To All of the Working Mothers Who ‘Do not Have Time for Self-Care’
“I’m about to punch the next person in the throat who tells me I need to be more self-sufficient. I am a busy working mom. I have no time!”
Trust me i understand! Finding time for the weekly bubble bath actually creates more stress. Make sure the kids are busy, make sure everyone knows this is non-stop mom time, or even have to wait until everyone is in bed – by which point you are too tired and it is easier to pour a glass of wine. Drop on the couch and tune in to Netflix. On the rare occasions when you can manage your time, it’s not that nutritious anyway because you are just thinking about all the things you should be doing.
I get it. I used to be the one who snuck into the bathtub after bed and saved my “self-care” for every other Friday my girls went to see their dad.
Well, I have a secret: I don’t really take time to care for myself anymore.
I don’t have to because it’s infused into almost everything I do. My day is full of constant, effortless, real self-care: little things during my day that charge my battery; similar to plugging your phone in the car so it has enough battery to get through your next meeting.
Taking care of yourself can – and should – be easy. Unfortunately, we as a culture have made this concept too simplistic and too complicated at the same time. As with anything, if it’s not difficult to get to, it’s not worth it (kidding!) Self-care does not have to be a production. It doesn’t have to be difficult. In fact, if it does, it is NOT self-care. The point of self care is rejuvenating and recharging your battery. So what if I told you that it is possible to incorporate real, actual self-care that really fills your tank and nourishes your soul, but also fits into your already crammed life? Not only is this possible, it can take less than a minute, it can be done anywhere and without anyone knowing that you have a moment to themselves !?
A variant of a well-known trick for de-escalating anxiety states, here is my one-minute “battery charging” that I use in those moments when I feel overwhelmed and have to leave – you know, without really getting away:
- Close your eyes and take three deep breaths in through your nose and out through your mouth.
- When you open your eyes, look around and name five things that give you pleasure.
- Next, name four things that you can touch, feel, and feel good on your skin.
- Now, share three things that you can hear that make you smile.
- Then name two things that smell good.
- Finally, name one thing you can taste (or a feeling in your mouth). Alternatively, since this can be tricky, you can identify a positive emotion that you are feeling.
- If you really want to round off your experience, close your eyes and take three more deep breaths before starting your day.
I encourage you to try this little trick throughout the day; The first thing in the morning and just before bed are great times to start and end your day with a good attitude. It’s also great for taking a mental break in the middle of a hectic day. It’s especially helpful during stressful moments when you just need a beat to calm yourself down. Nobody can tell you you do! Tapping into your senses calms your nerves, connects you to the world around you, and keeps you present in the moment instead of stressing out about the past and worrying about the future.
While it might not feel like your typical self-care indulgence, truly decadent experiences are also a wonderful way to pamper yourself and are certainly always welcome. However, they are not the only way to fend for yourself. You can always create a similar effect. And I bet that if you use this strategy regularly, you will find that you have fewer “needs” for great self-care experiences – which in turn makes those moments more relaxing and refreshing. Take care mommies!
Karsta is a mindset coach and motivational speaker who helps others overcome the “I can’t because …” excuses that hold them on to living a life that is “okay” and living a life that is EPIC. For more tips to help shape your epic life, follow her on Instagram, visit her online, or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.