Here are my 3 top secrets to create REGULAR self-care even if you are a super busy mama:
1. Plan your self-care before noon.
Our day typically doesn't get less busy as it goes on. I have never heard anyone tell me "And then by 3pm there was miraculously nothing else to take care of." Yeah, right... I wish!
Whatever it is that you're doing for YOU, plan it with priority and urgency. If it's the last thing that you're trying to cramp into your busy day, it's also the last thing on your priority list. For moms especially that just means that you won't ever get to it, because let's be honest, we are exhausted by 9pm (or, truthfully, 7pm;)).
2. Make it something you REALLY look forward to.
Simply put, if you're truly stoked about what you're up to, it's much more likely to happen.
Trust me, I've talked to a lot of mamas who think self-care means pushing themselves with hard discipline way beyond their limits to do something their bodies and minds are resisting. So let me be clear, I am talking about self-care that is deeply nourishing and rejuvenating and that will leave you repleted, not depleted.
3. Reframe your mind that self-care can ONLY happen when you're not with the kids.
I used to think that self-care happens when I am alone or with a girlfriend and we're doing "adult" or "girl" things. And then I realized that those are the golden nuggets of self-care, but that those grand gestures of self-care simply aren't feasible every day. Plus, what if you just want more moments that feel like self-care than your morning walk? (And I don't mean put your kids in front of the TV and go to yoga lol ;))
But seriously, why cannot we practice self-care WITH our kids? What's keeping us from playing relaxing music and laying on the floor with our little humans? What's keeping us from pulling out our favorite lotion and doing a little skin care play with our kids (this one is a Felix favorite recently)? Who says we cannot find ways to involve our children into breathing rituals or gratitude work (let's draw something we are grateful for, anyone?)?
You know what's keeping us from it? It is our busy minds that are telling us that we cannot slow down, that we need to fill every minute of our day with productive activities. It is our minds that have gotten sold on the idea that we need to constantly entertain our children with extravagant activities and that child and adult play are inherently different. That is simply not true.
Sure, involving your kids may not be like a 60 minute massage and yes, sometimes your plans won't work out and your kids will make a mess instead, but we can still work towards it. And when it does work, it is extra magical for all of you.
So here's my challenge for you: make self-care a priority and find big or small ways to incorporate practices, routines, activities and play into your daily life that feel deeply nourishing to you (and your kids).
In the comments below, let me know: have you learned anything from this article? Have you ever practiced self-care with your kids? What feels the most nourishing to you? What is your favorite way to take care of yourself?