Self-Care For Mothers: 10 Ways To Look After Your Needs

When was the last time you dedicated self-care time for YOU? Let me guess… it was before you had your child.

As parents, it can feel impossible to put aside time to look after yourself. You probably can’t even remember when it was, or what it was that you used to do. Running on empty isn’t helpful for you or your child, so it’s time to change this.

Your task is to practice ONE self-care activity that focuses on YOU every day.

Actually, self-care ISN’T impossible. Let’s work on becoming more mindful about dedicating some time to it. 

I’ve been where you are. I used to be terrible at practising self-care in motherhood, and there are still days I find it really hard to do. However, I realised that if I wanted to feel better, and have less overwhelm and frustrations, I had to make this a priority in my life to feel more balanced. Just like we prioritise our child’s wellbeing and tend to their needs, we MUST do this for ourselves as well. Because the harsh reality is that no one else is going to do the self-care for us. 

Self-care is not selfish. It is literally taking care of yourself. The bare minimum to wellbeing!

No one is perfect, so let go of the pressure and expectation to do this 100% ‘right’ every day of your life. However, if you feel like you are a self-care expert please comment and share with us all what you do to balance self-care in your life.

The good news is that self-care doesn’t have to be extravagant or require hours of uninterrupted time (but ya know, that would be nice too). It can be found in simple everyday tasks that take a few minutes. 

Now that I am making an effort every day with my self-care I wanted to share what works best for me with all of you who may be feeling how I used to. We are allowed to unwind and look after ourselves, in fact, it’s necessary.

10 Self Care Habits To Add To Your Routine as a Mother.

Here are some ideas for inspiration to add a little bit of self-care to your daily routine. Remember that any little thing that feels good to you counts as self-care. If you’re sleep-deprived, in the thick of toddlerhood, or busy working, you can still make it work.

1. Get Journaling.

Journaling helps with unloading your thoughts. There are many forms of journaling such as physically with a notebook, digitally, or verbally. What matters is making sure that it is a suitable format for you to be able to externalise what is on your mind.

My preferred way of journaling is using a hardcover notebook to write in. Some days, and especially when starting out, I was at a loss of what to write about. It comes fairly easily to me now and I can fill an entire page in less than 3 minutes. You can click here to download your copy of my Journaling eBook which explains the benefits of journaling, how to get started, and includes 4 categories; Self, Inspire, Mental Health, & Womanhood, with 28 journaling activity pages, 64 journaling prompts, and bonuses.

2. Follow YOUR OWN Bed Time Routine.

Just like we help our children to wind down, relax, and connect before bed, we should be doing this for ourselves as well. In fact, studies recommend at a minimum no technology 1 hour before going to sleep.

To set the mood you can put on a diffuser with some relaxing essential oils such as lavender, dim the lights or use a red-based light such as candles or a salt lamp. This will help the melatonin production required for our brain and body to signal it’s sleep time.

I have a calendar alert in my phone for 1 hour before my general bedtime to start my night routine with a list of things I can do such as meditate, journal, read, or stretch.

3. Nourish Your Body.

If you’ve been feeling sluggish have a think about your most recent meals. Did you eat a meal, or was it crusty left over from the kids? Have you eaten a single fruit or vegetable today? Is coffee and chocolate on the menu for breakfast, lunch, and dinner?

Sometimes, we need food for our soul. I am definintely one to over indulge and live for when the kids go to bed at night to finally get all of the good snacks out of the cupboard. But if I am being honest with myself, on those days where I have really slacked off with not eating proper meals, I do not feel my best.

Life can get so busy! If you have time to meal prep, work in some healthy snacks that are quick and easy to grab on the go. One of my favourite ways to nourish my body every day is to make a Smoothie filled with goodness such as banana, berries, spinach (promise you can’t taste it!), greek yoghurt and chia seeds. Bonus! The kids love it too. What’s your favourite smoothie recipe? Comment below.

4. Learn To Say, ‘No’.

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, you may have too much on your plate as a result of saying ‘Yes’ too much. Part of self-care is having healthy boundaries. The next time someone asks you to do something or be somewhere, and you find yourself really not feeling up for it, just say, ‘No’. It’s a complete sentence.

5. Spend Quality Time With Yourself.

For any introverts reading this, this one is for you. And to the extroverts reading, have you ever not done something because other people didn’t want to join you?

Make a list of the things you want to do or the things you like to do. Now go to your calendar and schedule these activities. If you’re struggling for ideas, click here to download my Freebie which includes a self-care checklist.

6. Music.

This one is as simple as it sounds. Create an uplifting playlist with your favourite songs and music that makes you feel good. I like to find playlists on my Spotify app by searching ‘Calming’, ‘Motivation’, or ‘2000s’ (of course).

7. Do What You Love.

Have you heard of the term work-life balance? This concept can be very insightful, but it can also cause us some distress. We won’t ever be able to find the perfect balance, because life happens. There are days or weeks where things seem to run smoothly, and then there are moments when life is unexpected, stressful, and becomes busy.

I have done quite a few wonderful episodes on The Gentle Counsellor Podcast about self-care, such as embracing slow living, creating tiny habits, and incorporating morning rituals which you can listen to here.

8. Movement.

I’m not going to tell you to sign up to the gym. That is not what this step is about. What is a way you can move your body that makes you feel good? Try signing up to a fun dance class, you could even go with a friend. If the weather is particularly lovely, take advantage and go for a walk. You could even do this on your lunch break at work. If you’re a stay at home parent what I liked to do was fill up the pram with the kids and snacks, put my headphones in (thanks to step 6), and went to my favourite walking track near a beautiful lake.

9. Love Language.

There are 5 Love Languages; Words of Affirmation, Quality Time, Physical Touch, Gifts, and Acts of Service. Usually when we hear about these love languages it is to do with how to show others love in a relationship. But, did you know that you can use understanding YOUR love language to show yourself love?

If you do not know anything about the 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman I highly recommend getting a copy of his book which includes a quiz to find out which one you are.

10. Spirituality.

Some of us find comfort in our cultural practices, religion, or spirituality. But if you find yourself now as an adult not really prescribing to any one thing that is ok too. If you want to try some things here are my suggestions for incorporating spiritual practice into your self-care routine:

  • Pray
  • Meditate
  • Yoga
  • Tarot

I hope you have enjoyed this blog post and are able to take away some new ideas on how you can incorporate self-care into your daily life. You can find numerous times through out your day to spend 5 minutes on yourself and experience the benefits. It’s all about making mindful and conscious choices.

This is something we cover more in-depth in the Gentle Motherhood membership. Click here to join the waitlist for the Gentle Motherhood membership where Mothers like you with unresolved trauma and constant motherhood challenges start their inner healing journey supported every month, so that they become the best mothers they’ve always wanted to be.

More useful links:

7 Day Self-Love Challenge

7 Day Journaling Challenge

Raising Secure Children & Parents Facebook Community Group

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