Some of the best ways to take care of yourself are absolutely free.
When I first became a mom, I had a very hard time finding ways to prioritize myself and I put me-time on the back burner for so long. This made me feel overwhelmed, burnt out, and frenzied all the time.
Often ignored but VERY necessary, self-care is any action or behavior that helps a person avoid health problems, both physically and mentally. Self-care makes you feel great physically and it even improves mental health, trust me.
Here are some tips on how to practice self-care while juggling motherhood:
20 Best Ways To Look After Yourself
1. Learn to say “no”
Saying no is a form of self-care.
This might seem like an obvious statement, but for most people, saying no is difficult. We are often afraid that saying no will hurt someone’s feelings, or make us look bad in front of others. There are also times when we feel obligated to say yes to things we don’t really want to do because we feel like we “should” or because we feel like an obligation has been placed on us by someone else. However, as a person who struggles with people pleasing, I have learned that saying no is one of the most important things I can do for myself and reminding myself it is not my job to please others at my expense.
2. Practice gratitude
Practicing gratitude is a simple way to practice self-care and connect with others. Each day, take some time to reflect on the things you’re grateful for. You can do this by journaling or verbally expressing your gratitude in a gratitude journal or daily ritual.
Gratitude is an important part of self-care because it helps us focus on what’s working in our lives rather than what’s not working. When we focus on what we have, rather than what we don’t have, we’re more likely to find ways to deal with the challenges life presents us with.
Here are some tips for practicing gratitude:
- Write down three things that happened today that made you happy or grateful, such as getting a compliment from someone or enjoying a delicious meal.
- Spend time with people who make you feel good about yourself
- Say thank you when someone does something nice for you (or even when they don’t)
- Make it a point to listen to others without judging them or jumping in with advice (even if they ask for it)
3. Get outside
The importance of getting outside is often overlooked. We’re so busy with our lives that we forget to take time for ourselves. The beauty of nature is lost on us, and we forget how important it is to our well being.
Getting outside can help you relax, unwind and get rid of stress. It’s a way to connect with yourself by spending time in nature. Spending time outdoors can reduce your stress levels, improve your mood and make you happier overall.
Spending time outdoors has been shown to help relax and de-stress you, increases happiness, energy, and improves your mood.
4. Take a walk
Taking a walk can be a great way to unwind and relax after a long day. It’s also an easy way to get in some exercise and get some fresh air. Walking is one of the easiest ways to get exercise into your day, and it doesn’t require any special equipment or training, other than a pair of good shoes.
Walking also helps you manage weight, lower blood pressure, reduce your risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes, improve your mood and sleep quality, strengthen bones and muscles, reduce stress hormones in the body that cause inflammation, help prevent osteoporosis in older adults and reduce the risk of depression in women who have postpartum depression (postpartum depression affects up to 10 percent of new mothers). All of these benefits make walking a no-brainer when it comes to making it a part of your self care routine.
You can also take a walk with others. Taking walks with family members or friends can make them more enjoyable, too!
5. Start a skincare routine
There are so many reasons why you need to start a skincare routine. The most obvious one is that it’s a great way to take care of yourself. Taking care of yourself is important for your mental health and for your physical health.
If you don’t take care of yourself, it will be more difficult to take care of others — especially if you have children at home.
A skincare routine will also keep your skin looking good, which is important because how we look affects how we feel about ourselves.
If you are new to skincare, this might seem overwhelming at first, but it doesn’t need to be! Start with one product that can help improve the health of your skin (like Vitamin C serum) and slowly add more products as needed. For my skincare routine, check out this blog post here.
6. Do a brain dump
The brain dump is a powerful tool for self-care, especially when done regularly. It’s like a daily spring cleaning, but for your brain.
Doing a brain dump is simple: Just write down everything that’s on your mind and in your heart. I highly recommend writing it out in a journal with pen and paper. Write down everything that’s on your mind and in your heart. This might seem hard at first, but overtime it becomes easier and easier.
7. Practice deep breathing
Deep breathing is one of the most effective tools for managing stress. When we’re stressed, our breathing becomes shallow and rapid. This can cause us to feel fatigued and can even cause you to experience foggy brain. Deep breathing helps you relax by slowing down your heart rate and lowering blood pressure. It also sends oxygen to the brain, which increases concentration, focus and energy.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, try taking a few minutes to breathe deeply and notice the difference!
8. Organize your space
Organizing your space is part of self care because having an organized de-cluttered space reduces stress. When you have a messy house or office, it’s easy for stress to build up and it takes extra energy to find what you need. On the other hand, when your space is organized, it’s easier to find what you need quickly and efficiently — and that means less stress for you!
As a busy mom who works from home, I know all too well how stressful it can be when your home is filled with clutter. When our house is cluttered, it’s harder to find things when you need them and it makes life feel more stressful overall. This is why I have gotten into the habit of decluttering our house every season. Toys and clothes quickly add up which is why I choose to declutter every season to renew my energy. If you want to learn more about my minimalistic lifestyle, send me a message on Instagram!
