What better way to break down self-care for you amazing Mamas than to tell you exactly how I practice self-care!?
This “loving yourself as much as (or more than sometimes) others” and “self-care not being selfish” concepts have, honestly, been a struggle since becoming a Mama Bear. And in some ways, I am grateful for that. That I have the capability to feel selfless enough to take care of, and nurture, 3 other lives, yeah I’m definitely glad to know I am capable.
But holy cow, the struggle has been REAL, y’all! First I struggle with even feeling capable of these lives that depend on me (I said I have the capability, not that I actually feel it all the time!)
Then there is the self-care and self-love part… Having 3 kids so close together, I never had the time in between them to learn who I was in addition to being a Mom. I went from having my own identity, to Mama Bear, then of 2, then 3. Sure I dabbled around with stuff when I had the chance, but we were a young family with a small income. I didn’t have a ton of help, just The Hubs and me, since his family lives an hour away from us.
You know where I’m going with this. You’ve struggled, and possibly are right now, with the exact same feeling I am talking about. I lost myself because I lost my self-care and self-love.
It took a while to figure it out. My son is only 2. So this is still all very fresh and my own life is only just starting to feel like I’m understanding how I can navigate things. But you can bet I’ve been working my @$* off to get to where I am at this very moment, putting my story and energy out there into the universe, to you right here, right now.
Onto the stuff you originally clicked here to see.
Here is my best effort to infuse as much self-care as possible into my life.
You see, I am a girly-girl. I may not seem like it, what with my unwashed, un-brushed hair, no makeup, and yoga pants 100% of the time. But I used to wear makeup every single day, wear skirts and dresses daily, always be picking flowers, and doing my hair, and singing in the meadows with my animal friends.
Oh wait… I just fell into one of my kids Princess movies, but you get the point. Then once I had kids, and my self-care fell to wayside, so did all of my favorite girly-girl things.
So for me and my personal definition of what self-care is to me, I wanted practices that allowed me to feel that the girly-girl side of me was still in there. Because she is! I know that now!
Ok! Moving on to the list!
Brush Twice as Part of a Morning and Nightly Routine
Self-care isn’t always manicures and facials and spa days. In most cases, self-care practices are easy, day-to-day, smaller things that add up in the end. With the bigger, more “reward” like practices sprinkled in there. So, to make sure that I am properly taking care of myself, I make a point to brush after my first cup of coffee (see how I have a set time of day to do this), that is also when I put on deodorant, and apply of my magical essential oils. Then I brush again when I’m going through my nightly routine of washing my face and changing into my pajamas. My teeth suffered
Basically the majority of my jewelry now is post earrings, small beaded bracelets, a fun ring, and my engagement+wedding rings. I do have some bigger, bolder necklaces and plenty of fun, dangle earrings. It just brings me so much joy in hearing my bracelets banging on the table as I eat or type and I always love seeing the glints of glitter on my ears and neck when I walk past a mirror.
These are things that bring me happiness. But I don’t remember everyday to put jewelry on. So I pick a couple pieces to be my daily pieces, some smaller earrings, a small necklace, and little seed-beaded bracelets, things I can sleep in so that when I wake up from a rough night with the kids, feeling like a zombie from no sleep, not even daring to glance in the mirror at my hot-mess appearance, I know find a glimmer of hope and joy with just a little string on my wrist. And BOOM! Self-care+Yoga Magic!
Drink From a Special Water Bottle
I have been trying to reduce the toxic products in our house, so I have found a BPA free, glass water bottle. As an act of self-care, because it may not be practical to never have any plastic products in our house right now, I can feel good knowing I am caring for myself and aligning as many aspects of my life as possible with my goals. It may seem small (and silly) to some, but for me it is a way of caring for myself- body, mind, and soul. For more fun, and to make sure I drink enough water each day, I add some drops of Lemon essential oil to it! I use Young Living Lemon Vitality.
Wake Up Before the Kids and Meditate
Today was day 12 in a row! And can I just start off by saying this one has had the biggest impact by far! I was just telling The Hubs earlier, “I feel like I am able to respond, instead of react!” For me, this is huge! Where I used to fly off the handle and react with the first thing that popped into my brain, I can now take a breath and respond to a situation.
If a kid needs to be punished for something, I do it in a way that is calm, nurturing, and appropriate for the individual situation. So, where I used to react “Ugh you spilled your drink AGAIN?! How do you always do that??” I can now take a deep breath and say “Ok, I see we spilled our drink. I think you know we have been talking about being careful and maybe we could have done this a better way. Help me clean up and we can discuss.” This is way better for my temperament and way better for my sweet little kiddo! I use Insight Timer, do guided meditations based on my goals for the day, and then I try my best to quiet my mind and sit still. My meditations are far from perfect, but in meditation its the attempt that matters- not the “success”.
