12 Ways to Insert Self-Care into Your Daily Mommy Routine
What have you done for YOU today?
Let's face it, tending to your baby's needs around the clock can really take a toll on you. In order to maintain my sanity in the early days of becoming a mommy, I started discovering fun ways to sneak back to the person I once knew during the course of my daily routine. One promise I made was that I would do something special for myself every day, no matter how big or small.
Here are 12 pretty low-stress ways that I started taking better care of myself, which in turn, helped me take better care of my daughter too:
1. A Shower. Yes, really. Sometimes, things can get so hectic when you are a new mom that something so seemingly basic as taking a shower can get lost in the sauce. I made a commitment to myself that no matter what, I would find the time to shower, even if it was late at night or just for five minutes. Often, this is my only "alone" time and I really savor it.
2. A Bubble Bath. At the suggestion of a friend, I started adding bubble baths to the mix when everyone else is asleep. Sometimes, it's not until 2 am, but it doesn't matter to me. As long as I've got my bubbles, my iPod and my aromatherapy candles, I'm good (actually, great:-)
3. An At-home Spa Day. I don't even want to imagine what my hands and feet would look like if I waited until I had the time to go the nail salon to get a mani/pedi. My solution was to buy a complete mani/pedi set with all of the tools for me to do my grooming at home. Yes, of course it's really nice when someone else is pampering you, but I use this time to pamper myself and feel really feminine. Sometimes, I'll add in a facial mask and a Pandora Zen mix if I want to have fun with it.
4. A Good Cup of Tea. I started drinking tea when I lived in London and it's been a serious love affair ever since. I've always enjoyed a cup of black tea with milk, but these days, I'm loving herbal teas with calming properties. And I've even started buying really pretty mugs and cups to add to the whole tea-drinking experience.
5. A Good Book. I've always loved reading and I missed being able to cuddle up to a good book after I had Riley. I didn't think that I had the time until a mom in Riley's gym class shared with the group that she had just finished a whole book and we all clapped. It took her a month, but I figured that if she could do it, so could I. Even though it takes me longer than before (I squeeze in about 15 minutes after I put Riley to bed), I enjoy savoring the experience a lot more.
6. A Good Meal. When I really started to miss the delectable dining experiences that I once had, I returned to my love of cooking. A couple of times a week, I treat myself with a gourmet meal in my kitchen. Sometimes it's old stand-bys and other times, it's new things that I want to try. Either way, it's a fun way to break up the monotony of one-pot meals and casseroles when you can't go out for dinner.
7. A 30-Minute Walk. I discovered the impact that walking just 30 minutes a day, five times a week can have on your mental and physical health through an organization called GirlTrek. Even though I have to take Riley with me sometimes, it's still a great way for us to be alone in our on thoughts and commune with nature.
8. An At-home Yoga Session. My former yoga instructor-turned-friend (Kelly Newsome of Higher Ground Yoga) once told me that one downward dog a day is better than nothing at all. I found a few yoga apps on my iPad and I try to get in 15 minutes a day when I can. I love the sessions designed for bedtime, because by the time I hit the sack, I'm totally relaxed.
9. A Membership to a Massage Club. A friend gave me a gift certificate for a free massage and once I learned that I could get the same one for $60 a month through a club membership, I was sold. If I can't make it, I don't sweat it because my credits just roll over to the next month. It's right around the corner from my house and I can always get same-day appointments. Super easy, super relaxing, just how I like it these days.
10. A Few Minutes of Quiet Mediation. Sometimes it's all about the art of doing nothing to get you a little closer to finding the inner peace you need after a crazy day. I take a few minutes before I go to bed at night alone in my closet (where I know I won't be disturbed!) to reflect on my day and commune with God.
11. A Good Nap. Never underestimate the power of a good nap. I try to get a nap in whenever I can because I feel so much better when I'm well-rested. I used to think that people were crazy when they told me to sleep when the baby sleeps because I always had so much to do. I learned the hard way that they weren't crazy...I was. The to-do list can wait. It will still be there waiting for you when you wake up and you'll probably be able to cross a lot more off once you are re-energized.
12. A Guilty Pleasure (or Two). I have a few of these--cannolis, crazy reality TV, TMZ and a good glass of wine. I feel like a kid in a candy store when I'm able to sneak one of these in my day. Feel free to indulge a little in your own "guilty" pleasures when you need to and I promise that you definitely won't feel guilty:-)
I hope these help you as you chart your own path through this amazing journey called motherhood. If you have any suggestions that you'd like to add, please feel free to share them in the comments section.
Hey Haute Mamas! I'm Riche Holmes Grant, a modern mom + mompreneur who designs smart + stylish products that make your mommy gig easier.
When I'm not busy taking orders from my toddler boss, I'm contributing to MarthaStewart.com or in the kitchen whipping up delicious baby + toddler gourmet creations in my BambiniWare Apronini.
Get my FREE book on How to Make the Best Food for Your Baby here!
I live in the Washington, DC area with my husband and daughter. Follow our adventures on Instagram via @BambiniWare!
- Riche Holmes Grant