As a mom it is so easy to get extremely stressed out to the point where you’re not able to handle the daily stresses of life, much less be a good mom or kind to yourself.
I find that when I’m not taking care of myself, I expect too much emotional support from others…..but other people in my life are busy handling their own crap and can’t help me!
It’s a crazy vicious cycle, I tell you!
What I’m learning to do (and have been practicing for a couple years now) is being adamant about taking care of MYSELF. When I feel taken care of, I have more capacity to:
- Give more of myself to others when it’s really necessary
- Handle bigger stressors that come my way (death, sickness)
- Be present with my kids
I’m definitely not perfect at this, but I’m working on it every day.
Why It’s Important to Take Care of Yourself First
Whether you are depressed (I definitely had post-partum depression after all three births) or slightly down or worn out, learning the practice of self care is SO IMPORTANT.
You don’t have to tell everyone to shove off so you have time for yourself. I look at it more like things I can incorporate into my schedule on a regular basis so I can rejuvenate.
Being Kind to Yourself Prepares You for Pouring Into Others
There’s a whole lotta mom guilt wrapped up in this, though.
We feel guilty if we’re doing to little for our kids….what kind of mom does that make me?
We feel guilty if we’re doing too much for our kids….how will they ever learn to be self-sufficient human beings?!
This is NOT about being selfish.
This is about giving yourself the grace that you extend to others all day long. When you take care of yourself, you will have a larger gas tank to pour into others.
In other words, taking care of yourself first is the everyday equivalent of putting your oxygen mask on before helping someone else…they TELL you to do this on a plane! We need to start doing it on the ground as well. 😊
Repeat after me:
I AM NOT BEING SELFISH by taking time to take care of myself. It makes me a better mom.
The end. Don’t apologize. This is about YOU.
101 Intentional Acts of Kindness Ideas (for yourself)
If you struggle to find the line between taking care of yourself and taking care of others, I hope this list helps you! It’s 101 intentional acts of kindness activities that you can adapt to suit your needs.
It’s important to know that taking care of yourself goes by many names – self love, practicing kindness to yourself, etc. As Merriam Webster puts it, SELF CARE is simply “care for oneself.” How can that be a bad thing?
This self care checklist of 101 ways to be kind to yourself was a collaborative project by Lena @ WhatMommyDoes, Corinne @ Wondermom Wannabe, Monica @ Redefining Mom, Kori @ Kori at Home, and Lisa @ Graceful Abandon.
- Learn self defense
- Breathe 10 slow breaths
- Go on a walk
- Surround yourself with people you love
- Choose alone time
- Call your grandma
- Read the Bible
- Practice gratitude
- Do kind things without expecting acknowledgment or anything in return
- Ask for help when you’re stuck
- Watch your favorite movie
- Get a massage
- Don’t hold grudges
- Seek a mentor
- Buy the expensive coffee
- Learn a skill you’ve always wanted to have
- Take a long hot bath
- Memorize important Bible verses for times of high stress
- Order online groceries (no more lines!)
- Ask for that raise
- Call an old friend who’s not on Facebook
- Stand up for yourself
- Do the right thing even when it’s uncool
- Book next year’s vacation
- Get a pedicure
- Go to the gym
- Sign up for dance lessons
- Invite a friend over for tea
- Create a manicure station in your bathroom
- Go on a date
- Compliment yourself in the mirror
- Walk through a flower garden
- Let your boundaries be known
- Flip through a photo album filled with good memories
- Wear your favorite scent
- Get lost in a good book
- Make future plans with friends
- Get ready 30 minutes early and chill (if you’re consistently late like me and always feel rushed, this is a biggie!)
- Join a club
- Hold an impromptu dance party in your living room
- Listen to your favorite playlist
- Set aside time for a low-key afternoon tea
- Put away the scale
- Go to bed early
- Speak positive words about yourself
- Make your husband’s / child’s favorite meal
- Cozy up to a warm fire
- Sleep in late
- Get a new pair of cozy socks
- Hug everyone in your family today
- Have a picnic with your child
- Do a crossword puzzle, word search, or sudoku
- Take a nap
- Donate items you no longer need or use
- Buy a pretty accessory (e.g. scarf, belt, or jewelry)
- Challenge your kids to a pillow fight
- Make a gratitude list
- Create a vision board or start a goal journal
- Throw an impromptu get-together with your closest friends
- Smile at strangers
- Choose a TV series to watch
- Delete email apps from your phone
- Set a Do Not Disturb period on your phone (a few hours during the day or night)
- Start a simple fitness plan
- Drink a glass of wine in silence
- Spend 30 minutes reading every night before bedtime
- Have a coffee date with yourself on a Saturday morning
- Hire a babysitter with no purpose in mind
- Go on a girls only weekend
- Take a morning off from getting the kids ready
- Hire a cleaner (even if just once)— or enlist your kids to actually do the cleaning
- Take five minutes to reflect every morning on something to be grateful for
- Meditate or practice intentional breathing for ten minutes
- Take up a hobby/learn something new
- Watch a TV show (for adults, not kids!)
- Enjoy a piece of chocolate
- Buy yourself some new clothes
- Exercise or go for a walk
- Go to your favorite coffee shop, alone.
- Go window shopping
- Write a note to someone you love and tell them why
- Put on your favorite outfit and look fabulous…even if you’re not going anywhere
- Pick out a new pair of earrings
- Put on music from “back then” and sing along to your old favorites
- Eat dessert for dinner
- Go for a walk around the block
- Kiss your husband
- Go to the library and enjoy the quiet
- Try a new restaurant for lunch (maybe with a friend!)
- Do a random act of kindness for a stranger
- Buy yourself flowers
- Talk to a mental health pro to get tips for stress management
- Ask for help when you need it
- Finally start one of those Pinterest projects you’ve been looking at!
- Have a movie marathon day
- Play a board game with friends or family
- Clean up your contact list on your phone and delete old texts and voicemails
Share this list with your friends so they can hold you accountable for taking care of yourself!!