It’s safe to say the self-care movement isn’t going anywhere anytime soon– and with good reason! Self-care has been clinically proven to reduce burnout, anxiety, and depression, and improve concentration, happiness, and much more. Mothers and caretakers alike are tapping into wellness practices that enrich the mind and rejuvenate the body. And they’re paying a pretty penny for it too.
The U.S. self-care industry is worth billions of dollars, but creating a beneficial self-care routine doesn’t have to break the bank. In fact, practicing self-care is much simpler than you might think.
Here are 7 ideas to help you refresh your self-care routine.
Self-care isn’t one-size-fits-all. What works for a friend or family member might not work for you. Therefore, gaining clarity about what you want, or need, in order to pour into yourself is vital. Ask yourself the following questions before you get started for guidance:
- What do I want more of in order to relax? What do I want less of?
- What are my core values and how can I implement them into my routine?
- What activities light me up inside?
- What am I currently doing that drains my energy or wastes my time?
2.Learn a New Skill
Learning a new skill not only challenges your brain in the best way, but it can also help you feel better too! According to Psychology Today, learning something new– even if it’s just for fun– keeps your brain engaged and healthy. Plus, self-discovery and self-care go hand in hand. Not only will you expand your mind, but you’ll also increase your sense of well-being by taking up a hobby that challenges and intrigues you. To get started, consider the following:
- Cooking a dish from a region you’re not accustomed to
- Sewing or knitting
- Learning a foreign language
- Playing a new sport
- Painting or drawing
- Learning to play an instrument
3.Write Yourself a Letter
When was the last time you recognized the parts of yourself that you absolutely love, outside of your role as a mother? Writing a self-love letter is a simple yet effective self-care activity that will fill your cup. You can list the characteristics you love about yourself in bullet form. You can choose to focus on a tender memory that shaped your life or simply brought you joy. Or you can write to your inner child, praising yourself for the person you are today.
There’s no right or wrong way to write the letter since it’s solely for you. You can be as extravagant or detailed as you want. You can boast, you can brag, you can flex– it’s up to you. Simply focus on the positive aspects of your being (big or small) and watch the words flow. But most importantly, allow the letter to serve as a gentle reminder that you are worthy of love.
4.Try a New Product
Sometimes self-care calls for products that help you relax. As a busy mom with tons on your schedule, a subscription box offers ways to sample new self-care products each month. Companies like Black Girl Magic Box curate health and wellness products from Black-owned businesses.
Do you need a bit of R&R but can’t pencil in a spa day? Refresh your bath and body products with Naked Bar Soap Co.’s luxurious soaps, body oils, and bath bombs to wind down at home. After unwinding, don’t forget that sleep is an essential part of self-care. Investing in products like sleep masks, weighted blankets, high-quality pajama sets, and essential oil diffusers can take your rest to the next level.
5.Schedule “Me Time”
Alone time can be hard to come by but it’s vital for mental health. Periods of solitude can reduce stress and give us a chance to check in with ourselves. When our brains have time to disconnect from life’s stressors when we’re secluded, we’re able to pour back into our families and friends when we return.
For some, "me time" might look like sitting in the car for ten minutes after returning from work. Or maybe it’s enlisting a babysitter to watch your children while you take yourself out on a date. Maybe it’s locking your bedroom door and catching up on your favorite shows while your partner holds down the fort. However you decide to carve out time for yourself, remember to hold fast to it. Add it to your calendar. Cancel plans with others if need be. Your alone time is non-negotiable and deserves space in your life.
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Reflecting on the things we’re grateful for is a guaranteed mood booster. Not only that, but it provides an opportunity for introspection, too. There are hosts of gratitude journals that offer writing prompts and nuggets to reflect on, but a regular journal works just as well. If you’re new to journaling, don’t feel pressured to practice it daily. Jotting your thoughts down once a week or once a month is just as impactful.
Affirmations are another way to reflect on the good in your life (or the good that is on its way). They are typically short in length and easy to read or memorize. Place them in areas you frequent throughout the day– think bathroom mirror, car, or office– for a daily reminder of the beauty around you.
Grounding, or earthing, is a therapeutic technique that involves activities that place you in contact with the earth. Examples of grounding include walking barefoot in the grass or sitting/lying on the ground. People who participate in grounding report an increase in mood and a decrease in anxiety and depression.
If skin-to-earth contact isn’t your vibe, taking part in outdoor activities is another self-care option. Attend a yoga class in the park. Go for a leisurely hike. Or simply sit on a bench. Being outdoors for even just a few minutes is enough to boost your mental well-being.
Motherhood comes with tasks that are constantly vying for our attention. And even though we know how important pouring into ourselves is, we don’t want to abandon our self-care routine because we’re burdened by it. The goal is to incorporate self-care activities into our daily lives in a sustainable way. It might take some trial and error to figure out what works for your lifestyle, but it’s worth the effort. You are worth the effort.
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