Self-care is the hot topic of 2019 – especially when it comes to being a mama. We are always told to make time for self-care—but what does that look like? Sure, sometimes that’s a day spent at the spa while the kids are with the sitter, but who has time for that to be part of their routine on the regular? Not me, and I’d guess probably not most of you either.
So can we just take a second here to acknowledge what we’re all thinking? Sometimes, mom needs a break. And there’s no time to call in reinforcements like dad, gramma, or a sitter. So sometimes that means the kids get extra screen time so we moms can have five whole minutes to ourselves. And guess what – that’s OK, mama! This is a no-judgment zone, girl. Life is tricky, especially as a mom, so to balance it all, we do what we’ve gotta do!
Now we’re past that, I want to share some of my favorite ways to unwind and treat myself on the reg! Different days call for different approaches, depending on what’s bringing me down. But it always boils down to one of three categories: body, mind, or spirit.
We’ve all been there – at the end of a long day or week, maybe spent chasing kids, or a tough workout we finally made the time to make happen, or just plain stress –our body can be achy and sore. And mamas, we are warriors, and we push through. But that’s not always heroic. Sometimes we’ve gotta slooooow down and listen to our bodies – and make time for self-care. If we continue to give to others without filling up our own cups, pretty soon there’s nothing left to give.
My go-to easy way to unwind and feel better is a bath. Honestly, there are plenty of nights I would love to take one and almost don’t because I am too tired. Too tired for a bath!!! If you’re not a mom, you’ll never understand. But if you are, you feel me. But I always push myself to take one, and I am so grateful for following my body’s cues and my intuition once I do. Cause it feels like heaven.
If you’ve only got time and energy for a basic bath, do it. It’ll still make you feel all warm and snuggly and happy. But if you wanna level up, drop in some Epsom salts. Legit you can buy a 5 lb. bag for like $14 on Amazon. (And heyyyyy – if you’re a mom, you know the glory of Amazon Prime. How did our mamas and grammas do it without it?! For real.) Such a simple, cheap way to treat yourself.
Epsom salt baths not only feel good, but they do legit help you unwind. Like scientifically they reduce stress, sore muscles, pain, and swelling, and even help with better sleep. All for a few cents per bath– sign me UP! The perfect way to chill out before bed.
The way to really treat yourself to the world’s best bath, add in some candles, a glass of wine, some chill music or a podcast (more to come below on my faves), and a face mask. My fave mask is what I call a facial in a bottle: No. 3 Balancing Facial Mask. I also love the Overnight Resurfacing Peel to even out my skin tone.
If you’re looking to pamper your skin a little, be sure to grab clean bath products. And like no, a bar of supermarket soap doesn’t count as “clean.” Just look at the ingredients, and you’ll know what I mean. My favorite bath time treats are Beautycounter’s Body Wash in Citrus Mimosa and then to lather up my skin with Hydrating Body Lotion in Citrus Mimosa, or if I’m extraaaa dry, the Body Butter in… you guessed it… Citrus Mimosa. (I may have a problem). No matter what you choose, check the ingredients and make sure it doesn’t just smell good but is actually doing you good, too.
No matter how tired I am, there are nights when I have real trouble falling asleep. My mama-brain is just going a mile a minute about what I didn’t get done during the day, the kids’ activities tomorrow, what’s going on about Rodger’s ever unpredictable schedule, and probably some irrational thought of something dumb I did a decade ago – thanks, anxiety. My one tried and true weapon to combat this cycle of worries before bed are to be proactive about it before I even get to my room.
Different days look different for my mental self-care – some days the best thing for me is to go and take a deep breath of fresh air; even a walk in the neighborhood helps. If I’ve got the time, a hike is the real winner. Just getting away from my phone or any screens in the fresh air, alone, and I’m able to find that some balance.
My other go-to does involve some technology, but it’s put to good use – promise. Meditation has obviously been around for, well, like forever. And it’s cause it works. I admit I’m not so good at doing it by myself, so I really love a guided meditation. My favorite app is Calm – it’s free, which is a bonus, and has a ton of content from a quick 3-min guided meditation to a half hour one, or different ways to help you fall asleep, and more. I also love The Daily Meditation Podcast and Hay House Meditations – also free, and totally transformative.
If I’m feeling extra Zen – or like I need some extra Zen – I’ll light some candles or incense before popping in my headphones to do a guided meditation. Even just a quiet room with some candlelight and a guided meditation for a total of five minutes can be a game changer for my whole day. It lightens my mood, increases patience when my kids are driving me nuts, and it just makes me the mom and wife I always hope to be. Sounds hippie and crunchy, but it’s a real thing. And if I’m able to take 5 minutes and about zero bucks to be a better mama and wife, then sign me up.
Even if our bodies are feeling strong and healthy, and our minds are calm – if our spirit is broken, nothing else matters. That’s why it’s so important to take time to listen to your soul and spend time developing (or rediscovering) your connection to God. If your life is full from the outside, but it’s empty spiritually, that’s the only thing you’ll feel – empty. You owe it to yourself, your kids, your husband, your friends, and to God, to invest in yourself spiritually. It’s worth it.
My no-fail way to feel more spiritually balanced is to turn off the dang TV – don’t get me wrong, I love me some Shonda Rhimes (yes, I still watch Grey’s Anatomy and desperately miss Scandal). And I’m a bonafide news junkie – which is generally not good for my mind, body or soul… if you’ve been paying attention, you’ll feel me. As much as I love it, I know it does nothing for me spiritually.
Instead, I swap it out for something that’ll fill my soul. I love a good podcast and have a ton that I listen to regularly. So much so that I hardly ever watch TV these days, and I feel so much more fulfilled and productive as a result! Some of my favorite podcasts that never let me down are Vibrant Happy Women, The Empowered Mama, and of course, our favorite auntie Oprah’s SuperSoul Conversations.
Another way that I’m able to invest in my spiritual health even on the go is to listen to the Daily Audio Bible. It’s such a great way to stay grounded, and it makes “reading” (ok, listening to) the Bible in a year totally accessible. It’s also got some really great initiatives and ways to connect so you can even use it for a bible study. Whether you join one, start one, or do it virtually with a bestie across the country – I know from personal experience that it’s one of the biggest blessings in my life. And you deserve to feel and see its benefits, too.
Speaking of which – joining a local women’s bible study literally changed my life. I know everyone says literally and doesn’t mean it – in this case, I mean it. Not only did I find my community there, but I also discovered an opportunity to launch a business and get the encouragement to follow my passion. When I say these women from bible study changed my life, it’s seriously no joke – you can read more about that here. I am so grateful for their friendship and fellowship.
So, on this self-care Sunday, I hope you spend some time caring for yourself, mama. Feed your body, mind, and spirit with the things it needs so you can keep being a kickass woman who does it all. I hope you are feeling inspired to invest in yourself because you deserve it more than anyone.