SIMPLE DAILY SELF-CARE IDEAS FOR MOTHERS
Mothers put themselves at the bottom of the priority list and look after everyone else before themselves. In this post I encourage you to think differently about the value of self-care and look after yourself, the simple and sustainable way. Here are some daily self-care ideas for mothers who want the most out of life.
WHY SELF-CARE IS IMPORTANT IN MOTHERHOOD
Motherhood doesn’t come with a job description. If it did, it would be a one-liner to say be on call, all of the time and trouble-shoot all problems whenever they arise. At least, that’s what it feels like!
I’m all for creating a motherhood that’s more full of ease than overwhelm, by being organised, effective and prioritising self-care and time for yourself, whenever and wherever possible.
This isn’t about not being there for your kids whenever they need you, it’s more about empowering them and you to lean into this busy season of your life and finding rhythms and routines that suit all of you to live your best and fullest life, as a family.
One of those aspects is about how you look after yourself. Running on empty and putting everybody else’s needs above and beyond yours is a sure-fire way of heading for burn-out, possibly with a little frustration, tears and tiredness thrown into the mix. But it doesn’t have to be that way…
Practicing regular, consistent and sustainable self-care, the simple way, will help you stay on an even-keel and ready for whatever your day (and life) throws at you. You’ll feel stronger, more resilient and more ready to embrace the challenges (and rewards) of motherhood. That’s why self-care is important.
SELF-CARE IN MOTHERHOOD
Self-care is vital for everybody in some shape or form. Arguably, mothers are the ones who might benefit most but make time for it least! Bringing up little humans is a 24/7 job so anything that helps equip us for that is vital! Yet, we often don’t have time, energy, freedom, the mindset, the self-compassion to make space for it.
That’s why self-care in motherhood needs to be easy, without obstacles, kind to our schedules, bodies, hearts and minds and weave flexibly into the flow of our day.
In this post I’m sharing some simple, but effective daily self-care ideas for mothers. They’re low-cost or no-cost, you can do them from home and don’t need anyone but you to put in place as part of your regular daily routine.
I hope you find them helpful…
SIMPLE DAILY SELF-CARE IDEAS FOR MOTHERS
Here are some simple daily self-care ideas for mothers to help you get the most out of this busy season in life!
1. Establish a morning routine
Of all the tips I wished I’d known as a new working parent, this one would be it. Once the day gets going, many of us are busy and tied up doing ‘all the things’, which doesn’t leave much scope or opportunity for us!
The simple trick of getting up a little early and creating a solid, supportive morning routine turned out to be my saving grace. I carved more time out of my day, got a head-start on that day and found a little time for ME!
I say simple but I do recognise that it’s not always simple, especially if you’re a night owl or have a tiny baby (do what feels right to you), but with the right mindset to make changes, a little consistent action and some great ideas how to create a morning routine that works for you, I do believe many of us can benefit from a simple, effective plan for our mornings.
Fill that time with things that really make a difference to you. Maybe it’s time for self-care, getting ahead on a work project or writing a gratitude list or in your journal and seeing where your thoughts take you. Choose things that are easier without (or you can’t do with) the kids around.
This precious time will help get you in the right mood for a great day ahead!
2. Look good so you feel good
I don’t believe that making an effort to look good makes you shallow or self-centred. Looking good is different for everyone – some people choose to wear loads of make-up, others hate the stuff.
What I mean here is that you should make an effort to look good in whatever way that means to you.
It may just mean a clean pair of jeans and your hair is washed, or it may mean full make-up and a fresh manicure.
It doesn’t even need to take very long if you’ve only got 10 minutes to spare. Just work out what you need to do to get ready every morning and do this routinely every day.
By making an effort with your appearance you’re also doing these important things:
- Teaching your children that making an effort and showing up in your life is important
- Set a good example to your kids that they should look after their bodies and treat them kindly
- When we think we look good we are most positive, confident, fun-loving, forward-thinking, resilient, strong and open to new opportunities
- We’re ready to go out at the drop of a hat if we run out of milk or a friend invites us out for coffee
- You remember that YOU are important, not just as a parent, but that you have value as an individual
A good place to start is with your wardrobe and clothes. Check out this post on how to declutter clothes or these tips on how to simplify your wardrobe. It will make it much easier (and quicker) to get dressed each day and feel good in whatever you’re wearing!
