You are working hard and it’s easy to feel completely exhausted by the end of the day. You give and give and give to others but you find it really difficult to give back to yourself. Some mothers may feel guilt and shame in asking for support to “take time off” from the job of motherhood. It’s as though the need for self-care, to be alone or out for coffee with a friend, somehow makes you less of a mother. In fact, the opposite is true. Moms need self-care to recharge and restore.
Taking even an hour of time outside the house and away from your child allows you the ability to breathe, self-reflect, turn-off, rest and restore so that you can be better for yourself and your family. If your partner is at home while you are gone, this allows time for your partner and child to work on their relationship. Bonus! Not sure what to do? Here are a few ideas.
Go to a coffee/tea shop and journal.
Or just go and have an awesome beverage that someone else made just for you with no pressure to do anything else but enjoy that awesome beverage.
Sit in a park and notice how quiet it is around you.
The key to this one is not going to a park with a playground. Maybe you pack yourself a little snack or picnic lunch. If you love to draw, but can never find the time, pack a sketchpad and whatever medium you enjoy and have a creative date with yourself.
Go to a library and read a book or magazine.
It can be really hard to shut off that mom brain of yours. Don’t feel pressured to read an entire book or magazine. You might just enjoy people watching. Libraries are great for that. Just don’t stare, that’s not okay.
Attend a restorative yoga class.
The goal is to help you relax. You may even find some improvement with sleep. These classes are particularly great for stress reduction! Make sure your doctor says it’s okay.
Have lunch with a friend.
This doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Connecting on an adult level can be super helpful in integrating the left and right sides of the brain when you primarily use the right side to interact with your young child.
Take a walk and listen to your favorite podcast.
Spending time outdoors and connecting to nature is so important. Make sure your doctor says it’s okay to do some walking. You don’t have to listen to a podcast, but when else are you going to get this time to really focus on listening to something you enjoy? Music is another great option. If you’re feeling really adventurous, leave the tunes at home and listen to all the sounds you encounter on your walk for a mindful experience.
Having at least one day (or at least an hour) each week is a good start in moving into the habit of intentional self-care. If it’s too hard to figure out on your own, ask for help. The more connected you feel to yourself, the better you will be for those around you.
Are you ready to take time for yourself, but are finding that it feels too difficult? I’d love to hear from you.
Please note that this article is for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice from a doctor or mental health professional.