Self-care as a mom – whether you’re a stay-at-home or working full-time – can feel almost non-existent, but there are some particular self-care struggles a working mom may face.
It’s critical to keep in mind that true, supportive self-care isn’t as simple as a bubble bath or a face mask on the couch, even though both of those activities are quite lovely and relaxing.
I share more about the most important types of self-care for working moms below, so keep reading.
Self-care is important for anyone, but it’s essential for moms. Mothers tend to fall into the “do everything” trap and often overextend themselves to help those they love, leaving them feeling burned out and exhausted in return.
When mothers don’t care for their needs, they can become resentful, angry, upset, and even experience mental distress signs such as anxiety and depression. Needless to say, a self-care practice isn’t selfish; rather, it’s imperative to one’s health and wellness.
Listen in: How to Self-Care as a Busy Mom
If you’re a working mom, it might feel easy to fall into the mindset that your time at work is your “alone time,” but the reality is, time spent working isn’t enough. At work, you’re still on call, perhaps answering emails and phone calls, having complicated conversations, and thinking about other things other than yourself.
To truly flourish and feel like your best self, alone time is required. While this time away looks different for every mom, what’s important is that you have time to spend caring for yourself, reflecting upon your needs, and taking some time to breathe.
As a working mom, making time for yourself can feel next to impossible, so pay attention to tip number one and number three listed below. These two strategies will be your best ally in getting that coveted – and necessary – time for yourself. It’s not selfish; it’s essential.
Learning to set boundaries isn’t always natural or easy, but that doesn’t make them any less important. When you set boundaries with yourself and others, you make more time and energy within your life. Then, ideally, you use that newly found time for your self-care practice.
Plus, setting boundaries is a powerful form of emotional self-care on its own.
Having a simple morning routine can help set the tone for the rest of your day. There are some important considerations to keep in mind while crafting your ideal morning routine but aim to keep it simple, supportive, and sustainable. Hopefully, your morning routine leaves you feeling nourished and grounded and helps you tune into your needs before the day even begins.
There’s a societal pressure for moms to “do it all,” almost an invisible badge of honor that’s to be earned by carrying the load of motherhood solo. Well, here’s the thing. It’s not realistic for you to do everything on your own. In fact, I challenge you to do consider that asking for support is a two-fold approach to self-care:
1. Asking for help supports your mental health (and that’s a form of self-care!)
2. Asking for help allows you to create more space in your day to practice other forms of self-care like going for a walk, taking a nap, meditating, or however else you plan to spend your time. And no, running errands alone doesn’t count as self-care.
Before we dive into this self-care tip, there’s an important distinction to make. Covering your basic needs isn’t the self-care we’re aiming for here. Yes, taking a shower, eating breakfast, and drinking enough water throughout the day technically are forms of self-care, but on their own they are not enough for a truly nourishing self-care practice when you’re a busy working mom.
But (there’s always a but), when you cover your basic needs upfront, you will feel more taken care of and will get used to the feeling of taking care of yourself from the ground up. Then, as your self-care muscle grows, you can begin to layer in deeper self-care practices that truly fill your cup.
A good day starts with a good night’s rest. Studies show that when your quality of sleep is compromised, the rate of emotional distress, mood disorders, and cognitive impairment increases. Not only will it become harder for you to concentrate at work, but you’ll feel too exhausted to mindfully engage with your family when at home.
Focus on creating a nighttime routine for better sleep, one that encourages you to catch a quality eight hours of sleep each night. The better your sleep, the happier, more connected human you’ll become. If you have to, you can even set limits and boundaries around screen time to encourage a better night of rest.
Every human deserves alone time where they are free to spend it doing whatever they need to fill their cup and tend to their individual needs. Moms deserve alone time, whether they’re a stay-at-home or full-time working mother or somewhere in between.
Taking alone time can help empower you to feel like the happy, confident, and grounded mother that your kids deserve, even if that means you have to ask for help, set boundaries with your boss at work, or gracefully bow out of some of your commitments. Your alone time is worth it.
Plus, when you opt to take alone time, you send a compelling message to your kids that self-care is important, and it’s okay to take time to tend to your needs.
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