3. Find time for yourself
I know this is difficult when you have little ones. I’ve been there (and still am sometimes) and it requires planning and discipline to make sure it happens. Make is the operative word here as that time doesn’t usually just appear, we have to make it happen.
Time for yourself is not for speed-cleaning the house or prepping the packed lunches for tomorrow. Instead, it’s time for you to check-in with yourself and do something that you really want to do – that lifts you up in some way and makes you feel better, in whatever way you need at that moment.
It could be a nap, a cup of tea, flicking through a magazine, checking out the news, calling a friend.
Time for you is time is to relax, recharge, reconnect with yourself, your heart, mind, soul or friends and family.
Let go of the guilt, stop feeling selfish or that you’re letting something else slide in your moment of self-indulgence. Swap these negative and unhelpful feelings with positive, empowering ones that remind you that self-care isn’t selfish, it’s necessary.
“Self-care is giving the world the best of you, instead of what’s left of you.” (Katie Reed)
Forgotten what you love to do? Perhaps you’re out of practice! Take a few minutes now to think back on what you used to enjoy when you had more time. Make a list and adapt it to suit your current life and time. Keep it somewhere safe so you can refer to it when you need some inspiration.
4. Get some exercise
Regular exercise doesn’t mean hitting the gym for an hour each day. Regular exercise means, to me at least, doing a little bit often to move your body in a way that feels comfortable for you.
If time is tight, exercise could be walking the kids to and from school each day. Perhaps add in an extra little circuit if you have the time so you can increase those steps!
Exercise could be some gentle stretches or a yoga flow. There are plenty of options if you check out You Tube which you can follow along with from home.
The key to regular exercise is two-fold.
- Firstly, make sure you choose something that you actually enjoy doing so you’re motivated to keep it up and, importantly, look forward to doing it.
- Secondly, that you weave it into the flow of your day. Sometimes this means you have to get up a little earlier, sacrifice a half-hour slot of TV in the evening or squeeze a Pilates session in whilst your baby naps.
As with anything you choose to do when you’ve got little kids, it’s about choosing the path of least resistance (make it easy to do!), create an incentive (reward yourself afterwards) and making the most of those odd windows of time.
A quick note about healthy eating…
Also, as well as looking after your body, choosing healthy meal options is important too. I know that sometimes it’s difficult when time is tight and you need a quick coffee or sugar boost to keep you going until the kids are in bed. Stop reaching for that fifth cup of coffee or the pack of biscuits, try these simple tips for healthy eating or this post on meal-planning made simple for ideas.
5. Define your priorities
It’s not possible to give 100% to everything, 100% of the time. If you do, there will be a cost. Instead of pushing yourself in all directions, perhaps a better option is to shift your thoughts to what’s important… and I mean really important.
Defining your priorities, committing to what matters to you and learning to let go or say no to the rest, is the art of intentional living. It’s about knowing what you want from life, and giving yourself breathing space and wiggle room to let those things happen.
Let me ask you some questions right now. Reflect on them as you go about your day…
- What you would like more of, or less of, in your life?
- When do you feel most at peace?
- If you could describe yourself in 3 words, what would they be?
- How do you feel when you go to bed at night?
Look at the answers you’ve given. Are you happy with them? Do you need to make changes? If so, what changes do you need to make and what needs to happen in order for those changes to stick and work?
Asking yourself these questions might be difficult but it’s important.
Life comes in seasons and motherhood is a busy season. That doesn’t mean you don’t get a say in what happens or that you’re not entitled to a little bit of ease, space and freedom.
Motherhood doesn’t always have to mean sacrifice. It means defining what’s important, making the right decisions for you and having the guts to follow them through. To benefit your whole family.
HELPFUL RESOURCES ON SELF-CARE
I hope you enjoyed these self-care ideas for mothers. If you’re in need of a little more help and support, here are some suggestions:
- Simplify Your Self Care – A free short challenge designed to help you look after YOU! Simple, easy challenges and information dropped direct into your inbox for a week.
- Minimalism and motherhood – how clearing clutter and defining priorities supports mothers
- 20 ways to look after yourself – simple tips for taking care of you
- Morning Routine Planner – a useful little workbook to help you plan your mornings (and your evenings too!)