Step on My Yoga Mat
I wish I could honestly say I do this daily, but in reality it’s more like 4-5 times a week on average. Some weeks it’s 7, some weeks it’s only 3. My goal is 5 days a week. Why not 7? you may ask. Well, part of setting goals and sticking to them, is knowing yourself well enough to know what goals are achievable. With my busy family, I don’t always have (or make) the time to unroll my mat, queue up a video or get deep enough to flow freestyle, tune out the world, get sweaty, etc. However, that leads me to my next point…
Learn more about why I love yoga so much: https://bethdyeryoga.com/10-reasons-why-i-l-o-v-e-love-yoga/
Stretch My Body and Move My Energy
Those days that I don’t have the chance to actually unroll the mat and flow, I don’t get too down on myself because I make sure I stretch and breathe through my movements to get my energy flowing and body moving. When I brush my teeth, I do side stretches or neck rolls or sit in chair pose (eh, that last one not as much, hahaha!) While I’m standing around pushing my son in the swing, I fold over into a forward fold and stretch my legs. If I’m outside enjoying the evening with The Hubs after the kids go to bed, I use the chair to practice balancing poses like Tree or Warrior 3, or go deeper into standing hip-openers like standing figure 4.
I make it a daily act of self-care to keep my energy from getting stuck and stagnant (by breathing deeply and moving prana), I stretch my muscles and release endorphins, and those things keeps me happy, and feeling joy in myself, and therefore my life!
Drink a Glass of Wine
Y’all can think what you want, but I thoroughly enjoy winding down my night with a glass of wine. I know that at 12 noon when meltdowns are in full swing, I have that delicious, calming glass of wine waiting for me later. I don’t drink to get drunk, I just really enjoy it! Some nights I even have more than one, no shame in my game!
I express myself so much through writing. When I am anxious, I write, when I am feeling down, I write. When I’m angry, excited, mind-blown, whatever, I love to write it down. It’s very freeing for me, and I find I can keep track of similarities of thought patterns, if I’m having trouble narrowing down ideas it helps me organize those thoughts. It also helps me to see where some of the negative thoughts and feelings come from so I can work on removing that trigger from my life. I encourage people to write all the time, I even bought The Hubs a beautiful blue journal of his own when he went to go work overseas. I try to journal quickly after each meditation in the morning, just to record my meditation experience (Insight Timer has a function where the journal spot pops up right after I finish a meditation).
Take My Kiddos Special Places
Ok, corny I know. But I can’t help it, I really do love seeing my kids have fun! I love taking them to the park and watching the smiling faces go down the slide. It brings me joy seeing them explore and learn at the Discovery Center. Hearing their thanks and praises for taking them to get ice cream.
We don’t do it all the time, because money, and time, and well if we did it all the time then it wouldn’t be special for any of us. My relationship with my kids is one of the most important to me, and one of the relationships I always worry isn’t as strong at it should be. So to make sure I am not only nurturing the relationship with my kids, but keeping my own anxiety at bay, I make it an act of self-care to take my kiddos to go do fun stuff!
Apply a Face Mask
I have two face masks that I love! My charcoal mask from Mary Kay, and my Skin Polish from LimeLife. I absolutely love my skin after washing off one of these amazing masks. Shoot, I love the smell and spa-like feeling of the mask while applying and drying on my face! Stress causes wrinkles. Kids cause stress. Masks and other skin care regimens help reduce wrinkles! Both masks do require some dry time, and both do take some time to wash off, so I normally do this once or twice a week since my kiddos start getting nosey, then into other stuff while I’m distracted with my mask which leads to messes and more chaos.
Take a Bubble Bath
Warm water, Epsom salt with essential oils, bubbles, and wine. There is no way I am not going to feel good after a nice bubble bath. I normally take in a book, since there isn’t much time during my day to focus on a book and not the crazy flurry of kids running around. For me, baths aren’t like showers. I don’t get in the bath to worry about getting clean, I get in the bath to worry about getting relaxed. And since I’d rather spend any quiet time without kids with The Hubs, I only take bubble baths a few times a month; but for me it’s such a special reward for keeping up with my other self-care practices and all of my other day-to-day Momlife responsibilities.
Well there you have it.
Here is my very own personal list of self-care practices. I hope to continue to add to this list, in both daily and special practices. I hope this has cleared up some misconceptions, and shown you that there is a way to balance self-care with family care. You are not selfish for taking care of yourself! It won’t always be perfect, but the more you work at your self-care habits, the more it will become second nature.
And we all know, we cannot properly care for others if we don’t also care for ourselves! So don’t let that well run dry, Mama! Find some simple self-care practices you can implement daily, then pick a couple bigger ones to sprinkle in to keep the momentum going! I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments! Who knows, you may inspire someone else!!!
If you’re looking for more Self-Care inspiration…
Check out this awesome, FREE self-care bundle. This bundle includes a guided gratitude meditation, 3 journal prompts, and 6 zen coloring pages. Use the great freebies in this bundle to help infuse a little self-love and self-care into your day. Take some time to make yourself a priority, no excuses now that you have 3 different practices you can implement TODAY!