Self-Care Isn’t Selfish
Just about every mom I know puts the needs of others before her own, which is why I’m calling out all moms and making sure the message gets heard: Caring for yourself is caring for your family—it’s vital to your mental, physical and emotional health, and it will make you a better mom, spouse and person.
Five Essential Self-Care Tips for Moms
Mothers are just about the most selfless beings on the planet. But sometimes the best thing a mom can do is something for herself.
Just about every mom I know puts the needs of others before her own, which is why I’m calling out all moms and making sure the message gets heard: Caring for yourself is caring for your family. You deserve self-love—it’s vital to your mental, physical and emotional health, and it will make you a better mom, spouse and person.
My Top 5 Tips for Self-Care
- Find time to exercise
- Whether it’s taking an hour to go for a walk around your neighborhood, implementing a morning stretching routine or challenging yourself by joining a weekly HIIT class, make sure you make time somewhere in your week to concentrate on your physical health. Science has confirmed what doctors have always believed: that physical activity and regular exercise are imperative to your overall health, happiness and life expectancy. So make your doctor—and yourself—proud! You’ll have so much more energy. And remember: your health should be as much of a priority as the rest of your family’s health!
- Establish a sleep schedule
- Sleep and exercise are best friends when it comes to making you feel your best. Studies show that lack of sleep, low-quality sleep and disrupted sleep can cause health problems and negatively affect your quality of life. Too many moms put sleep on the side burner to make room for other tasks, but sacrificing sleep may cause you to crash and burn.
- You may not be able to control when your kids go to bed (or when they wake you up!), but setting a time at night when you put everything else down, sit back and unwind is an essential part of leading a happy, healthy life. Don’t force yourself to do that last load of laundry—shut off your computer and let giving your mind and body a rest take precedence. Indulge in an hour of HBO before bed, have a mug of hot tea or do whatever you need to do to completely relax so that you can sleep easy.
- Prepare meals that YOU enjoy
- Food should be a priority EVERY DAY. Make sure that you’re eating and eating well. It is vital to plan a meal at least once a week geared towards what you’ve been craving. It can be family-friendly, but it should include what you truly enjoy eating as well, whether it’s healthy or comforting—or both!
- Spend time with your friends
- Girlfriends help you live longer It’s proven, so spend time with your friends. I cannot emphasize this enough. It is extremely important to not only have your village but to take advantage of it. And when I say “spend time with your friends,” I don’t just mean at your kids’ playdates. I mean “spend time with your friends” alone, together. Challenge yourself during this time to focus completely on the relationship in front of you. Talk about yourself and the things you love to do, the books you love to read, the concerts you want to attend, the new podcast you’ve been listening to with your friend. It’s so easy to lose your sense of self when you’re a mom, but hanging out with a good friend and reminding each other that you’re both people outside of being moms can be so therapeutic and refreshing.
- Let someone take care of YOU
- There are all sorts of reasons why you might hesitate to set aside the time and money to do the things that you enjoy, but LET THEM GO! We talk about this at length in episode 6 of Windy City Nanny, featuring my dear friend Meghan. Continuing your beauty regimen, going to the salon and getting your nails done, having your hair blown out or getting a facial is a great way to address your needs and let someone else take care of you. And, it’s not just about getting pampered. Bring on the babysitter or household help so that you can take a few things off your plate to do the things you love. There is absolutely no shame in that!
If you feel your best, you can live your best life and be the best mom, wife and person that you want to be. And nothing feels better than that!