What have you done to fill your cup today? This week? This month? And no, I’m not talking about your coffee cup (you know the one, you have to reheat it multiple times a day).
If you answered “nothing,” you’re not alone.
In a 2020 survey conducted by Thymes Limited, only 8% of mothers with one child said they found 60-minutes in a day to spend on self-care for themselves; that number was cut in half (4%) for mothers with two or more children. What’s crazier is that only one in four mothers with just one child admitted to being able to spend less than 10 minutes on themselves each day.
If you’re a mom who fits in the statistics above (like me), here are some small, simple ways you can start prioritizing yourself throughout the day.
Develop a Morning Routine
When the tiny humans are awake, it’s hard to squeeze in “me time.” Try waking up just 15- or 30-minutes before them to spend time on yourself. What you focus on during that time should be something that will start your day off in a positive way. Some suggestions include:
- Journaling. Grab your favorite morning beverage, a notebook, and pen, and use that time to reflect on your life. Write out your dreams, what you’re thankful for, what you’re excited or anxious about. Pinterest is also a great resource for finding daily journal prompts if you need some additional inspiration.
- Exercise and/or stretching. There’s nothing better to get your day going than by getting your blood pumping. If you don’t have a gym membership, try downloading an app or searching YouTube for different workouts or stretching routines you can do at home.
- Find a new podcast to listen to. Whether you’re into true-crime series, need some extra motivation, or a good laugh, there are podcasts out there for every interest. Start your day with a warm cup of coffee, a lit candle, or your favorite diffuser blend, and listen uninterrupted.
- Skincare routine. This has been one of my favorite self-care acts in the morning and one I wish I would have started years ago. Taking the time to actually wash my face and apply serums and lotions is a game-changer for my tired face. My skin looks brighter and feels so much better when I spend even just 5-10 extra minutes on it.
- Write out your to-do list for the day. Whether it’s on paper or in digital form, spend some time writing out everything you need to get that done that day. Note: I say need and not want. It’s easy to create a to-do list that’s miles long, but the goal is to be productive, not feel overwhelmed. Focus on the top 3-5 things you need to accomplish that day.
Try Out a New Hobby
If answering the “what do you like to do for fun” question gives you anxiety, I see you, girl. This question is a doozy when you’re a mom and find that your new (and only) hobby seems to be trying to keep your little people alive.
There are many hobbies and activities that you can try out without investing a lot of time and money. Some easy, inexpensive activities to try:
- Reading – This has been one of my favorite hobbies lately. If you haven’t used the Goodreads app, I’d highly recommend it. It allows you to track the number of books you’ve read for the year and provides suggestions for books that are similar to ones you’ve finished and enjoyed. Take it a step further and join a local book club (or better yet, grab a few of your friends and plan a time to meet up each month).
- Writing – Whether you’re writing for a blog, a novel, or journaling, writing is about as cheap as it gets because you should already have the supplies at home.
- Cooking or baking – Check out a new cookbook from the library, or buy one, and challenge yourself to try a new recipe or two each week.
- Make something – Love taking baths? Try making your own bath salts/bombs. Always burning candles? Try making your own candles at home. Need some new art for your house? Learn the art of hand lettering and calligraphy.
- Sports and exercise. There are so many active activities you can do – golf, running, biking, yoga, skiing. Go solo or grab your significant other or some friends and try out a new activity to find one you really enjoy!
If none of those ideas sound enjoyable, a quick Google or Pinterest search will bring you pages of inspiration.
Invest in Yourself
Yes, I’m saying to spend money on YOU for a change. It doesn’t have to be big and extravagant, just something that brings you joy and allows you to devote time to yourself. A few favorite ideas for investing and/or pampering yourself include:
- A mani/pedi (alone or with a friend)
- A trip to the spa
- Sign up for a class for an activity that you’ve always wanted to try (check out your community education program or online like Skillshare, Coursera, Lynda.com, etc.)
- Take yourself out for coffee or a meal
Hopefully, these ideas have inspired you to take some time for yourself. As we head into the busy holiday season, you will probably need it more than ever. So here’s my challenge for you: every Sunday, write out how you plan to practice self-care for the week ahead. Bonus points, share your plan with a friend so you can hold each other accountable. And remember, making yourself a priority isn’t selfish; it’s necessary.