“Selfcare” can be an elusive idea for many to grasp. Especially us busy moms who bust their butts every day caring for everyone around them and never seem to have the time to care for our own needs. Bubble baths, girl’s trips and spa appointments seem like frivolous things that there is just not enough time or money for. However, this is not about grand acts of days at the spa or weekend get aways but the small every day acts that contribute to your over all, wellbeing. Of course, you cannot realistically address all areas everyday but you can find your own personal version of “balance” of these 5 areas of selfcare every mom should practice.
- Mental. This encompasses your ability to cope with the normal stresses of life and demonstrate a level of resilience. Whether you are a stay-at-home mom, work-at-home mom or working mom, you should feel productive and fruitful in some aspects of your life and know that it is ok to feel like a hot-mess in other aspects of your life. This also encompasses acknowledging and actively treating mental health issues or a mental health crisis. The key is having strategies to cope with the ups and downs of life. This includes things like counseling/therapy, proper medical support, joining a support group, journaling, self talk and lots of deep breaths.
- Physical. This encompasses the health of your body, nutrition, exercise, physical touch, and yes… your sexual needs. As much as moms are portrayed as being super human, you are still a physical being with physical needs that should be attended to. This includes things like drinking water, practicing a regular workout routine, visiting your doctor, eating balanced meals 3 times a day, sleeping and having sex (even if it’s with yourself).
- Social. This encompasses your relationships and social interactions. Humans are naturally social people and you need social interaction outside of your kids. Whether you are an introvert, extrovert or some mixture of both, maintaining healthy relationships and getting out in the world are a needed part of selfcare. This includes things like making and maintaining friends, going out for activities outside of your children, interacting in various social situations and even a mom’s night out here and there.
- Emotional. This encompasses the ability to identify, feel, acknowledge and constructively act on both negative and positive emotions. Motherhood can take you on a roller coaster of emotions and instead of stuffing your feelings and barreling through, you have to find ways to honor your emotions and process them in a healthy way. This includes allowing yourself to feel happy or angry or any emotion in between, letting yourself cry it out, talking it out with your partner, friend or therapist and openly expressing your feelings.
- Spiritual. This encompasses the practices that reflect your values, bring you hope, purpose and peace and give you a broader perspective. Lord knows moms need to find some level of inner peace in the chaos of every day life and have a broader perspective when it feels like you are failing your kids. This area is deeply personal and is not necessarily connected to a religious practice. You have to find what works for you. This includes practices like praying, meditating, attending church, or keeping a journal.
Remember the keyword is practice! Selfcare is not about attaining perfection but about acknowledging and caring for your needs. Keeping these 5 areas of selfcare in mind can help every mom improve her selfcare practices.
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 and founder of The Mom Forum.
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