It’s the holiday season and moms are going into high gear and it can be really stressful. But I want to encourage all you mommas to remember to take some time out for Mom Selfcare so that you can actually enjoy this season of joy. So here is a selfcare advent calendar for the holiday season with 25 days of mom selfcare.
- Get some fresh air. A little time outside can go a long way. Some deep breathes and a dose of vitamin D can be just what you need to get that second, third or tenth wind to get you through the day.
- Move your body. Whether you work out in a gym, do a little stretching, or take an afternoon walk it is important to move your body throughout the day. I get not wanting to do it because you are tired or too stressed or whatever but it gets the blood circulating and changes your mood. Start small or go big but just give something a try.
- Play. Whether it’s taking time out to play with your kids or doing your own thing… we have to find more time to play. So often we get caught up in the doing and the every day grind that we forget to stop and have a little fun. When was the last time you played?
- Schedule a doctor appointment. That doctor appointment that has been on the bottom of your todo list for the longest time…go make that appointment today. So many of us are running around taking care of every one in our families and neglect or dare I even say avoid caring for our own mental and physical health. So what appointment do you need to make before the year is over… a mammogram, a therapy appointment, a visit to the obgyn, the dentist, an eye appointment???
- Take a walk. Getting outside and getting some movement in is a great way to break up your day. It gets the oxygen moving through your body and can help clear you mind. It’s the perfect way to reset or wind down.
- Call a friend…or your mom, dad, sibling, cousin…That person that makes you laugh, that gets you, that can pick a conversation like time hasn’t passed. These days we spend way too much time sending emails and text and not actually having a conversation with anyone. So call that person you have been meaning to call for the last few months and relish in some real talk or a good catch up. Let’s just hope you can get in a good 20 minutes before your children realize you are on the phone and try to destroy the house or need to ask you every unnecessary question.
- Sleep. That is easier said than done but just try it for one night. You may be thinking that you have been functioning with no sleep for so long that a good night’s sleep won’t make a difference. It’s one of the fundamental pillars of selfcare and yet one of the first things that many of us mommas sacrifice. But the power of sleep is completely underrated. It really does make a huge difference in your patience, resilience, and ability to deal with all the crazy unknowns that come along with parenting.
- Practice gratitude. It is so easy to go through a day taking note of all the things that are going wrong especially when you tired and your kids are on your last nerve (aka… me all day today 😬). Actively acknowledging what you are grateful for forces you to focus on the good things and changes your perspective. Just take a moment and write down 5 things you are grateful for and display the list somewhere visible.
- Buy yourself a present. Mommas. You most likely have a mile long list of gifts to buy for everyone from your kids, to your husband, to your in-laws, right down to the mailman and your kid’s teacher. Frankly, you deserve to add yourself to that list too. I bought myself a few things and I wrap them and put them under the tree like I don’t know what they are 🤣. So go buy yourself something nice, wrap it and stick it under the tree.
- Spend time with a friend. Catch up with a friend over coffee, breakfast, brunch, lunch or if you are lucky a dinner date. There is nothing like some one-on-one face time with a dear friend. Spending time with someone outside of your family that knows you and loves you is like free therapy.
- Take a class. We are constantly signing our kids up for classes, activities and experiences to help them grow and learn. But when was the last time you did that for yourself? Just because we are adults doesn’t mean we should stop searching out opportunities to grow or learn or just have a little fun. Take a class you are interested in. It can be a one off or something a little more longterm… a pottery class, yoga class, cooking class, photography class, a new language. Take your pick.
- Breathe. Breathing is a powerful stress reliever that we all too often DON’T take advantage of. A few deep breaths gives you a little time to stop and think, feed your body with oxygen and release some tension. When you find yourself losing it, when your toddler is throwing their 437th tantrum of the day, when your teenager rolls their eyes for the umpteenth time, when you find you have the death grip on your steering wheel, or when you are about to give someone a piece of your mind…Just breathe! Take 5 deep, intentional breathes and then see how you feel.
- Find time for quiet. As a mom, quiet moments are rare. It seems every second of every day is filled with something to do or at least a to-do list to go over. It’s not often that we get to sit and enjoy the quiet so we have to be intentional about finding a quiet moment and enjoying it. Drive in your car in silence, take a moment before the kids get up and sip your coffee or sit in silence after everyone has gone to bed.
