Let’s face it, as a mom we tend to forget about ourselves and take care of everyone else instead. It’s a habit that we form. If you’re a stay at home mom (SAMH) like me, its even harder to get that motivation to practice self-care. Even if it is something small. Caring for everyone else can be draining lead us to feel burnt out. We begin to forget who we are outside of being a mother! Sometimes it is important for us to take a step back and think of ourselves.
Check out this post on the Importance of Practicing Self-Care for some more information.
This month, I want you to challenge yourself! Take a little bit of time out of your day to do something nice for yourself. It can be difficult to set time aside when we’re at home with the kids 24/7, but it is possible. Some of my favourite self-care activities even involve my kids!
30 Days of Self-Care:
1. Use A Face Mask
I like to use sheet masks when I need a little refresher but don’t have time to use a proper face mask. These are quick and efficient when you have kids. Record your child’s reaction the first time you use a mask around them. Don’t forget to tag me in those videos on instagram (@atlasandaxel), I’d love to see how this goes!
2. Nap While Baby Naps
Sometimes we have lots to get done, and it can become overwhelming. When I am feeling burnt out though, I like to put all things aside and nap while the kids nap. Even if it is only 30 minutes, it is a great mini refresher to help push through the rest of the day. For a little bit of extra energy, drink a cup of coffee before your nap. This caffeine may give you an extra boost of energy when you wake up!
3. Make A Gratitude List
Gratitude lists are quite simple do do, but very rewarding. I like to remind myself what I am thankful for so I have a more positive outlook on the day. It isn’t necessary to write it down, the list can be as simple as listing things in your head. It is proven that being mindful of the things you are grateful for in your life will boost your mood!
Check out this article on Psychology Today about How Gratitude Leads to a Happier Life.
4. Create Yourself A Morning Routine
Yes, babies need routine, but sometimes mom’s need routines as well. A great reason for sleep training your children is that you will have an idea of when they will wake up in the morning. If your child has a usual wake up time, try to get yourself up before they do.
Having two or more children can often make this difficult so I follow a slightly different routine. I don’t get up at any certain time, but sometimes I naturally wake up before the kids. If this happens, I complete a simple routine and then go have a nap again until the children wake up.
Generally my routine involves going to the washroom, drinking some water, washing my face, and setting out clothes for the day. Although I go back to bed after, I feel slightly more prepared for when the kids wake up because I’ve already taken care of most things.
5. Have A Dance Party With The Kids
Dance parties with the kids is my favourite thing to do to boost my mood! Put on your own happy music, not baby music, and just start dancing (obviously when no one else is looking). Whether you need to hold your baby or they are old enough to dance on their own, this always puts a smile on their face and in turn you’ll feel great too! Entertainment for your children and relaxation for yourself!
6. Go For A Walk
Personally, going outside and getting some fresh air always puts me in a great mood. This is another activity that you can do with the babies involved. Whether it is just a walk around the block or spending some time at the park, getting some exercise and fresh air always clears my mind.
7. Meal Prep For The Next Week
Something I haven’t had the opportunity to do yet, but am really excited to try, is meal prepping. I often end up skipping meals because I am so focused on making sure the kids are fed, I forget about myself. Meal prepping will save you from having to cook all day. All you need to do through the week is reheat food at meal times. Your days will feel that little bit easier!
8. Have A Proper, Long Shower
This doesn’t mean popping in the shower while the kids are napping or playing in the washroom. It doesn’t mean hopping in and quickly scrubbing some shampoo in your hair. I mean, have someone watch the children for an hour and just relaxing!
If I need some time alone without kids, I like to ask my husband to watch the babies and I will go through my entire shower routine. Shampoo, conditioner, face wash, exfoliating, shaving, etc. the whole deal. It is such a great way to feel like a whole new person in just an hour.
9. Go To Bed Early
Seriously. Set a bedtime for yourself and stick to it. Getting an appropriate amount of sleep at night allows for more energy in the morning. Sure you may have things to get done but set them aside for a day. I find that putting those aside and getting some sleep allows me to feel more productive during the following day.
10. Declutter Toys
I just started doing this recently and it feels great! In our current living situation we don’t have too much space. Getting rid of some toys that Atlas just doesn’t play with relieves some anxiety and opens up the space.
11. Have A Tech Free Day
I’ll admit, while starting a blog I have been on my phone and computer non-stop. I feel the need to maintain my social media presence all the time. It gets draining!
As the weather got nicer, I spent more time outside with my children, all devices put away. In the past, when I have done Tech Free days, I have always felt more inspired and energized afterward. Currently, I feel that doing this with my children helps me bond with them a little better. It also discourages them from building a dependency on technology themselves.
12. Try Yoga At Home
After having Atlas, before Axel was born, I loved to do some stretching and yoga at home. I have found that it opens up my body and releases any tension I may have been feeling. My favourite part of practicing yoga is when Atlas tries to copy what I am doing!
13. Go For Lunch With A Friend
This is another activity that I suggest doing on your own. Ask your partner, or someone trusted, to watch the children for a couple hours and go out with a friend for lunch. Some days we just need to get out for a bit and not have to worry about anyone else. It feels great to catch up with friends who you haven’t seen in a while.
14. Do Something New For Yourself
What is the one thing that you’ve been meaning to do for yourself? For me, I had always wanted to start a blog. So, one day I sat down and made a definitive decision to begin it. Since then, I’ve allowed myself to take time out of my days to do this one thing that’s just for me. It feels really nice to have something that I really enjoy doing that allows me to explore who I am outside of being a mother.
