Being a mom is one of the most fulfilling jobs in the world, but it’s also one of the busiest. Social distancing and self-isolation orders also mean that it’s near impossible to get a sense of separation and time off for yourself.
The buzz around self-care has been growing stronger amidst these tough times, but when it comes to parenting sometimes there’s an added sense of guilt that comes with taking time for yourself. This guilt can be overwhelming, but you should also remind yourself that parents need to be models of self-care and boundaries for their children.
Sneaking in self-care is always going to be a struggle, particularly if you’re in charge of little ones. It’s difficult, but it’s not impossible. Below are some actionable ways that busy moms can get some much-needed self-care into their routine.
Schedule Time to Check-In With a Loved One
Family calls to grandparents and cousins are an important way to stay in touch, but don’t forget about your own personal connections. As much as possible, try to schedule at least one catch-up per week with a close friend or even family member — just the two of you. Organizing virtual calls is a huge hassle, but in the end, these calls can remind you that your relationships extend beyond just being a mom and/or partner.
Practice Deep Breathing
Controlling our breathing is a quick and easy way to realign, and yet not a lot of people do it. Healthline’s guide to the 4-7-8 breathing technique proves that you can easily incorporate this practice into your daily life. Simply breathe in through your nose for four seconds, hold it for seven seconds, and exhale through your mouth for eight seconds. This simple exercise forces you to slow down and actually count the breaths, which in turn calms your mind.
Enroll in an Online Class
Pursuing new hobbies is a great way to get in touch with yourself and your interests. Thanks to the current pandemic, lots of people have taken to the digital sphere to host a few classes on practically any skill under the sun. A Phoenix-based beekeeper is currently developing online classes for those who want to try this hobby, which just goes to show you that there truly is a class for anything.
Stretch it Out
It’s no secret that we literally carry our stress in and on our bodies. Our previous post on Tips That Will Help You Recover From Strenuous Exercise highlights gentle stretches as a way to limber up muscle tissues while also keeping your body prepped for the next workout routine. You may want to try waking up a bit earlier than usual to get a fifteen-minute stretch routine done. Your mind and body will definitely thank you afterward.
Minimize Time Spent in Front of Your Phone
How many times have we taken a break for ourselves only to spend it looking down at our phones? Lots of people are guilty of this, and the solution is both painfully easy and extremely hard to do: use your phone less. For some, this may mean putting their phone in a cabinet and not looking at it. But if you need your phone to contact people, you could also try deleting your social media and other time-sucking apps to avoid the temptation to scroll.
If you think you’re too busy to keep up a self-care routine, that’s the number one sign that you actually really need one. These five tips are by no means exhaustive, but scheduling at least two into your daily routine can remind you to take some time for yourself. Self-care isn’t just a one-off thing, but a consistent habit that you need to maintain.