Most self care tips not realistic. No, I don’t have time to get a pedicure. My elementary-age child was late for practice, the baby was grumpy from another restless night, and the toddler was triumphantly dancing on the kitchen countertop despite the reminder I gave 30 seconds earlier that we only dance on the floor. Somehow, in the midst of this, I was supposed to prioritize self-care.
When self care takes lots of time and effort, it’s not self care anymore. I am right there with you. As a mom of 3, I can tell you that there are seasons of thriving and seasons of surviving. I am passionate about self care, and I feel strongly about having appropriate and realistic expectations of ourselves.
That’s why I am so excited to share these 6 simple tips on how to implement self care into your daily routine. And no, I’m not going to tell you to wake up an hour early every day. Sleep wins in my house, always and forever, amen.
#1 Drink Your Coffee Hot
Why is it so hard to finish a cup of coffee with littles running around? It’s basically impossible to enjoy the full cup while it’s still hot. Reheat that cup, mama. Reheat it as many times as you need to. Make a fresh pot even. Drink your coffee hot.
There is something comforting about a hot cup of coffee. Drinking lukewarm coffee makes us all feel blah, and no one wants to start the day off feeling blah. To level up, drink that morning happy bean juice from a special mug. I really like this one with a verse from the book of Proverbs. Whatever mug you use, let it be one that inspires you and motivates you.
#2 Get Dressed
I know. Pandemic life made daily pajamas socially acceptable. But think about how good it feels when you put on real clothes instead of those same sweat pants from yesterday. I always have a little more pep in my step if I’ve gotten dressed for the day, and it helps me feel overall more refreshed.
I’m not saying go full glam when you’re spending your day at home with babies and toddlers. Do whatever “get dressed” means to you. Sometimes I prefer a hoodie to a sweater. Leggings instead of jeans.
I actually really enjoy make up, so I wear it just about every day. However, you might be more of a moisturizer and mascara only girl. You do you, friend. But spending ten minutes in the morning tending to yourself can really help you feel refreshed for your day.
#3 Have a Special Afternoon Snack
The house is finally quiet, and the babies are napping. I know that never ending list of chores is calling you. But hear me on this, the to do list will never end. I know, it’s a hard truth, but there will always be something else to do.
Take 30 minutes. Fix a favorite snack, you know, the snack you keep hidden from the kids in the back of the pantry or that random cabinet. Then, put on a show that doesn’t include Cocomelon or Mickey Mouse. I promise the day will not fall apart while you take these 30 minutes for yourself.
With three babies five and under, the refreshing sweet bubbles of the Prosecco paired with the slight bittersweet taste of the dark chocolate made me feel fancy and fun when my days felt mundane. I looked forward to that special treat each day. And, of course, I am not advocating for being irresponsible.
#4 Move Your Body
Exercise was not something I was very good at maintaining during the years when my kids were babies. However, having a fulfilling exercise routine now, it makes me wish that I had made my physical fitness more of a priority sooner. It’s one of my regrets of those early years.
Sweet friend, you are worth it. Even if you are taking five minutes at the end of the day to just stretch, it will help you to unwind and recharge. Also, I really encourage you to get outside and move your body. Maybe that means going for a walk or playing with your kids in the backyard.
What ever it is, work up a sweat every now and then. I promise you will be glad you did. And if you’re looking for great at home workouts, I really like Blogilates.
#5 Write It Down
Journaling has so many benefits. I find journaling really helpful for processing life. It’s not something I consistently do, but whenever I am in a season of survival, journaling is what gets me through.
Writing out all the things gets them out of your head and on to the paper instead. It helps you think and process those challenging times in a more objective manner.
Journaling is also a wonderful way to keep track of your prayers and/or meditations. If you want to explore journaling from a Christian perspective, I love these Write the Word journals. I am currently working through the one on worship.
#6 End Your Day With a Hot Bath
I am convinced when people say they are not “bath people,” they haven’t actually given baths a chance. Think of a bath as an experience – not just a mode to get clean.
My nightly bath is essential to my mental health. I say that with all sincerity. My husband and children know not to come near the bathroom while I’m taking my bath. When soaking in that magnificent hot water, the weight of the day lifts off my shoulders while my entire body relaxes. The scent of my favorite body wash calms my mind and allows the daily stressors to melt away. The quiet and peaceful bath centers and decompresses my introverted self.
Often when we think of self care, we think of these grand excursions like a spa day or girls’ trip. However, I have found self care to be more effective when you can do little things for yourself consistently throughout the day. It’s also important to communicate with your person about what you need.
Having a self care routine reminds yourself that you are worthy, lovely, and called to the season you’re in. That season might feel like thriving, or it might feel like you’re barely surviving. Either way, I hope these self care tips help you feel loved, because you are!