As a mom, life is busy. In between getting your kids to school and driving them to after school activities, you have to accomplish all the other tasks your family — and life — requires.
Eventually, though, if you keep up the pace everyone requires of you, it’s likely you’ll experience burnout. Exhaustion, mental fog and irritation are side effects no one wants to deal with, so how do you keep them at bay? The answer is self-care.
No matter what your schedule looks like, you can make time to treat yourself — and you need to for your own health and sanity. While spa days, pedicures and more are great, self-care doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Read about how to make time for self-care so you can stop feeling exhausted and start making time for your needs.
1. Reimagine Your Sleep Schedule
One way to incorporate a little self-care into your days is to reimagine your sleep schedule. Try getting up a little earlier in the morning, or staying up a little later after the kids go to bed — as long as you can still get a healthy amount of sleep. While it may be a bit of an adjustment at first, it’s an easy way to carve a few minutes out of your schedule without taking away from what you need to do. In those free minutes, sit in silence and enjoy the stillness to get to know yourself and learn what self-care means to you.
2. Work Together on Chores
Chores are a constant part of life, but you don’t have to do them all by yourself. When your kids are old enough, ask them to take over things like vacuuming or loading the dishwasher. While they’re busy, do something you want to do for a few minutes — paint your nails, read a book, scroll through social media or do a little meditation to decompress your thoughts.
3. Try New Tech Resources
It’d be nice to always bring home the newest advances in technology, but you don’t have to buy a new phone to find time for self-care. Save time by skipping the grocery store and try ordering your groceries online from the place you already go to every week. You may have score free pick-up or have to pay a delivery fee. Either way, you can use the hour you’d spend walking around with a shopping cart to read a book or take a much-needed nap.
4. Use the Buddy System
You’re not a bad mom for wanting more time for yourself. Many moms feel the same way, which is why a buddy system can work so well. Meet up with your mom friends to talk about getting playdates set up. Asking your friends to step in is a great way to help you achieve your goals in all aspects of life. You’ll rest easy knowing your kids are taken care of while you go to the spa or relax at home.
5. Take Everyone Outside
Getting outside for a fresh breath of air is reinvigorating so take the kids with you. Go to the park or hang out in your backyard. While your kids run off their energy playing on the playground or imagining themselves in a make-believe world, you can enjoy a few health benefits. Fresh air raises the oxygen levels in your blood and boosts your serotonin production, which makes you happier and more content.
6. Enjoy Work Breaks
If you take care of your kids and work full-time, don’t forget to use the free time you get during your lunch break. While you eat, read a book or listen to a podcast. Watch videos on your phone or go for a walk. Even if you only get a few minutes, you can still use it as time for self-care.
7. Start At-Home Workouts
It’s hard to make it to the gym when you’re always watching your kids or having to take care of everyone after you get home from work. It’s easy to say you’ll get to it later, but people have started to embrace exercise as self-care, so try it out in your living room. There are free online videos and virtual classes for nearly anything you could want to do, so you don’t need to buy a treadmill or be in a gym to experience the rush of serotonin that comes from a short cardio session.
8. Monitor Your Spirit
You can schedule out your self-care time, but it’s better to know when you need it in the moment. Monitor your spirit each day to learn when you feel the symptoms of burnout begin. You’ll narrow down what time of day you need help the most, and what triggers your burn out. In those moments, rely on self-care tips like stepping away for a deep breathing session. The more you know yourself, the more effective your self-care will be.
Refresh Your Perspective
You might feel locked into your daily routine, but there are always ways to find time for self-care. Call your friends for help, take advantage of your lunch break or wake up a little earlier. You’ll probably start to feel like the best version of yourself.