15. Do Something New With The Kids
Sometimes doing something new with your kids can bring you a lot more joy than you expected. Just seeing how happy they are when you try something new with them is worth it. The first time we took Atlas to the petting zoo, his face just lit up. Seeing that was something that felt just as good to me as it did for him.
16. Create A Skincare Routine
Recently, I’ve decided to put a little more effort into my skincare routine and noticed such a difference from it. For myself, I like to exfoliate 2-3x a week, cleanse my skin, use a serum, then a moisturizer and sunscreen. I add this routine into my morning routine. I also have a nighttime routine for when I wear makeup for the day too. When I feel like my skin is glowing it really boosts my mood and confidence!
17. Light Candles and Watch Netflix
I’m not much of a scent person but something about the dim lighting of a candle and a subtle burning scent just relaxes me. Pair this with watching a show that I can get invested in, like Jane The Virgin (my current favourite) and I am one relaxed mom!
18. Declutter The Kitchen
There’s just something about a messy kitchen that makes me feel kind of disgusting to be honest. If my kitchen is a mess it is hard for me to feel very healthy or productive because I feel like I have no space to prepare food or store the food. Start with cleaning out the fridge, then the cupboards and then move on from there. I guarantee that once your kitchen is clean you will be relieved from anxiety that you may not have even noticed was even there!
19. Buy A Real House Plant
I bet you didn’t know this, but house plants aren’t only for decoration! In fact, certain house plants have the added benefit of purifying the air in your home. So while aesthetically enhancing your home, you can also increase your air quality!
Some plans I suggest on purchasing include: Spider Plant, Bamboo Palm, Snake Plant, Aloe Vera and Peace Lily. These plans require relatively low maintenance for us busy mom’s, so they’re perfect!
20. Go On A Date With Your S.O.
You may not realize how much you need this, but you do. When was the last time the two of you have gone out just the two of you? Im pretty sure that we’ve gone two or three months without a single date!
Maintaining your relationship is going to play a significant role in how you feel daily. A positive relationship with your S.O. is really important. Making sure you actually spend time together and consistently communicate will only make you feel better about your day-to-day life.
21. Read Something New
This doesn’t mean to read an entire new book in one day. Instead try to read something new that will be of benefit to your life. I really like to spend time every once in a while looking up blog posts like this one that can hopefully add to my life! As someone who really strives to consistently grow as a person, I always feel better after reading something that teaches me something new!
22. Do A Home Workout
Lord knows we don’t have the time to get to the gym everyday, so instead we can try home workouts! Exercise releases feel good hormones and benefits our lives as a whole. When we are fit we don’t just gain physically but we feel better mentally as well.
I like to use planned workouts such as BBG by Kayla Itsines, which allow me to get a workout done in as little as half an hour. Working out helps me to build a stronger body and mind for my children. I know we think that having children can get in the way of this but whats great about working out at home is that your children see you as an example. More often than not they like to try and join in on the exercises.
23. Declutter The Bedroom
The bedroom is where you wake up every morning and end your day every night. If your bedroom is a mess then how can you not feel stress every day? Since we currently live in a small apartment, which we share with family, we are often stuck in our bedroom all day. I find that when I am able to keep my room clean from morning to night I feel slightly more relaxed.
24. Check In With Old Friends
Friends. They have a lot more influence in our life than we expect. To be real honest, when you begin to have kids at a young age, not many of your friends are in the same place in life as you are. Which is okay, but also means that you start to lose touch with most of them. Sometimes we just need to let those friends go, but sometimes those friendships just need a little boost every once in a while.
Reaching out to some friends who I don’t get to see often is really nice. I love catching up and remembering that Im not an entirely separate person than I was before becoming a mom.
25. Try Aromatherapy
Sometimes, on high stress days, I like to run my aroma diffuser to relieve the tension. If you’ve never tried it, you seriously need to! Its a great way to help you feel better while still participating in daily tasks you have to do. My favourites are Lavender for anxiety, Peppermint for headaches and eucalyptus for clearing up sinuses (which cause a lot more stress than you realize).
26. Replace Your Bedsheets
If youre not already in the habit of doing this, try it! Simple, but makes you feel like a whole new person! There’s just something about putting new sheets on my bed that just makes everything feel more clean and refreshed.
27. Eat Healthy All Day
Im one who is all for indulging in what you crave, I love my chocolate! However sometimes resisting the urge to eat something sweet and only having things that are healthy for my body makes me feel like I have detoxified my whole body! It is a nice feeling.
Taking time out of your day to think about nothing but breathing and finding your inner peace can help refocus your day. A great time of the day to do this is when your children are napping.
29. Bake Something
As I’ve said before, spending time with the kids is something that really cheers me up, so when I can do something for myself and spend time with them too then its a major bonus. A sometimes stressful, but rewarding activity to do is baking with your children. Even if the end result isn’t great, the time spent with your children, learning and having fun is well worth it.
30. Do Nothing
After a month of trying to fit something small for yourself into every day, do yourself a favour and do nothing! Spend a day just going with the flow. Have no expectations of what will happen. Trust me, it is really nice to just let things go from time to time.
BONUS: Reward Yourself
Congratulations! You made it through the 30 days of self care challenge for SAHM’s! Now that you know what it is like to put a little bit of focus on yourself everyday, take the time to treat yourself! Whatever you’ve been wanting for a long time, now is the time to do it! New mirror that you really want? Need a massage? That cute dress you’ve had your eye on? Go out, get it. Let it be a reminder that you put so much time into your family, it is okay to spend some time on yourself!
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