Managing to take care of ourselves among everything else in life is taxing enough, but in 2020, it seems nearly impossible.
As a mother of three, and a Navy wife whose husband is currently geobaching in a different state, self-care is incredibly difficult. Once upon a time, I could send the kids to school and I’d have a few hours to get stuff done and try to take care of me, too. Right now? Not happening. While a lot of things are opening back up and returning to some version of normal, for us not much has changed. Babysitters, friends and neighbors are all wonderful, but I struggle with asking others for “too much”. So, what does a mom do to manage their self-care? Let me tell you my top five favorite things to do when I need some extra time and love for myself.
Now, I’m sure I can guess what you’re thinking here. You don’t have time to exercise. That’s the biggest complaint I hear from women (and men for that matter), no time. But let me say this, it doesn’t have to be a long workout! It can be something as simple as incorporating squats, pushups, lunges, etc. into your everyday routine. Do you cook at least one meal per day? Add some squats or counter push ups to that task. Take the stairs, and then take them again. Have a dance party with your kids to break up their school day and get that blood and oxygen flowing. The goal is simply to get your body moving and the blood flowing. The increased oxygen and endorphins have a way of making you feel happy, and that can carry over even after the workout.
2. Bake something
This might clash a little with what I put as number one, but baking doesn’t have to equal a ton of calories either. Plus, it’s absolutely okay to indulge a little, so go for the gooey brownies! In my own experience, the simple act of measuring ingredients, adding them together and creating something delicious is inspiring. Plus, it (almost) always tastes amazing. As an added bonus, the kids are completely capable of helping and have a great time doing it. I personally find a ton of great and healthy recipes on https://amyshealthybaking.com/blog.
3. Get into nature
It’s amazing how much beauty surrounds us that we often miss on a daily basis. Plus, it doesn’t have to be far away, and it doesn’t have to be a popular location. Maybe there is a state park near you that you’ve never been to. Lakes, rivers, mountains, waterfalls, parks, trails… the list is truly endless when it comes to 100% natural (and mostly free) experiences that can show you beauty and wonder. As an added benefit, you’ll most certainly be getting exercise and that also helps boost your mood!
4. Get creative
This one is not only self-explanatory, but it’s pretty broad. That’s the whole point. There are so many incredible ways to unleash your creativity and get your mind going. Draw, color, paint, build, sing, dance, make pottery, etc. Personally, I love to write, but I also love to paint, dive into DIY projects, sing funny songs to my kids and dance. The beauty of creativity is that it can be any number of things, plus you don’t have to be good at it! Once again, because I know that sometimes we don’t have time to ourselves to get into things (and who says self-care has to equal alone time anyway?), kids love messy! They are also some of the most creative minds out there and can certainly teach us to step outside of our comfort zones.
5. Cry it out
This last one might seem really strange, but hear me out. First, crying always helps, in my experiences. It might seem like a weakness to a lot of people, and it might even feel like one while it’s happening. But it’s also freeing. It releases all the negative and pent up emotions and frustrations that are within you. Sometimes, maybe often, you can’t control life, but you can have a good cry before picking yourself up and taking charge again.
So, there you have it. Those are my absolute top five favorite go-tos when it comes to managing my own self-care. These are not the only things that I do, and it’s certainly not an extensive list of everything you can do. But I find that I go back to these the most. I encourage you to find yourself a list, if you don’t have one already, and keep it handy. When you feel yourself spiraling for a little control, look to that list and find something that you can do to give you a moment of peace and clarity.
One last thing for the parents: it’s okay to lose your shit.
It is absolutely okay to have a rough day, an off day, an angry or frustrating day. It is okay to blow up and yell. Life happens. Things tend to get the best of us when we least expect it. And I promise (from my experiences) that as long as you don’t wallow in your frustrations, and you sit your children down and explain that sometimes our struggles get the best of us, they will be okay too.
Happy Saturday, everyone!
PS. I’d love to hear your ideas for self-care, especially this year!