If your life is anything like mine, self-care doesn’t happen often, if at all. One of my New Year’s resolutions for 2018 was to take better care of and prioritize myself. So far, as we are more than halfway done with this year, I have failed. And not just slightly failed. I mean a big fat F. It’s so hard! And when we do attempt to enjoy some time or activity for ourselves, we feel bad about it, don’t we? Oh, the dreaded mom guilt. I wonder if dads experience dad guilt. My guess is no.
Time is precious and so very valuable. It’s also very short and the hours of the day seem to fly by! I’ve made a quick list of five self-care activities that take 10 minutes or less. Yes, it is possible to spoil yourself for a few minutes.
First, get up earlier. Yes, I said it. I know you were probably up late with a teething baby, much like myself. However, I have found that waking up a bit earlier and enjoying the silence before chaos is therapeutic. This gives me a few minutes to make my coffee, sit on the couch and just enjoy silence before my loud children and husband wake up. This mama doesn’t do well with interreacting with anyone before my morning coffee. That includes my husband and kids. It’s like my mind just can’t process the extra stimuli.
Another activity is just practicing the art of gratitude. Simply being thankful for the day and claiming positivity over it is extremely powerful. If you wake up just complaining about the night and how awful you slept or the fact that you didn’t get any sleep at all, it really puts a damper on your day. Trust me, I have started way too many days this way and the day only progresses to get worse, not better. But when I shake it off, pop up and get a cup of coffee and discuss all the great possibilities of the day with my amazing friends, it really turns out much better.
I really neglect myself physically at times. I may go weeks without washing my hair. Months without a pedicure. On my worst days I am lucky if I even brush my hair or change out of my PJs. It’s the truth. But I have got to start making myself a priority physically. A great way to treat ourselves is to moisturize our face and body. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just put on some baby oil or your favorite lotion. My poor skin is almost reptile like at times. The moments that I apply my favorite body oil or lotion after a nice, long shower are pure heaven. These times really don’t happen often, but why not? It barely takes an extra five minutes to lather yourself up after a quick shower.
One other way to treat yourself is through the application of face masks. I have a new-found love with face masks. One of my friends makes this amazing, home made and natural clay face mask that I am simply obsessed with. My skin really has never been any smoother. It isn’t something I do often, but when I do, it is such a treat. I really am going to make a serious effort to apply a face mask at least once a week. This is an activity that we can obviously do while multitasking, which is the story of our lives. Pop the face mask on, put in a load of laundry, pick up a few toys, and then go wash it off. It’s like we are treating ourselves while we play these many roles.
Lastly, my absolute favorite self-care activity is the use of a rice sock. “A rice sock? What is that?” I know that’s what you’re thinking but hear me out. You literally take a clean tube sock, fill it up about ¾ of the way with rice and tie the end of the sock up. Put the sock in the microwave for 2 minutes. When you take it out, apply it to the back of your neck, shoulders, upper back, legs or even a crampy stomach. The pain and tension really does melt away. I swear by this method for helping with aches and pains and I am using one as I type this post. My back has really been bothering me these past few weeks and it is my go to method of pain relief when I get home from work at night. The heat typically lasts about 30 minutes, but if your kids are at all like mine, I am lucky to have it in place for longer than 5 to 10 minutes before they want to play with it.
So, join me in this upcoming week as we attempt one of these self-care activities each day! Check back Sunday night for the updated calendar. Let’s start taking better care of ourselves physically, mentally and emotionally.