Diapers, laundry, baths, food, refereeing, entertaining, soothing, and loving are all mentioned in the job description of a Mama (among many other attributes!). You spend so much time caring for your family – and you do a great job at being a fabulous Mama!
But sometimes Mamas spend a significant amount of time on everyone else and hardly any time on herself. We know it’s because you adore your children and desire the best opportunities for your family! However, if you’re not healthy, it will be tough to care for everyone else.
“But I’ll take care of myself another time.” Procrastination is always an opposing force, but starting a habit today can lay a self-care foundation that will last a lifetime. Also, don’t you want to model holistic, healthy living to your children? They will notice when your rest and when you overwork yourself.
Self-care is personal. It will look different for you and for your best friend and for your Mama. Discover your own self-care standards. Figure out what works and what doesn’t work. Slow down and take the time to learn how to intentionally and purposefully care for yourself. That helps you establish and commit to sustainable self-care habits.
The best thing about these 3 self-care techniques is that they can be done anywhere and in any amount of time. Only have 5 minutes until you kids wake up from nap? Perfect to stretch! Have 30 minutes after you put the kids to bed before you go to bed? Awesome time for self-massage! Husband at work and children at school? Take as much time as you want or need to breathe deeply!
What’s one thing you do every morning? Brush your teeth. That’s a habit that has become ingrained into your daily rhythms. Self-massage can become that too.
Everyday after you bathe, give your body a 5 minute massage. Start by applying lotion to your feet and gently massaging it in using circular motions. Then work up your legs. Next, put lotion on your hands and gradually massage from your hands upwards to your shoulders. Lastly, massage your torso.
While massaging, press into those sore spots, tight muscles, or stiff joints. No one knows your body better than you do, which means you can massage it in all of the right spots better than anyone else.
Throughout your self-massage, be aware. How does it feel to touch your toes? Do you like a softer touch on the inside of your elbows? Do the lotion cause a tingle in your hands as it warms up?
The actual massage will relax your body, but the awareness will help your mind de-stress as well.
Bonus: massaging yourself can increase blood flow, detox your body, boost your energy levels, and nourish your skin!
Recommended body lotions:
- Honest Face and Body Lotion
- Alba Botanica Body Lotion
- Juice Beauty Green Apple Firming Body Lotion
- Avalon Organics Refreshing Body Lotion
- Burt’s Bees Milk and Honey Body Lotion
Close your eyes and take a deep breath. Whether you’re laying in bed before the day begins, in the bathroom (hiding from your kids?), sitting at your desk, or walking to the mailbox. Stop and take a deep breath – and close your eyes when appropriate.
Inhale for 5 seconds, then exhale for 5 seconds. Continue this pattern as you consciously relax your shoulders, unclench your hands, loosen your neck, and rest your body. Concentrate on each body part, starting with your feet and legs, then your hands and arms, then your torso, and lastly your neck and head.
Visualize what each body area looks like. Picture it transforming from stressed to relaxed, and then help your body make that mental image into reality.
You can complete this in one minute, or take as long as you want. (I dare you to set a timer for 10 minutes and try this…you’ll be amazed how relaxed you are after the timer go off!)
Just like a self-massage or deep breathing, stretching can be so beneficial to your body! Take one minute, or ten minutes. Try to remain aware of your body the entire time.
You probably remember some basic stretches from gym class. Bend at your torso to stretch your legs. Reach your arms above your head or behind your back.
Using a foam roller can also help stretch out hard-to-stretch muscles. This is a great intro routine video to using your foam rollers, and this video incorporates both the foam roller and stretching.
Don’t forget that stretching doesn’t have to be done in your workout clothes! Set a timer to stand up from your desk every hour and stretch out for a minute. Or stretch your legs while you’re washing dishes. Or stretch your arms out while your kids are playing on the living room floor. Any stretching is beneficial for your body and mind!
The benefits of taking time for self-care
Each of these little moments – a self-massage, deep breathing, or stretching – is a quick and easy way to love your body. They will relax your body, rejuvenate your mind, and give you a fresh burst of energy.
Over time, these simple moments will become habits and routines. Avoid the latest trend and stick with these timeless self-care activities.
When you take time to care for yourself, no matter how busy you are, you’re becoming a better Mama!
Read more about getting a good night of beauty rest, how to avoid getting sick, and which healthy foods will give you radiant skin!