Nicole was recently featured as a guest blogger on Hiccups and Heels! Enjoy her words of wisdom on a mom's approach to self care, below. As women, oftentimes we are programmed to do for others before ourselves, and motherhood is no exception. As a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor and mother of two, I know how this goes all too well, through the stories of my clients as well as my own life. Our “me time” turns into errands — Target runs and trips to the grocery store — rather than something that will really rejuvenate us. It’s so important for moms to take that time to find out what it is that fills your cup, and spend time doing it as much as possible. Here are some ideas for ways to try to bring us back to the calm, self-assured parent we hope to be.
1. Meditate - This can look different for people, but the idea is to focus on something other than the minute to minute, second to second, noise in our brains. Maybe sitting on a pillow with your legs crossed doesn’t work for you. Try active meditation by walking and listening to calming music. Focus in on a physical activity, and work to consciously quiet that inner voice. Doing this for even 10 minutes a day can lower stress and bring you more fully into the moment.
2. Self-care - A lot of times the idea of self-care is diminished to baths and manicures. Don’t get me wrong, these are great! Going deeper though, self-care can mean so much more. Having the awareness of how much energy you have is so important, especially as a busy mom. Picture a fuel tank in your chest. How empty or full is it? What would fill it up? What empties it? Having the self-awareness, about what it is you need to stay sane, calm, and joyful can be life-changing. Example- If your toddler is throwing extra tantrums on a particular day, allow her an extra episode of Daniel Tiger and allow yourself the time to recharge. Read, sip a warm drink, call a friend. Once you both have had that time it’ll be easier to return to the normal routine.
3. Socialize - Whatever this looks like for you is perfect! As moms, it can sometimes feel like our lives have been taken over by these beautiful, tiny people we’ve created. It can be easy to feel like we’ve lost ourselves in our role as a mother. Regular date nights with your spouse, weekly girls dinner with friends, solo trips to the gym for a fitness class. Anything that makes you feel back to your old self will be so refreshing, and will hopefully keep you energized to handle all the craziness that motherhood can bring.
These are just a few ideas to get you started. The most important takeaway is to find what it is that helps you recharge and DO IT-every day, every week, every time you can. We always hear how important it is to enjoy these years when our kids our young, but often we lack the balance to do that. So, create the space for yourself so that you can show up for yourself, your kids, your partner, and your community in the way that you want to.