Why is it that, as moms, we feel guilty when we take time for ourselves? That we somehow need to justify our need to ensure that we are well-balanced and in a healthy state of mind? We’ve all seen articles circulating the interwebs lately detailing the mental load mothers carry, and how, newsflash (LOL), being a mom is basically the equivalent of working 98 hours each week. As all of this information abounds, what are we doing about it?
As moms, we often let these feelings build up until we can no longer keep them in, and then we spontaneously combust. Yelling or snapping at your husband? Yep, guilty. Crying in the shower? Been there. Slamming the phone to the receiver after another party has hung up on a work call? Ugh, I have done that too. These outbursts can take the shape of lots of different releases, but they’re never fun and almost never productive. Yet, we tell ourselves that this is what we signed up for. Our kids’ and spouses’ needs will always come before ours, because that’s just what moms do. We should be able to handle it. And then we’re ashamed when we realize that we can’t.
I’m here to remind you that you need to look out for number one.
No, really. It’s OK, I promise. You know when you’re traveling on a plane, and the flight attendant explains over the speaker that in the event of an emergency, you need to put on your own mask before assisting others? It’s because you can’t very well help your child/husband/panicked seat-mate if you’re passed out in the middle of the aisle, now can you?
You can’t pour from an empty cup. You have to take care of yourself if you expect to be able to take care of your family, friends, finances, career, etc. It’s a crucial element of maintaining your sense of sanity (which is like, kind of important).
The next time you’re feeling overwhelmed, try a few of the activities below and indulge in some self-care. Bonus points if you incorporate these into your routine on a regular basis. Some of these can be done from home, and some you’ll need to get out of the house and take a solo jaunt around NWA.
If you’re hesitant, I gotchu, boo. I’ll even split it up into time increments, so you have no excuse!
If you have…5 minutes:
• Make a list of things you’re thankful for
• Make your grocery list for the week
• Pick up 5-10 things that are cluttering your space (whether it’s your desk at work, your kitchen, bathroom, whatever! You’ll think more clearly when your physical space is more open)
• Drink a glass of water
• Dance it out to your favorite song
• Scream into a pillow (Seriously. It’ll feel good, sista)
If you have…30 minutes:
• Treat yourself to an in-shower deep conditioning hair masque
• Take a brisk walk around your neighborhood or office building between meetings
• Call your mom. Call your grandma. Call whoever makes you feel calm.
• Take a 20-minute power nap.
• Reward yourself with a fabulous, chocolatey treat at Markham and Fitz in downtown Bentonville.
• Throw your comfiest PJ’s in the dryer. Take ‘em out and pour yourself a glass of wine and pop some corn. Go Olivia Pope on your hubby and have him change the diapers/do the bedtime routine. Make sure he knows he can’t come back til it’s handled.
If you have…an hour-plus:
• Ditch the kiddos and book it on over to Target. Buy nothing on your regular grocery list. Grab your fave Starbucks beverage and treat yourself to something frivolous.
• Take a yoga class at any of the fab studios around NWA
• Light a candle and write thank you notes for the birthday parties, showers or random acts of kindness that have been shown to you lately
• Organize your closet. Marie Kondo that space and get rid of anything that no longer brings you joy. Consider bringing any items still in good condition to the NWA Women’s Shelter, Dress for Success or Goodwill.
• Turn off your phone (or put it in another room), shut down your other screens and hit the sack an hour earlier. You deserve to rest!
Maintaining self-care requires discipline, so take baby steps. I swear to you the Earth will still turn, your kids will survive, and the ceiling will not collapse in on itself. By helping yourself, you’re helping others. You’re filling your cup so that you can share and serve others. Because guess what? You’ve earned it.