Let’s face it: as moms, life is always busy. These self care tips will give you the permission you need to take care of yourself so that you can do a better job of taking care of everyone else. A big thank you to Lincoln for sponsoring this post. All opinions are my own.
I have reached the level of exhaustion where once in awhile I keep my eyes closed for a few extra seconds when I blink because it feels so freaking good. If I put my head down on my desk, I’m one hundred percent sure I’ll fall asleep. But at night? At night I lie in bed awake with a lengthy to-do list running through my head over and over again, trying to burn it into my mind so that I don’t forget anything. Have you ever been there?
For me, it’s the result of an inability to say no, an overstuffed schedule, and a tendency towards procrastination that build off of each other and explode in my face. Not good, my friends. Not good.
Why do we so often put ourselves last? We’re really good at taking care of the health and happiness of everyone around us, but when it comes to ourselves we often put it aside to be dealt with later—you know, at a more convenient time. But there is no convenient time!
Fellow mommas: if we don’t take good care of ourselves, we can’t possibly take good care of anyone else.
Now, I know I’m not an expert at the art of self care. But I think it’s really important that we try to be better at it. Baby steps, maybe? What if we start with three things we don’t have to feel bad about and then go from there?
Don’t feel bad about doing something solely for you.
This can feel tough when you’re super busy and barely feel like you have time to breathe. You want to make sure you don’t forget anything and sometimes you have to plan every last second to make sure everyone is in the right place at the right time.
But you need time to recharge. If you don’t recharge, you’re going to be grumpy and short-tempered and not a whole lot of fun to be around. And then you’ll add something else to feel guilty about to your list. Instead, do something for yourself—even if it’s a little something.
Some women live for a nice, relaxing mani-pedi (for me, there’s nothing relaxing about someone touching my highly ticklish feet). Other women like to sink into a warm bath with a glass of wine. Me? I love being by the water. There is something incredibly calming about it—and I don’t get there often during the colder months.
Realizing how much I missed my walks along the Hudson River, I decided to head there while test driving the 2018 Lincoln Navigator. This was pretty much the best idea ever. Not only was I calmed by my gorgeous surroundings, but I got a heated massage from the driver’s seat while listening to a podcast I thoroughly enjoy. That little bit of “me time” whittled into my day made all of the difference in the world.
Don’t feel bad about saying no.
This is a tough one for me. I’m a people pleaser. I like making other people happy. But that becomes a problem when you’re sacrificing your own happiness.
I’m really, really good at doling out this advice to friends but terrible at taking it myself: there will always be something else to sign up for. Whether it’s volunteering at school or going to a party, or something else that requires a sizable chunk of your time, try to weigh the pros and cons before adding it to your to-do list. Will any happiness be derived from it? Is it essential to you or to your children? Will you regret not doing it five years from now? If the answer to these is no, it’s totally ok for you to bow out.
You are not a bad person for valuing your time or for prioritizing things differently than someone else. Do what makes sense for you.
Don’t feel bad about scheduling lazy days.
I am the first person to try and fill our days to the brim with fun and excitement. I want to make all of the crafts and do all of the things and check off all of the experiences. But that shit gets exhausting. You can only go full throttle for so long before you completely run out of gas.
So don’t feel bad about waking up and saying “You know what? I need a lazy day.” These are the days that don’t require you to get out of your pajamas, warm up the car, or deal with non-familial humans. And they are magical.
Watch a movie. Read a book. Bake some cookies. Make something… or don’t. The whole point of a lazy day is doing whatever the hell you want to—and that can totally change from minute to minute. Sometimes it means laying on the couch like a lump while the kids play over and around you. Other times it means scrapping the “no warming up the car” bit and running out to grab ice cream in your pajamas.
The bottom line? NO GUILT.
So before I go back to my regularly scheduled whirlwind, I’m going to light a candle, grab my favorite fuzzy blanket, and read that issue of Real Simple that’s been waiting for me for a few weeks now.
Are there any self care tips that you swear by?
The 2018 Lincoln Navigator is the ultimate, luxury mom mobile. Aside from the heated seats with the massage chair feature that I can’t stop thinking about, this SUV has access to power for all three rows (perfect for keeping tech charged during road trips), a backseat entertainment system (also perfect for road trips), and PowerFold second-row seats that make it really easy to access the third row. And don’t even get me started on the approach detection feature, which lights up key areas of the car when you approach with your key fob—it makes juggling kids and bags and all of the things so much easier. We did not want to give this car back.