Organization also boosts productivity. When everything has its place and isn’t scattered around the house or office, it brings so much energy, inspiration and motivation. Having a clear space clears your mind.
9. Listen to an inspiring podcast
Listening to an inspiring podcast is a great way to take some time out for yourself during your busy day. It’s a great way to boost your mood, get some new ideas or inspiration, and feel better about yourself in general.
10. Carve out time to be present
It’s easy to get caught up in our day-to-day lives, but it’s important to carve out time to be present. Being present means you’re not distracted by your phone, or thoughts about what you need to do next, or what happened yesterday. It means being focused on the moment at hand and everything going on around you. This can be hard when we’re constantly connected through social media, email and text messages. But carving out time regularly can help us be more mindful throughout our daily lives. It can also lead to a more connected family.
11. Do a foot mask
A foot mask is like a face mask, but for your feet! It’s an easy way to pamper yourself, and they’re super fun!
I love doing a foot mask because it’s so simple, relaxing and inexpensive. I like using these foot masks, shown here.
There are many reasons why doing a foot mask is important for self-care including helping improve blood circulation in your feet which can relieve pain and discomfort. They help remove dead skin cells from the soles of your feet which helps prevent calluses from forming and they’re an opportunity to kick your feet up and relax!
12. Unfollow those who bring you down
Unfollowing social media accounts that bring you down can be a great first step in setting boundaries with people who make you feel bad about yourself.
You may be subconsciously following people that evoke negative feelings of unworthiness within you. They may also have you feeling like “you’re behind” or not doing enough and that your life is not enough. Quickly hit the unfollow button on accounts that don’t educate, inspire, entertain or bring value to you.
13. Enjoy dessert
Dessert is an important part of a balanced diet. Enjoying dessert improves your mood, it releases happy hormones because it feels good to eat, and can help relax you. My biggest tip with eating dessert is to take the time to indulge and really take your time enjoying it.
14. Do nothing
If you’re like me and you’re constantly wanting to accomplish something and you feel the need to always be productive, doing nothing is the best form of self care. There is no better way to practice self care than to do absolutely nothing and take some time to just BE.
15. Focus on the good
It can be so easy to get bogged down in the negative and take on a victim mentality. It is SO important to start becoming aware of your thoughts, especially the negative ones, and reframing them to positive thoughts. Over time, our brains become used to looking at the good which leads to a happier and more fulfilling life. Our thoughts are a very important part of our emotional health and learning to change your thoughts will change your life.
16. Take your vitamins
I truly think it’s important for most women to take a multivitamin every day. I completely understand having a hard time remembering to take them and that is why I set up a phone reminder every day to remind me. Multivitamins do a great job at filling in any nutritional gaps. Taking a multivitamin reduces the risk of any nutritional deficiencies which in turn can boost your immune system and lead to better health in the long term.
17. Prioritize sleep
Most of us aren’t sleeping enough. Failing to get adequate sleep can have a huge effect on how you feel both emotionally and physically. Sleep is essential for good mental and physical health so make sure you are getting at least 7 hours of sleep every night.
18. Take care of your gut
When your gut is healthy, you feel better, have more energy and enjoy life more.
Consume a wide variety of probiotic foods. Probiotics are good bacteria that help keep your gut healthy. They are found in cultured foods such as yogurt, kefir, kombucha and kimchi, as well as fermented vegetables like sauerkraut and pickles. Studies show that people who ate more fermented foods had higher levels of good gut bacteria than people who didn’t eat these foods regularly. Other research shows that eating probiotic-rich foods may reduce inflammation in the body.
Some easy ways to improve your gut health is to eat plenty of fiber. Fiber helps feed good gut bacteria so they can thrive inside your intestines. Plant-based foods tend to be high in fiber, including fresh vegetables and fruits, beans, lentils and whole grains such as brown rice and oats. Read this blog post for ways to improve your gut health and this blog post for a quick and easy high-fiber smoothie.
19. Exercise regularly
Find time for exercise. Exercise helps release endorphins and boost serotonin levels, both of which make us feel happier and more energetic after exercising. It also helps us stay in shape so we can keep up with kids and other activities throughout our day! Exercise doesn’t have to mean spending hours at the gym. It can be as simple as a daily walk or finding a 20-minute Youtube workout video.
20. Eat healthy, nourishing foods
Eating healthy is a crucial part of any kind of self-care routine. It helps to maintain your energy levels, which makes it easier for you to get through the day without feeling tired or sluggish. Eating low quality foods on a regular basis can lead to health problems down the road, so it’s important to make sure that you’re eating a well balanced diet. Aim to load up your diet with plenty of fresh vegetables and fruits along with lean meat or fish. Don’t forget to also add some grains like rice or quinoa to keep you full and satisfied. Make sure to check out this blog post where it goes into a lot more detail!
I hope you enjoyed reading through this list of simple ways to take good care of yourself and your health. If this feels overwhelming, just pick one habit and implement it and see how you feel. After a while, you can add more habits and make them a part of your daily life. It’s easy to forget the need for self-care when you have a busy schedule and kids. However, it’s important to remember how crucial it is for your health and well-being.