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Every Sunday night, after the kids are tucked in bed, I put on a face mask.
Sitting down in my bathroom, I light a candle and relax with the mask on. I cannot remember when I started this regular rhythm but it now is regularly ingrained in me. There is something about carefully covering my face with the dark black charcoal mask, sitting for 15 minutes, and then washing it off that feels refreshing. I breathe a little deeper. In my mini makeshift spa of the bathroom, all of the other cares drift away.
It is so simple, it almost feels silly or unnecessary to talk about but I know it is important. I know this because I know how self-care can get a bad rap. There were seasons of motherhood when I pushed off any thoughts of a face mask, let alone creating a mini spa in the bathroom. Instead, I became the martyr. I pushed through when it wasn’t necessary and often grumbled under my breath about needing a break.
However, here is the honest truth I did not realize: Moms, we have to make the time for self-care. No one else is going to do it but us. So it’s time to lay aside our martyrdom and grumbling, and take steps forward.
How to Practice Self Care for Busy Moms
How do you practice self-care as a mom in the thick of it?
First, we must understand what self-care is.
Self-care is caring for your physical, emotional/mental, and spiritual being. My husband and I once heard the analogy that we are like three-legged stools. Each leg represents a different part of our self-care and when we neglect one, we are a leaning stool. Are leaning stools effective and useful? No, they are not.
If we want to be useful stools, we must care for all parts of ourselves.
Now that we understand what self-care is, we have to let go of our preconceived ideas.
In the past, I envisioned self-care to be spa weekends, weekend getaways, pedicures, etc. While all of these things are wonderful, they are not always practical. I had to learn to let go of these impractical notions and learn that self-care can be simple everyday actions.
It can be sitting to drink a hot cup of coffee every morning, doing a weekly face mask, running, etc.
Also, you must learn how to choose your self-care methods
Take some time and make a list of the things that bring you joy. If you struggle to think of something, think back to when you were younger. What did you love to do? Growing up, I loved crafts and writing. I remember spending hours writing in my room. However, as life happened, I let go of it until recently. Sometimes, we just have to go back in order to remember what it is that lights us up.
Once you make the list, pick a couple to work on. Remember, this can be something like running three times a week or maybe it is sitting down for a cup of coffee every afternoon. Big or small, these acts matter.
Finally, we must make the time for self-care
This can be the hardest part, but we must make the time. If we do not, it will not happen. Try setting an alarm to remind yourself to sit and read. Or talk to your husband about carving out time for you to go to the gym. Whatever it may be, you have to make the time otherwise we will just have lists of ideas and no action.
Keri lives in Charleston, SC with her husband and three kids. She is passionate about encouraging moms to thrive in whatever season they are in. She shares regular encouragement and practical tips on her family lifestyle blog.
Spending time in the Word may very well be the highest form of self-care. And if you’re looking for some help finding your special way to get into the Word, how ’bout this challenge? Explore twelve different types of Bible Study…and discover what works best for YOU!
Self-care does not just happen, but with intentional steps, we can make it happen. What step will you take today? Share your thoughts in the comments!
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