Let’s face it- as Mom’s we rarely get a moment to ourselves. And when we do, the first thing on our mind isn’t usually taking care of ourselves. But, we need to change that. We’ve got to start focusing a little bit of our attention on us. We’ll be better parents, spouses…humans! I turned 31 this weekend, and with every passing year I understand the importance of ‘me time’, So, this week I’m extending a challenge to you. TAKE SOME TIME FOR YOU! Here are 6 ways you can practice some intentional self care.
Write in a Gratitude Journal
I don’t even need to break out the research that says if you take some time to appreciate what you’re thankful for, it really helps put everything into perspective, do I? IT JUST WORKS. If you’ve never tried it, just go for it. Make a list every day. It can be 3 things. 5 things. 10. It doesn’t matter. The writing is totally therapeutic and makes you feel so amazing when you realize how blessed you truly are. Truth- it doesn’t have to be a fancy notebook. Grab yourself a notepad, ripped off sheet of lined paper, the back of a receipt if you must. (But, I prefer a fancy notebook just because that’s who I am- then I can keep it and go back to it on hard days.)
Take a Walk
Getting outside always boosts my mood and we all know that, “exercise gives you endorphins and endorphins make you happy…and happy people don’t kill their Husbands.” (Thanks Legally Blonde). But, seriously. I realized early on, especially if you’re still the mom to a fairly new little one, that sometimes you just can’t get outside. And on those days I was always more crabby. My favorite time to take a stroll is post-dinner. Hold hands with your spouse and take a lap around the block. Or stick your kiddos on their bikes and let them follow behind. And if at all possible- make a lap ALONE. Watch the sun set. Listen to the birds sing their evening songs. Or put in your ear buds and jam to your favorite tunes. Instant mood booster, and a great way to practice self care.
Have an Extra Long Soak
Alright, I know. Not all of our bathtubs look like that. Or you may not have a tub at all. But, the whole idea is- actually take your time soaking in the tub (or an extra long, hot shower). Mom life usually entails that most of the time our bathing is rushed and we sometimes forget whether or not we used conditioner. I have even gone so far as only shaving one of my arm pits. Please tell me I’m not alone. So, once this week- take some extra time in the grooming department. My favorite way to self care is a long bubble bath, a face mask, music, candles, and a good book. If that’s not for you, do whatever fills you up. Long shower with music blasting? That works too!
Dance it Out
Music is always a great way to cheer you up, motivate you, chill you out. Any of the above. You know those signs that say things like ‘Our Kitchen is for Dancing’? That’s definitely true in the Bishop house. We dance in our socked feet to records at least 3 days a week (is that the most hipster thing I’ve ever said?). Or we put on Pandora and shuffle until we can’t move any more. I’ve NEVER been in a bad mood afterwards. Putting yourself in a good mood is the BEST way to practice intentional self care.
If you’re looking for some more positive mood boosters- click here.
Hit the Open Road
When we’ve had a particularly overwhelming week, one of our favorite things to do as a family is take a road trip. Lack of funds doesn’t have to be an issue, because we never go far. Sometimes we just take an extra long route to get ice cream. Or explore a nearby town that we’ve never been to. We get a chance to talk in the car, listen to music, and just hang out together. We hand our son coloring books, or listen to books on CD. This is hard to do when your kids are really little- but becomes exponentially more fun as they get bigger.
Get Back in the Kitchen
Here’s a tidbit of info about me. When I’m stressed- I bake. Really happy- I bake. Bored- I bake. Sense a theme? Sometimes self care looks like mixing delicious ingredients to make something tasty for your family. Or making a passed down recipe and sharing it with friends. Not a baker? That’s why break apart, store bought cookies sell so well! (Also- can you really beat chocolate chip cookies, even when they’re pre mixed?) Sometimes the simple act of cooking something allows you to clear your mind, refreshes you, and you end up with something yummy to snack on in the process. Win-win!
The whole point of this is- self care doesn’t look the same for everyone. But, there are so many ways to refresh and reinvigorate yourself, that sometimes we forget that it really is that simple! Self care doesn’t have to be extensive to be effective, either. Don’t forget to take some time for you this week. Practice that intentional self care (aka ON PURPOSE!) And feel free to let me know your favorite ways to self care!