- Declutter. All the cleaning combined with the limited time that comes along with raising kiddos can leave your home with at least a few messes scattered throughout. The messes seem to appear out of thin air and then keep growing. The mail pile in the kitchen, the laundry pile, pile of crap on your desk, the mess on the bathroom counter… Eventually it reaches a point where it becomes stress inducing. So if you spend just 15 minutes a day to declutter one space at a time it seems manageable and and there is one less thing to add to the chaos.
- Volunteer. Giving to others can be selfcare. It can give you perspective, purpose and connection outside of the day-to-day chaos and remind you to be grateful for the things you do have. Give your time to an organization, make a donation, pick up trash in your neighborhood or the kid’s school, help a neighbor in need or be a secret Santa for someone struggling this year.
- Read. A good book can be a great escape from a stressful day. So go buy an actual book and find the time to read even if it’s just for 15 minutes at the end of the day or while you take a bathroom break😝. But if buying and reading an actual book is just not in the cards for you you can always download audible and listen to a good book during the many hours you spend in the car. I promise you where there is a will, there is a way.
- Zone out. As moms, our minds run a mile a minute from the moment we wake up to the moment we lay back down for the night. Am I right? We have to find ways to give our mind a rest throughout the day. Zoning out and doing a mindless activity that doesn’t include an electronic device can work wonders… a puzzle, knit or crochet, doodle, play solitaire (with real cards). It can feel like a meditative practice.
- Show love and appreciation. Let someone know you love and appreciate them. It’s easy to get caught up in the stress of every day life and feel annoyed and overwhelmed. But expressing your love and gratitude for someone else can do a lot for you. It takes you out of our head and reminds you to practice gratitude for the people in your life and accept the love of others. It can really change your perspective. Reach out to someone today and show them some love and appreciation…your kids, spouse, sibling, friend, neighbor…Who can you reach out to today?
- Practice a bedtime selfcare routine. At the end of a long day of momming, it’s easy to veg out on your cell phone or just crash from sheer exhaustion. But what if you took just 10 or 15 minutes to love on yourself a little? Rub your hands and feet down with cream, write in a journal, read a good book or spray your pillow with some essential oils. I have created a bedtime routine and I keep a basket of goodies that I keep at my bedside that help me wind down a bit before I get some shuteye and it makes such a difference in my quality of sleep.
- Positive affirmations. Negative selftalk is something that seems to come naturally to us mommas. Truthfully, it’s not easy for me to say positive things about myself or graciously accept compliments. But I am making an effort to change that narrative in my head. I tell myself…I am a great mother…My beauty shines from within…I get shit done! What positive affirmation do you need to repeat to yourself throughout the day?
- Be creative. Making something can feed your soul. It helps you slow down, be in the moment and enjoy the process. Write, cook, sew, paint, craft, garden, color in a coloring book. The options are limitless. Keep it simple and remember not to look for perfection in the product but enjoy the process.
- Plan. As the saying goes… “if you fail to plan, you plan to fail.” The reality is life gets really busy when you add kids to the mix. Add that to mom brain and it is easy to forget things and get off track. You may be thinking…”Who has time to Plan?!?” but planning will make you much more efficient in everything from dinner time to even your selfcare.
- Nap. Take a 20 minute power nap because we moms (really all parents) rarely get the sleep we need. It’s easier said than done but sneak in a quick power nap to get a good refresh before you wrap another present, bake another dessert, or run to Target for the 10th time this week.
- Dance it out. Blasting your favorite song while dancing around your kitchen or bedroom is like free therapy. It releases tensions, gets you moving and puts a smile on your face. So when right at that moment when it seems like all the kids and you are on the verge of a breakdown, blast the music and get to moving.
- Indulge. Make yourself something yummy and do something for yourself that you normally wouldn’t do. Not something your kids want but what you want. Eat some cheesecake for breakfast, binge watch a show in one day, buy something luxurious…just go all out for yourself.
Elisha Beach is a stay-at-home mom to four kids and four step-kids…Yes, you read that right—eight kids. She is a wife, home cook, taxi driver, herder of children, terrible housekeeper, selfcare advocate and founder of The Mom Forum.
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