“Self-care” As Mothers, we hear this phrase a lot, oftentimes with a joke about drinking excessive amounts of wine, or actually being able to enjoy a warm cup of coffee; both are examples of coping, but not really self-care. Self-care goes beyond just how we cope; it is a multi-faceted way of taking care of our many needs as mothers, women, and as human beings. I think it is helpful to look at self-care across several different arenas..
I encourage you to brainstorm what each of these categories means to you. I’ve jotted down my understanding of these categories to help get you started:
Physical: Taking care of your body by seeing medical providers regularly, getting enough sleep, exercising regularly, fueling your body with a variety of nourishing foods (yes, that also means enjoying foods like pizza and chocolate in moderation).
Spiritual: Meditating, participating in a religious organization, volunteering, practicing gratitude, and journaling are all great ways to take care of your spiritual self.
Emotional: Making time to have without the kids (and sometimes your partner), saying “no” to what does not serve you, setting boundaries, and addressing stress as it pops up in your life.
Financial: A less well-known category of self-care, but an extremely important one. If you don’t have enough money to pay your bills – or if you spend recklessly – you will end up having a lot of stress. Financial self-care can be having a budget, paying bills on time, saving money, and overall having a good idea of your finances.
Environmental: Our immediate physical surroundings can have a big impact on how we feel. This involves having a system to keep some sense of order in your home, cleaning, and asking for help when you need it.
Psychological: Your mental health is impacted by all of these areas, but also needs to be treated as a separate entity. Social supports such as friends, Mom groups, empathic family members, and therapists are all examples of taking care of yourself psychologically.
What self-care is not: overspending, drinking alcohol/using substances, over-exercising, restricting/binging on food, not speaking up about stressors, not asking for help.
My biggest recommendation for self-care is recognizing that it is an ongoing journey, it is unique to each individual, and it is important to be flexible as you change over time. I’ve linked my favorite self-care items that span across all of these categories.
When I am struggling to feel capable as a Mother, these affirmation cards can quickly remind me of abilities, strength, and validate different emotions I am experiencing. Emotional self-care.
Mama Affirmation Cards
Inspirational Affirmation Cards for Mommas
Because the Spa is expensive and not all of our partner's want to give us back massages. This Shiatsu massager can go deep with it's kneading massage and also provides heat to all those sore spots. I know I tend to carry all of my tension in my shoulders and feel so much better when I relieve them. Perfect for your physical self-care!
Neck & Back Massager
Better than Your Partner's Back Massage
A reminder that even though Motherhood can feel very lonely, we are not alone, Perfect for your emotional and psychological self-care.
The Gift of a Happy Mother
Like a hug from all the other Mommas out there
Research has shown that aromatherapy both can help relax the mind and sometimes even stimulate it when we are struggling. Scent is a powerful sense and we can help ease our stress levels and re-focus with essential oils we apply or diffuse at home.
Scents that will help ground you on the craziest of days
Since cleaning is something that I loathe and put off, this downloadable chore checklist helps me feel like I can tackle cleaning. There is something so rewarding about having a list ready-to-do that I just have to check-off as I complete tasks.
Home Cleaning Checklist
Cleaning To-Do Lists that make you want to Clean
This may seem silly, but never underestimate the power of a quality piece of chocolate. Best enjoyed when you are doing an activity for yourself.
A chocolate a day keeps this Momma happy
Patchology Mask Kit
Aromatherapy and masks for pampering yourself
$30 SHOP NOW
Another way to experience a spa night at home, this kit includes my favorite brand of aromatherapy masks for your face, hands, feet, and even special ones for under your eyes. Plus they are all safer beauty products!