As a mom, you probably never put yourself first, and oh my— with our current pandemic self-care may have taken a complete back seat. But practicing self-care is more important now than ever. Taking care of yourself will better equip you to manage the demands of daily, shelter-in-place, life. And let’s be honest, when you’re happier and healthy, your family will be too.
Here are 7 simple self-care tips that will have a big impact on your health without adding to your busy schedule. Take baby steps. Pick ONE thing to to practice each day.
- Hydration— Drink 60-100 ounces of plain water throughout the day. Staying hydrated helps your body work optimally, keeps your skin looking fresh, and supports lactation if you’re breastfeeding. Also, since we sometimes mistake thirst as hunger, eliminating that feeling helps to increase metabolism and burn fat.
- Posture — Mindful posture helps ward off backaches and pains, gives you the appearance of being thinner and taller, and engages deep abdominal muscles. By sitting and standing up straight, you can work your abs all day long!
- Sleep — A nightly sleep ritual helps set up successful deep sleep even if you have small children at home. Ditch the screen time in the evening and opt for a warm shower, favorite book and early bedtime—this will be especially helpful to decompress and release stress.
- Take a 5-minute break — Once a day, take 5 minutes for yourself to decompress, zone out, recharge. This could mean anything from a quick walk at lunchtime to a short period of meditation, or even just laying down to rest.
- Mind your thoughts — Talk to yourself as you would talk to your child. Be kind, respectful and patient. Think about your strengths and how you can use them to reach your goals. And cut yourself some slack if you find you’re falling short in some areas—focus on where you’re succeeding and give yourself the credit you deserve.
- Be cognizant of your food choices – You don’t have to go on a diet to eat healthier. Just think about what you’re putting in your body. If you find yourself running to the vending machine because you’re starving at 3:30 every afternoon, plan ahead and pack a healthier snack like almonds or carrot sticks.
- Ditch the all-or-nothing mentality – If you’re waiting for the perfect time to start exercising and eating right (once the pandemic is over, in the summer, when I can go to the gym, etc.), stop! There will never be a “perfect” time to start, however there will always be an excuse not to. Make up your mind to do as much as you can, whenever you can. Trade “all-or-nothing” for “always something” every day. Every little bit helps.