As moms, we’re always being lectured that we need to take better care of ourselves. When I hear that being said, my initial reaction is…duh…but when am I supposed to do that? When I scour the internet for ways to practice better self-care, I find tons of ideas on WHAT to do but not a lot of ideas about how to find time to do it. These 8 steps are designed to do just that.
1. Ditch the idea of perfect – There are only so many hours in a day and only one you. If dishes pile up in the sink a little or laundry doesn’t get done on laundry day, the world will not cease to exist. The issue with abandoning the idea of perfect is that we have in our heads that perfect = good mom…it doesn’t. The sooner you stop trying to be super mom, super wife, and superwoman, the sooner you get to stop being super tired and super overwhelmed all of the time.
2. Outsource where you can – If you can afford it, hire someone to clean your house every now and again or to watch your kids. Order food in from time to time instead of cooking. It doesn’t have to be a daily or weekly thing, but a few times a year, splurge on help and use that time saved to do something nice for yourself, Some of the most successful people in the world are those that realize that they can’t do everything by themselves and are able to delegate where needed!
3. Ask for help - If you can’t afford to hire someone, enlist your family and friends. Make a list of all of those people that have said they’d love to babysit and contact them. Invite that friend that just loves to clean over! Asking for help doesn’t make you less of a mom or woman, it just makes you a more efficient one.
4. Quality over quantity - If you enjoy reading, you probably used to enjoy getting lost in a book for hours, if you were a couch potato, maybe you enjoyed binging on Netflix. Well, guess what…those days are over…but that doesn’t mean you have to give up the things you love. Instead of reading for hours on end, try to sneak in a few pages whenever you can. Learn to find peace and happiness in watching one episode of your favorite show rather than an entire season in one sitting.
5. Prioritize – Your life has changed dramatically and you probably won’t be able to do everything that you did before you had a baby. Prioritize and figure out what you miss most and do that first. Once you start to implement that into your daily life, figure out the next thing you miss most and slowly incorporate that as well.
6. Control what you can – There are certain things that you can control and others that you can’t. You may want to get more sleep as a part of better self-care but if you have a newborn baby at home, checking 8 hours of sleep a night off your list may be unrealistic. Instead, aim for doing things like sleeping when the baby sleeps. It may take you 4 naps to get that 8 hours but you’ll feel more rested than if you didn’t do it at all.
7. Get organized – Making time for anything starts with getting organized. The more aware you are of what exactly it is that you have to do every day, the easier it will be to plan for everything, including time for yourself!
8. Say no - Women are taught from a very early age to take care of other people and it can be hard for us to say no to someone in need because it goes against everything that we’ve been taught but for everything that you do for someone else, there’s less that you can do for yourself. Start by saying no to the things that you really don’t want to do but that you say yes to because you feel guilty saying no. Just like anything else, the more you do it, the easier it will become.