Practice self care. That’s not something I thought about a lot before I had Hayes. I just did it. I was going to the beat of my own drum. Doing things when I wanted to or doing nothing if I wanted to. I had times of overworking or under sleeping, but I was more in tune with the natural needs of my body and my mind.
There is a level of independence that I had as my childless-self that I didn’t recognize until I didn’t have it. And as that independence was replaced with dependence — a human that literally needs me to survive — I started to naturally prioritize taking care of our little nugget and being in tune with her needs instead of my own.
When you are in the thick of motherhood, practicing self care can be easily forgotten. Or. Maybe. It’s not forgotten as much as it’s just not honored.
While my body might be screaming for some TLC, my brain is firing through a list of all of the things that I need to accomplish before nap time is up. Or I might have mom guilt at the thought of going to workout instead of picking up my daughter earlier from daycare.
What if we’re overcomplicating it?
What if it isn’t that hard, but we do a really good job of making it seem that hard? I have noticed how easily overcomplicate self care and trick myself into believing it has to be a 16-hour spa day. Instead of practicing some small act of self care — like walking outside and taking five deep breaths — I end up overwhelmed by how to incorporate it into my day. So I do nothing at all.
Self care is something I have to consciously prioritize every single day.
What I’ve started to realize through some trial is that there are really really simple things I can do to practice self care. Depending on the day sometimes it’s something small and other times is a full me-day. The important thing for me is keep doing it.
I’m worth self care. And so are you.
Here are some things that have worked for me. Some are super simple. And some are a bigger ask. I hope you can find a few things to add to your list this week!
Simple things I do to practice self care
- Ask for help
- Forgive yourself
- Set a timer for five minutes, go outside, and breathe
- Schedule lunch with a friend
- Lay outside and listen to a Podcast
- Take a vacation day for yourself
- Stop what you’re doing, walk around the block, start again
- Set boundaries
- Stay at home on a Friday night
- Do a longer-than-normal workout
- Take a nap
- Write down 10 things your grateful for
- Cozy up and read a book
- Get a coffee by yourself
- Make a Pinterest board with your favorite self care quotes
- Put your phone in another room
- Get a mani, pedi, or a mani pedi 😉
- Take a long walk
- Have a dance party to your favorite song
- Get a massage
- Watch your favorite show
- Stop what you’re doing and drink a big glass of water
- Close your eyes. Take five deep breaths in a row
- Get dessert. Eat it slowly and in silence
- Find a quiet, dark room and meditate
- Say “no”
- Order your favorite takeout for dinner
- Take a long shower or bath
- Go to bed early
- Pick an area of your house and declutter it
- Have a night out (or in) with your girlfriends
How do you practice self care? I’d love to add more things to this list!