I know this is my first blog post in a while. Not sure if any of my readers feel like they need an explanation, but I’m going to give one anyway. I really, really care about all the people who read my posts. Plus, my explanation sort of fits into to the topic of self care for moms anyway.
I had to step away for a few months to work on my inner peace. A super lame cyberstalker decided to haunt me like an ugly ghost. Seriously. Someone needs to salt and burn their bones. Anyway, it made blogging feel stressful. I shouldn’t even say that because it’s exactly what they want to hear, and they seem to get off on that. But I believe in transparency here.
I worked with my therapist to find ways to deal with that frustration, and stepping away certainly helped as well. So, now, I’m back. And ready to reclaim my inner peace.
Lots of moms are going through similar things right now. Maybe not gross cyberstalkers. But they’re going through periods of unrest, overwhelm, and chaos. Stress blankets them like a pile of hot coals, and they find it hard to breathe.
In this post, I want to talk about self care for moms who are sick of being victims of their own anxiety and irritability. Who are sick of taking it out on their kids and being constantly crabby. To be honest, I’ve been struggling with this, and I want to help others like me who just want to get through the day without yelling.
This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click a link and make a purchase, I receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. See my Privacy and Affiliate Disclaimer pages for more info.
Also, I am not a doctor or mental health professional. Just someone who has lived with anxiety for many years who is passionate about sharing her experiences and tips for success. If you are in crisis call your doctor, then click here for some good mental health resources.
I was inspired to write this post by an amazing book I’m reading right now. It’s called How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids by Carla Naumburg, PhD. I highly recommend it for moms who need a little help being calmer and happier. You can read more about Carla on her website.
Why self care for moms is so necessary
Self care’s a hell of a buzzword, isn’t it? We use it so much, and we might not even know what it really is.
I’ve done a lot of work in the past several months to really hone in on what self care is, and what I can do to get it in an increasingly busy life. I had a baby about 7 weeks ago, and I’m currently Captain E-Learning for our kindergartener. Truth time: life is just busy.
Here are some things I’ve discovered recently about self care for moms:
- Taking a daily shower is not self care. This might conflict with things I’ve said in the past, and if it does… Well, people change. Thoughts change. But it’s important to remember that being able to take a daily shower is a right that you have.
- Self care is THAT THING. What is that thing for you? This is what you need to think about as you pour through this post.
Do you feel like you constantly lose it with your kids?
Stress and anxiety can do that to you. If you aren’t taking care of yourself properly, it’s pretty damn hard to take care of little humans. Like my therapist tells me often, “You can’t pour from an empty cup.”
That’s our job as moms. To pour and pour and pour. We pour into our children as we cook for them, bandage up booboos, dry tears, drive them to doctor’s appointments, wash their clothes, break up fights. And that’s just scratching the surface.
So how do we do this if our cup is totally empty? The answer, in short, is: We don’t. Or at least, we don’t do it well. We might be able to go through the motions, but we are left as unhappy meat suits without a shred of humanity left. This is why self care for moms is so critical for our mental health.
What normally triggers you? For me, it’s messes and children who don’t listen. The chaos of young childhood is often too much for my brain to cope with. Looking around and surveying my kingdom of stuffed animals, dirty laundry, and Goldfish crumbs sends me into a tailspin.
The first step in healing from significant overwhelm is figuring out why you lose it in the first place. If that feels too hard and confusing, I recommend the Bloom app. (I am not being paid to mention them. I just really, really love it.) It gives you daily mantras, goal setting activities, and calming breathing techniques to help you get your shit together. You can follow Bloom on their Instagram to learn more. But seriously, even after just a couple days using it, I can tell it will be a game changer.
Ideas for self care for moms that help me
Again, I’m not a doctor, therapist, or otherwise trained mental health professional. I’m just a girl standing in front of her reader, asking them to take care of themselves. So check out these ideas for self care for moms, and let me know if I missed any that have helped you.
#1: Try Bloom
I’ve only been using it for a few days, like I said, but it’s the bee’s knees. It’s $60 for an entire year, so that’s super affordable compared to the costs of therapy if you don’t have insurance.
