Being a mom can be emotionally and mentally taxing. We have the constant need from our kid(s), never-ending housework, scheduling that must be done, and taking care of ourselves. By the way, have you brushed your teeth today? Our emotional and mental exhaustion leads us to feeling physically exhausted too because I don’t know if you realized but the mind and body are connected…ever felt hangry??? It’s time to start taking care of ourselves, moms. Here are the top five easiest self-care strategies for moms that can be done every day.
1. 30 Minutes with No Screen Time
When you finally have a moment for you, what do you find yourself doing for self-care? Do you get on your phone or computer? It’s like a moth to a flame at times. Why do we escape to technology when we finally have a moment to ourselves?
Somewhere along the lines we have told ourselves that screen time is a part of self-care. The issue is that increased screen time (looking at a phone, tablet, tv, etc.) leads to higher levels of depression and anxiety. I have absolutely no desire to feel higher levels of depression and anxiety, do you?
Set a timer and put your phone away. If it is an emergency, they will call…so make sure your phone isn’t on silent but notifications for social media are off. Allow your brain a rest from all that input. It will thank you!
2. Girl, Hydrate
This one seems clear cut, but how often do we do it? Our bodies should get 64 ounces or 2 liters of water a day. Here’s why: Drinking the recommended amount of water daily increases energy levels and focus, boosts moods, and decreases constipation (#momlife) and headaches. Why wouldn’t I do something that would have all those benefits? Let alone the positive impact it has on our skin. It’s a natural way to decrease wrinkles. Anything that does that is self-care in my book! Start carrying a water bottle with you and become good at spotting where the local bathrooms are. It’s a consequence you can handle for all the benefits you get.
3. Play with Your Kids
Remember when you were a kid and had fun playing _________ (insert game, activity, etc.)? How about finding a way to do that with your kid(s) now? I loved doing arts and crafts as a kid and still do now, but I rarely take time to do this with my daughters. That’s just stupid, if I am honest with myself. Both of my girls love arts and crafts, so why wouldn’t I take 20 minutes and color or create something with them?
The key is when we play with our kids we need to be mindful of the joy we experience doing so. The fun we have when we run around or wrestle with our kids. The decreased stress we experience that play brings. When we really soak it up, it has the positive impact that we need from self-care as a mom.
4. Listen to Upbeat Music
It’s fair to say that we all at some point feel like we are going crazy after listening to kid’s music on repeat. That’s not self-care at all! Even the jingles from kids’ shows permeate our brains and show up at the most awkward of times. Change it up. Take time each day to listen to music YOU enjoy that is upbeat. Pull out old CDs that used to get you motivated and excited.
Worst case scenario, if your kid isn’t into your music that much, only listen to it for 12 minutes. That’s a weird amount of time, Katie. Hear me out. After only 12 minutes of listening to upbeat music, researchers found that people report feeling more positive. Yes, please! Be strategic about this and put on your upbeat music before the time of day that is the most stressful for you. See if it helps you endure the challenges of the “witching” hour…or let’s be honest HOURS!
You know I love me some psychology tricks to changing what’s going on in my brain! Here is a huge one we don’t think about. A 30 second smile boosts our mood because it tricks our brain into thinking something fun or funny is going on. It’s contagious so smile at your family members to boost their moods. Even try smiling at yourself in the mirror. Take a moment to give yourself that positivity you deserve.
I currently live in a city where people don’t smile that often and man do I notice the toll it is taking on me. I like feeling positive so if it means smiling for 30 seconds when things are challenging in my day I’m in!