmed, stick to one thing from each type that works for you.
- Is Netflix & chill considered a type of self-care?
As much as I love to Netflix & chill, these mindless escapes are takers, not givers. They will not fill your tank the way you need. They bypass the connection center that self-care helps and instead go straight to the self-pleasure center. When we constantly do mindless things that disconnect us from ourselves we can lose our sense of wonder. It’s okay as a brain break but don’t make it your only form of unwinding!
How to make self-care a regular practice
Self-care shouldn’t be an optional luxury that we indulge in on occasion. It should be something we practice on an everyday basis. But lately, it’s been hard as we’ve all been dealing with changing schedules and plans, extra stress and anxiety. I’m sure you understand.
The Ultimate Bundles folks decided to bring back one of their mini bundles and I gotta say, the timing is good on this one.
It’s called The Self Care Mini Bundle.
Inside this bundle, you’ll learn how to:
- Create a self-care plan you’ll actually stick with
- Improve your strength, flexibility, balance, and energy
- Heal acne once and for all, naturally
- Build a fashionable, functional wardrobe that works for your everyday life
- Slim down and feel great with healthy weight loss
The 10 resources are worth $231.89, but you can get the Self Care Mini Bundle for $11.97.
With these resources, you can live your life with less stress and more joy. Which will be a blessing to you, your family, and everyone you come in contact with. So don’t listen to the inner critic who makes you feel guilty about investing in yourself. When you’re at your best, everyone wins. <3
Plus, you get cheat sheets for free. They’re a great way to review the material in less time and discover the areas where you want to dive deeper. Normally, the cheat sheets are a paid upgrade, but they’re included with the $11.97 bundle. Honestly, I can’t believe what a great deal this is!