Let’s face it: being a mother is difficult. There appears to be an endless list of tasks, errands, housework, and kid’s activities. This can be made even more difficult if you have a job outside the home. With so much time spent caring for one’s family and exhaustion setting in, finding time for self-care appears to be the first thing to fall through the cracks in a hectic schedule. Self-care is the practice of looking after one’s own health, happiness, and well-being. It is an important part of stress relief and wellness. Making time for yourself may appear to be self-indulgent or selfish, but this is far from the case. Small acts of self-care or self-kindness can go a long way toward alleviating the exhaustion, burnout, stress, and even depression that many busy mothers experience.
Here are some quick self-care tips:
- Delegate and seek assistance.
It’s difficult to admit you need help or that you can’t do everything on your own. An old adage says that it takes a village to care for a family, and this could not be more true. Find your village and ask for assistance. Accept assistance when it is offered. This may result in a few more valuable moments to focus on yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no to commitments that don’t interest you or take up too much of your time.
- Stay organized.
Maintain a calendar, planner, or list of upcoming appointments and tasks for yourself and your family. Avoid stress caused by the unexpected, such as a school project that your child requires assistance with at the last minute. To avoid becoming overwhelmed, prioritize tasks. Begin by completing the most time-consuming or uninteresting tasks first, in order to get them out of the way.
- Focus on the fundamentals of healthy living.
Set a goal of seven to eight hours of sleep per night. Try to get some physical activity in every day, with a weekly goal of 150 minutes. Eat a healthy diet that includes lean meats, low-fat dairy, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. Avoid sugary drinks, alcoholic beverages, and high-fat foods. Every day, drink six to eight cups of water.
- Make time for yourself.
Add a “date” with yourself to your calendar and mark it as “protected.” Schedule a fitness class, lunch with a friend, or coffee with a good book, for example. Once the date has been set, make every effort to keep it, just as you would any other appointment.
The most important aspects of self-care are to be realistic and goal-oriented. If your schedule is hectic and chaotic, it may be unrealistic to expect hours of self-care activities per week. Begin small and with attainable goals. For example, focusing on deep breathing, meditation, or positive affirmations for 10 minutes per day may be all that is realistic at this time. Build on the foundation you’ve already laid.
Mother’s health and well-being have an impact on the entire family. You will become an even better caregiver if you incorporate self-care into your daily routine.