5 Productive Self Care Practices For Moms
Are your self care practices destructive or productive?
Ever heard of the saying treat yo’self?
I love me a good treat yo’self day. Sitting around binging your favorite show. Or going out shopping and giving yourself permission to buy something just for you. Or maybe it’s indulging in an extra piece of cake or getting fast food on the way home from running errands.
Doing these things is great, necessary even! Treating yourself after a really hard day feels great but as a stay at home mom, it can be easy to start to check out in the name of needing a break too often.
Taking a break and treating yourself can be great for your soul, but only if you are doing it for the right reasons.
Not too long ago I thought I was doing these things in the name of self care but in reality, I was using them as a distraction that kept me from working on parts of myself that actually needed attention.
There comes a point when constantly indulging yourself with these kinds of things stops becoming helpful and turns into something harmful.
I was spending so much time on things that didn’t matter and it was making me feel really crappy. I was working really hard in school and wanted to be a good mom but I was constantly getting frustrated by little things.
Ben would come in from working and I would immediately say I need a break, watch Easton. But is that really fair? Ben was just working too, maybe he needed a break.
When you only treat yourself with superficial things you become selfish and the things you have to do for others can start to feel like a burden.
I’m honestly embarrassed how long it took me to realize I was burying my problems. Finally, I started to recognize I was tired of feeling so irritable and burdened by everyday tasks.
This is when the real magic can happen. When you are willing to admit that something about you needs to change real self care can happen.
1. Consciously Acknowledge That You Need to Work on Yourself
For a while I got into the mindset that self care was a hoax. If this is you, then I don’t know why you are even reading this post!
I was annoyed by all the self care podcasts and Instagramers preaching self love and it’s all because I refused to accept that it was something I needed to work on. I wasn’t going to “waste” my time doing something I didn’t believe in.
Once I accepted the fact that in order to feel better I needed to work on myself, not just give myself things or do things I wanted, I finally started to feel better.
I accepted the fact that you know what, I’m not going to be happy if other people would just change the way they were acting. You can’t control what other people do. You just can’t. But you can 100% control what you are doing and how you react.
2. Identify the numbing activities and cut them out
Once you understand that YOU’re going to have to make some changes, start with cutting out the numbing activities. Trust me, this can be really hard. But if you are committed to being a better mom, a better wife, a better human in general then it will be so much easier.
For me, the numbing activities were Netflix and social media. I’d often do all the things that HAD to be done and then watch Netflix until it was time for bed. I was living in autopilot. Instead of working to improve myself I was doing the bare minimum of what I had to do.
Like I mentioned earlier, Netflix and social media are not inherently bad things. The way you use them is what makes them good or bad.
Find out your numbing habits and cut them out.
3. Choose one or two attributes to focus on
Choosing one or two things to work on will help you avoid being disappointed. I started with patience. I was getting super frustrated all of the time and I knew if I worked on being more patient I wouldn’t be so easily frustrated.
Are there other things I wish I was better at? Of course!
I want to get in better shape, eat healthier, be more productive, learn new things, be more present, be more confident… you get the picture.
There is an endless list of things we wish we were better at or want to improve on but we can’t do them all at once.
Focusing in on the one attribute of patience has helped me to feel better about myself because I could see myself improving. Now I’m at a point where I feel comfortable working on other attributes too.
I also think it’s important to note that even though I was focusing on patience, other things in my life were improving in tandem. It’s like people who try to lose weight through exercise aren’t just going to be losing weight. They’ll find that they have more energy, feel more confident and lots of other side effects that come with working out.
Some improvements don’t have such obvious side effects so make it simple for yourself and focus on one thing at a time. If you try to get better at all the things you’re going to be disappointed.
4. Gratitude & affirmations
By now you might be thinking, “well Kayden, all we’ve done so far is identify problems we want fixed. How do I actually improve?” This might be true but those are all really important steps and if you already had those down then awesome! But it took me a long time to realize I needed to do some of those steps.
Once I got through those, gratitude/affirmation practices were the first thing I utilized. I started by writing down a couple things I was grateful for each day. I started noticing that a lot of the times I was grateful for things that I had done.
I’m grateful I did the dishes today.
I’m grateful I stayed present while playing with Easton.
Or I didn’t get frustrated when Easton got into the toilet again because the door was open and the toilet seat wasn’t down.
I was grateful for the things I was accomplishing that sometimes seemed really hard. So I turned them into affirmations. I can be a good housewife. I can be present. I can be patient. As I did this something really awesome happened. When situations came up that used to instantly frustrate me, I started to remember my gratitudes turned affirmations.
I’m still a giant work in progress but my mindset is switching to look at things more positively. Yours can too if you choose to focus on the things that are going well in your life!
5. Give yourself grace
The last self care practice I want to share is to go easy on yourself. Changing a habit or improving an attribute is not going to happen overnight. It takes a lot of time and practice to improve and you know what, you’re going to have bad days. But beating yourself up over a bad day is only going to keep you there.
When the bad day comes, and it will, remember that tomorrow you can start fresh and put that day behind you.
If you made it this far I think it’s safe to assume that you want to be better. If you haven’t already;
- Write down your numbing activities and decide right now that you’re going to cut them out.
- Write down one or two attributes you want to work on.
- Write down something you did today that you are grateful for and turn it into an affirmation.
Making change is hard but we got this!
Leave a comment and share some of your productive self care practices.