Every morning it reminds me to get on the app. I start by reading an inspirational quote, and checking in about how I’m feeling. It really challenges me to dig deep about WHY I feel that way. Then I work through the routine I customized for myself, which includes various goal setting exercises.
Again, not being paid by them. But I mean, if they want to…
#2: Binge “Bridgerton”
Swooning. Corsets. Shirtless boxing. “I burn for you.” What’s not to love?
Even if Regency romance isn’t your thing, sometimes it’s helpful to be able to immerse yourself in a show. It’s probably for the best to pick something light hearted if you’re overloaded with anxiety but to each their own. My favorite way to escape is a true crime docuseries- or “SVU” or “Criminal Minds.”
#3: Get moving
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: exercise helps. I promise I’m not trying to be ableist. Exercise is going to look different for everyone. And that is 100% okay. What matters is moving your body in whatever way is possible for you. This floods your brain with really great chemicals. Every little bit of dopamine helps.
So, if all you can manage is a some bicep curls from bed, that is fantastic. You are doing something good for yourself just by making an effort.And make sure to rest if your body feels like it needs the rest. Obsession and dedication are not the same thing. Share on Twitter
#4: Stay hydrated
This is the thing on my self care for moms list that I’m probably the worst at. Nobody’s perfect, even me. But it is very important to make sure that you are drinking enough water. Why is that?
Among other things (according to Healthline), it can improve mood, energy, and cognitive function. So, Diet Coke might taste better, but try to get at least 8 glasses of water a day!
#5: Listen to a podcast
This is one of my favorite things in the entire world. My all time favorite podcast is Crime Junkie, but I listen to a ton of others as well. It’s a great way to unwind and distract yourself from all things worrying you.
There are even podcasts related to mental health and meditation/relaxation. Be sure to check Apple Podcasts or Spotify for ones that might suit you.
This can be easier said than done when you’re dealing with overwhelm and anxiety, but it can be really helpful to allow yourself even 10-15 minutes a day to just disengage. Shut your mind off. Focus on puppies and rainbows and your favorite flavor cupcake.
What’s important here (and with most self care activities) is to make it clear to your family that this is time you want to spend alone. Enlist your spouse or another responsible caregiver to keep an eye on the kiddos so you can get some “you” time. Or if you can, wait til after the kids go to bed.
I love lying in bed in the still, quiet darkness and just letting my mind wander. If it wanders to a place I don’t like, I reel it back in by challenging my negative or anxious thoughts with more positive ones.
#7: Talk to a therapist
I cannot stress enough how much this would help you. Truthfully, I think the majority of people on planet Earth could benefit from regular therapy sessions. It’s not just for people experiencing a major mental illness.
I have a video session with my therapist once a week and it’s literally a game changer. I can do it from the comfort of my own home, and I’m able to talk through the things that are going poorly. I’m also able to celebrate the wins I’ve had that week! It’s important to talk about that stuff too.
I don’t want to be classist, so I will point out that therapy is not an affordable option for everyone. That does not mean that you can’t find great self care tools on your own. I just wanted to point out that it has helped me a lot!
Self care for moms can still feel taboo
Even though you see the phrase “self care” wherever you Google, it can still feel… yucky. We’re sociologically conditioned to believe we need to constantly engage with our children. From the moment you open your eyes and they’re creepily leaning over you, to the moment they pass out after a major bedtime battle. We’re supposed to want to just sit as close as possible and stare at them like a heart eyes emoji and breathily sigh, “I love being a mom.”
Here’s the truth: Sometimes parenting sucks. Sometimes you want to scream into a pillow. But your kids are gonna be okay. You love them. That’s why you’re reading this. If you take a bit of time every day to nurture your soul, you are going to thrive. And so will they.
I have a private Facebook group I would love for you to join. I share my posts there, but I also talk about things on my mind. I suspect a lot of those things are on your mind as well. If you would like to join, click the link, and make sure you answer the questions and agree to the rules. I want the group to be a safe space for my members.
One more thing: The main thing I want you to take away from this is that self care for moms does not have to be time consuming or difficult. That’s why I created a handy guide you can work through at your own pace. To get more info on that, go check out my Self Care Workbook, and get all the details.