As we start in on this new year of 2020, many of us are thinking about what changes we want to make in our daily lives. (Remember last week’s post about New Year’s resolutions).
Getting back into our groove after more than a week of holiday celebrations, school/work breaks and lack of scheduling can be difficult. As parents, our own needs often get put on the back-burner while we care for everyone else.
Instead of focusing on big goals that might seem impossible to accomplish, and therefore you are likely to give up, try to focus on smaller things that can help you feel better now.
There are so many self-care practices that take less than 15 minutes and will make you feel so much better equipped to deal with anything life throws at you … especially in January!
Enjoy a Cup of Coffee or Tea
As a mom, I find that making coffee and enjoying coffee are two different things. Yesterday, I think I reheated my morning coffee four times and still did not fully finish the cup!
Taking 15 minutes to actually sit down and enjoy your coffee is such wonderful self-care. Read a magazine or scroll social media, anything that would help you further relax. Taking this short time to just be with yourself will help so much in the long run.
Take a 15-Minute ‘Spa’ Break
While finding the time to actually go to the spa may often seem out of reach for many parents, having a little at-home “spa time” is totally doable.
Take a warm shower with calming bath products and spa music playing. Treat yourself to a face mask or body scrub that takes your everyday shower up a notch. Take a little time to just focus on yourself for a few minutes and you will feel rejuvenated to continue on with your day.
Practice Deep Breathing
Deep-breathing techniques for just a few minutes is a simple self-care practice that can make you feel less stressed. You can even do this while your kids are focused on watching TV or some other activity that will preoccupy them for a few minutes.
Try creating a breathing ritual as soon as you start to feel tense. It will help you to relax and make your brain more active, and therefore more productive as the day goes on.
Take Time To Dress Up
I often find that since becoming a mom, the occasions that I really “get dressed” have become less and less. Of course, I put on clothes every day but let’s be honest, these are often just the first things I can grab, which may or may not be the clothes I wore the day before.
While this might be reality for many of us, we also need to remember that putting some effort into what we wear can actually go a long way for self-confidence. When you feel good about what you are wearing, you will feel good about yourself and that is the best kind of self-care.
An exercise routine does not have to take a huge amount of time. It also does not need even need to include a visit to the gym. There so are many ways to exercise that are short and simple but will still send those feel-good messages to your brain.
A short walk, taking the stairs instead of the elevator or even dancing to your favorite music can all be a spurt of exercise that will do you a world of good. Download one of countless apps that provide guidance for at home workouts, many of which can be done in 15 minutes or less.
These few ideas for self-care are just the tip of the iceberg. If you need more, check out 50 Self Care Practices for Moms. We need to remember that caring for ourselves is just as important, if not more important, than caring for anyone else.
Jmore parenting columnist Talya Knable is a psychotherapist who lives in Lutherville with her husband, Stephen, and their two children, Jack and Leigh. Her website is tkpsych.com/. She is also the assistant clinical director of Shalom Tikvah (shalomtikvah.org/), a local non-profit organization that supports Jewish families facing mental illness and other challenging life circumstances.
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