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Whether you’re a brand-new mom or an experienced “chief chaos coordinator,” you need to relax and have some “me” time on a regular basis. It’s not only essential for your own mental and physical health, it’s essential for your kids as well. A stressed-out mom leads to stressed-out kids, whereas implementing healthy behaviors provides a healthy pattern for your kids to follow. Join us as we cover six self-care tips for moms that you can practice in the comfort of your home.
1. Take a Nap with Your Kids
As a caretaker, it becomes way too easy to be busy taking care of everyone else (washing the peed-on clothes, sweeping the floor, preparing educational activities, organizing the husband) that we sometimes forget that we need to think about taking care of ourselves. If you’re an early riser or late-night over-achiever who likes to smash through your checklist after everyone else has gone to bed, give yourself a good half hour to nap with your kids during the day.
Napping with kids can be something of a guilty pleasure — wasting half an hour of precious daylight (what?!) — but sometimes a few winks and delicious baby/toddler snuggles can help you recharge for a kick-ass afternoon and evening. If you’re breastfeeding a little one, napping together can be a good way to get some rest while feeding your child. Make sure you’ve eaten some 5-minute breastfeeding snacks to keep you recharged until you both awake.
2. Take a Shower and Close the Door
Self-care tips for moms can be something as basic as taking a shower — without your little one banging on the door. For new moms especially, covering your own health basics can prove to be a formidable challenge — at the same time that your newborn is 100% dependent on you, your body is recovering from the marathon of childbirth!
To make sure that you get in that leisurely shower (plus sitz bath, perineal spray, tummy butter, etc. for brand-new moms), ask your partner, roommate, or postpartum doula to watch the baby for 45 minutes and change the baby’s diaper if needed. For mothers of toddlers and big kids, closing the door (and LOCKING IT from the inside) could be exactly what you need to enjoy that nice long shower along with that hair wash and shave you’ve been dying for.
3. Ask Your Partner for a Massage
Carrying babies and toddlers around all day and feeding little ones while working with the other hand can wreak havoc on your back and neck. When planning how to spend some time to relax, consider asking your partner for a massage or investing in a home visit from a physiotherapist. Correcting any knots and postural issues now can prevent you from becoming more seriously injured (and unable to care for your family) later on.
If massaging yourself at home or enjoying a back rub as a treat from hubby, you can hit two self-care goals in one with nourishing skincare products that moisturize and refresh while providing the slide-ability you need.
Related read: At Home Date Night Ideas
4. Put on Some Relaxing Music
Whereas our first three self-care ideas for moms are more practical, the three that follow are tied more closely to your mental and emotional well being. If you only have 15 minutes to yourself at night, choose some relaxing music you enjoy and close your eyes and relax while you listen. Studies have shown that music can have an enormous impact on your mood and can even help you feel less pain.
This self-care technique can also be used if you’re feeling stressed during the day. Close yourself in your bedroom with a “do not disturb” sign on the door and breathe deeply while you listen to music. In a few short minutes, you’ll re-emerge with a much calmer and happier demeanor.
5. Practice Relaxation Techniques
Ready to take your self-care for moms to the next level? It might be time to learn a few relaxation techniques for anxiety. A couple of the simplest techniques are the simple counted breath and the three-part breath. These are techniques you can practice anywhere and help you learn to physically relax. Once you’ve got these breaths down-pat, consider beginning a practice such as mindfulness or loving-kindness meditation. These non-religious, research-supported techniques help you become more centered and calm — exactly what a stressed mom needs!
6. Keep a Diary
This might sound like more work than you need if you’re looking for self-care ideas for moms. However, if you’re really stressed out — or even starting to panic — you might need to take some time to process your thoughts and look for solutions.
According to research, purposeful, positive-affect journaling can help you reduce your stress and improve wellbeing. Even if you only spend fifteen minutes writing down your thoughts and brainstorming solutions to your challenges, those fifteen minutes could transform your personal wellbeing, your relationships, your parenting, and the tone of your home. These days, there are hundreds of articles online with suggestions for solving common parenting challenges. If there’s something specific that you’re facing, it’s likely that others have faced the same thing before and come out the other side with a few nifty tricks that they are more than happy to share with you.
You Need to Leave the House Sometimes
We’ve covered six self-care tips for moms that you can use to relax at home. But you also need to get out sometimes! In addition to daily outdoor adventures with your kids where you all get some exercise and fresh air, consider these relaxing activities when you want some precious time alone:
- Go out for a leisurely bike ride.
- Go out for a coffee with a friend.
- Get your hair cut.
- Go for a professional massage.
- Enjoy a professional treatment at a medspa.
- Spend time in a safe place in nature.
Remember that you need time alone with your significant other as well as time to recharge by yourself. Writing it all in your calendar or diary is the best way to make sure some of it actually happens!