10 Self-Care Rituals For Busy Moms
This self-care pep talk goes to you, gorgeous friend. I’m so curious to know: what does self-care mean to you? Is it the kind that lights you up, or perhaps feels nurturing and healing?
I remember so clearly when I thought self-care meant pedicures and massages. I would schedule them every few months when I could, but usually my stress and worries came back the next day or two. The only way I knew how to nurture myself more consistently was venting to friends about my woes, and zoning out to the TV with a big ol’ glass of wine.
It’s really not the worst way to unwind (no judgement if that’s your bliss!). Sometimes that really hits the spot, ya know? But it was literally the only way I knew how to nurture myself when times got tough. Can you relate?
It’s important to see the truth: the “negative” feelings we numb are important for us feel. Feeling the hard stuff is a very healthy thing for us to do. In fact, those emotions can become our own personal guidance system if we let them out. They could allow us to understand ourselves a bit more.
Somewhere deep in our bones, we know what will nurture us the best. When you get a few minutes to yourself, sit quietly, close your eyes, and just ask, “What is it that I need right now? What kind of self-care might I enjoy in the morning or evening? How can I make time for myself throughout the day, to give myself some care?”
Here are my rituals that I absolutely love.
Self-Care In The Morning
Thinking Or Writing My Gratitude: The first few minutes upon waking, think about a few things you’re thankful for. Even if it’s a simple, “thank you” when you open your eyes. You’ll find that when you’re feeling blessed about what you have (even if it’s simply a warm bed and coffee), you’ll feel ready to start your day in a more positive mindset.
While my husband makes oatmeal, I have 15 minutes to do something that nourishes me. I usually pick 1-2 of the following (whatever I’m in the mood for) in my sacred space I’ve set up with all of my favorite feel-good things.
11 Minute Meditation: You so don’t have to be “good” at this to get the benefits. Try it when you feel called, and for 11 minutes, which I find is not too long and not too short. Simply light a candle and sit quietly. Listen to your breathe. Repeat a mantra if you’d like. Even if it’s 10 minutes of making grocery lists in your head, that 1 minute of “no-mind” as Buddhists call it, will re-charge you.
Read A Book Passage: Read a short passage from an inspiring day book and it can instantly put your day on the right track. If you can find a “day book” that inspires you with it’s single page stories, you might find that it’s exactly what you needed to know that day (my favorites are Mark Nepo’s The Book of Awakening, Louise Hay’s Heart Thoughts, and Maria Shriver’s I’ve Been Thinking.) Sometimes I keep the book open on my desk to remind myself of the wise words throughout the day.
Shower Meditation: During your shower, visualize your worries being washing away in the stream of water.
Quick Journaling: If I have time, or if I’m stressed about something, I’ll quickly write down how I want to feel that day. This can look like, “I want to feel: patient, happy, and content.” This simple step helps set the tone for your day, regardless of the plans.
Self-Care Alongside My Children
Sensitive Observation - If you’ve ever read this post or following me on Instagram, you’ll see how much I love observing my children play, rather than scrambling for ways to entertain them. Our children enjoy playing in our quiet presence, and become much more creative, focused, and even hilarious when we’re not innocently suggesting what we think is fun. I find this time relaxing and special, and I learn so much about them!
Grab a cup of your favorite drink and enjoy the magic unfold!
Setting Early Limits - Setting a limit before we lose our cool is truly paramount to our self-care. Though, so many of us, myself included, are a work in progress about this. This means stepping in and gently stopping an action before it drives us bonkers (“I’d like you to sit down on the couch. You’re having trouble. I’m going to help you…”).
Set Expectations: Also, setting expectations before we enter a situation can make for smoother outings. For example, “I’d like us all to walk and use quiet voices in the library.” These simple acts can calm a situation before it escalates to yelling and threatening (which really stresses me out, how about you?).
Self-Care In the Evening:
Baths - Many nights, and almost always during a full or new moon (it always feels extra special!), I’ll take a bath. It relaxes me like nothing else, especially after a physically active day. If you can, make it an event with bath salts, low lighting, essential oils, crystals, and/or soft music. I used to be exclusively a shower person, but after discovering how awesome I felt, I’m a convert!
“Get Deep” Journaling - I find that when I write ALL of what’s bothering me without filters (including the %&*#@ who really burned my biscuits), I feel much more at peace about what happened when I’m finished, and I’m much more open to forgiveness. Though venting to a friend or partner feels good too, journaling helps us to stop circling around about the same stories over and over. Journaling helps us to forgive, heal, and honor where we are.
I gave a list in this post of journal prompts that can create big positive shifts in our thinking.
Calming scents - Lavender and frankincense essential oils, as well as palo santo incense helps to feel instantly calm and sleepy. It (for reals) puts me to sleep faster than NyQuil.
PS - I hope you enjoyed this post! Here are three other self-care posts you might enjoy too.