Self Care for Super Moms- 10 Tiny Moments to Take For Yourself
Have you ever felt overwhelmed? Like 4 o’clock on a Tuesday and you have to pick up the kids from practice, stop at the grocery store, cook dinner, wrangle homework, get everyone ready for bed, and manage to wind down after all of that?
If this is a normal day for you and overwhelm just seems like part of the package, I want to let you in on a secret.
Self care is the practice of putting yourself first and doing things that are meant to serve only you.
The idea is to honor your body and mind and soul in a way that lets you be your best self.
Parents tend to be experts at taking care of other people. We often put ourselves on the back burner in favor of making sure everyone else is okay. And while this behavior is beautiful and kind it can leave you feeling overwhelmed, exhausted, even resentful. This is where self care comes in, you take care of you so that you are able to show up for others the way you want to.
But I don’t have time for self care! I can’t afford a massage right now! I feel guilty if I‘m sneaking off to do something just for me! Yes, massages and luxurious amounts of alone time can be part of self care. But I promise you, self care does not have to be a huge time commitment, cost a fortune, or take away from anyone else. Here are 10 tiny ways to engage in daily self care. Try getting into a regular habit of these and see if the weight on your shoulders lifts.
- Go outside and look at the sky
- Give a person or your pet a hug
- Listen to your favorite uplifting song
- Move your body
- Breathe in and think “I am enough”, breathe out and think “I’ve got this”
- Send kind wishes
- Choose one surface (table, counter top, dresser, etc) and clean it up
- Put your feet up
- Have a glass of water
- Savor a tiny pleasant thing
Go outside and look at the sky
The sky is beautiful and giving it your attention for a moment can remind you of the beauty in the world. It also allows you to switch your focus from everything that is in your face to something that is far away, giving you some space for a minute. Noticing the sky, the clouds, the weather, lets you be present and experience the right now. Being present in the now reduces the anxiety of future thinking and the sadness of rehashing the past.
Give a person or your pet a hug
Physical touch can reduce stress, boost your immune system, and lower your blood pressure.
Listen to your favorite uplifting song
The benefits of music are well documented. Take a moment to play your favorite happy song and let the music fill you up. I especially like to do this when I’m alone in the car and can turn the volume way up.
Move your body
Stand up and let your hips stretch out. Relieve some of the tension in your neck by rolling your shoulders or head. Swing your arms a few times. There is plenty of evidence out there saying exercise and stretching are beneficial, and yes you should be doing all of that. But this is about self care and finding the time and motivation to do it, so just get started by doing one small thing.
Breathe in and think “I am enough”, breathe out and think “I’ve got this”
This kind of mantra paired with breathing is a mindfulness technique that can get you started on a habit of positive self regard and feeling confident. Try it a bunch of times until the words start to feel more natural. Or, choose your own mantra.
Send kind wishes
Place your hand over your heart. Next, imagine a person, or look around you and pick someone. Then, send them some kind wishes, like “may you be healthy, may you be at peace”. Next, send yourself those same kind wishes “may I be healthy, may I be at peace”.
Choose one surface (table, counter top, dresser, etc) and clean it up
I find that clearing away clutter in my physical space helps to clear my mind as well. This is not meant to be an opportunity to feel guilty over a mess or slide from self care into actual cleaning. This is about mindfully creating some space for yourself.
Put your feet up
Try this yoga pose- lie on the floor and put your legs up on the wall or couch. Let your arms rest comfortably to the side and breathe slowly and deeply. This pose can facilitate relaxing, relieve tension, and promote circulation.
Have a glass of water
Even a little bit of dehydration can leave you feeling more tense, tired, and unfocused. So if you are noticing some fatigue or irritability take a minute to have some water.
Savor a tiny pleasant thing
This is one of my favorite techniques. Our brains are really good at zeroing in on the stuff that isn’t going right and they tend to skate right over the good stuff. Tiny pleasant things are those nice little things that barely make our radar, like the pretty yellow flower growing in the sidewalk crack. Normally we might not think twice about something so simple. But, by savoring these tiny pleasant things for just ten seconds, we are showing our brain the feelings we want more of, we are preparing ourselves to be ready for more good things to come along, and we are giving our bodies a break from the usual worry and stress. Now you are going to notice that yellow flower and think “How nice! Look at that beautiful and resilient flower thriving in difficult conditions. I’m so happy that it brightened my day.”