Tricks for Improving Your Self-Care

How to put self care front and center in your life.

Self-care is vital to a working moms success
Getty Images/Gael Conrad

I was on a field trip chatting with a new friend about her life as a working mom. She confessed that fitting exercise in was challenging but she knew she had to make an effort. She was done having children and was at that point when she wanted her body back. It was hard balancing it all so she decided to set boundaries in order for fitness to become a priority.

Can you relate to this story? 

Have you ever reached a breaking point that your self-care became so needed that you start to break down walls to make it happen?

 You firmly put your foot down, say no to requests so that you can fit in what you need to fit in.

When life gets too demanding or chaotic we realize we just need a break.  Self-care becomes vital. Your self-care practice gives you the chance to catch your breath and emotionally and physically detach from life for awhile.

So how do you avoid getting to that breaking point and making self-care practices a constant in your life?

First, you will want to decide what you’d include in your self-care plan.  Next, to help you successfully integrate this plan into your life let’s look at three self-care regimes.

Envision your new exercise plan

Think of your last workout and create a vivid memory of how you felt.  Try answering these questions:

  • How did your legs feel afterwards?  Your arms?  Your stomach? 
  • How much did you sweat? 
  • Were you panting? 
  • Were you smiling ear to ear or grunting about the pain?
  • How did you feel the next day?

    Scheduling the time to exercise may be the easy part.  When the time comes to exercise bring up the vivid memory you just created. Something else to try is putting into words why you want to exercise. 

    Create a description that is more than “I want to lose weight” or “I want to lose 15 pounds”. How about “I want to feel good in my skin”, “I want to be able to keep up with the kids”, or “I want to be happy”.

     When push comes to shove and you’re on the fence about exercising, think about the reason why you want to do it.

    What kind of pampering sessions do you like

     Is the idea of pampering yourself a fleeting thought? If so, it’s time to make a plan.  Answer the following questions:

    • What do you do to pamper yourself?
    • How long does it take for you to do it? 
    • What supplies do you use?

    Next bring your supplies, like bath salt, toward the front of your bathroom closet or put them out on the kitchen table (out of small children’s reach, of course). This way the items are front and center as a reminder to pamper yourself. 

    A long bubble bath will not take all night.  Setting a time limit, say 15 or 30 minutes, will help make the pamper session happen.

    Get some alone time

    Silence is golden. It is in silence that we recharge and revive ourselves. A challenge with silence is our inner chatter. The “should” thoughts begin to emerge like “I should do work” or “I should not be sitting still”. 

    There are few ways to silent this chatter.

    • Meditate to calm the mind.  If you’re a beginner, look for guided meditations in your app store.
    • Journaling.  Write or type until your fingers ache.  Answer questions like, “How are you” or “What are some of the good things that happened today”.
    • Mind map.  If the chatter won’t subside because you are facing a challenge write out as many mind maps as possible to help dissect the problem.  Sharing these maps with people that you trust may help you find resolution.

    How do you make these suggestions a priority? 

    The secret to taking action is to think about yourself

    It sounds simple but as working moms we think a lot about everyone and everything else in our lives that we often don’t think about us. If we do think about us, the thought is quickly replaced with someone or something else. If you find this happening to you, remember that taking good care of you will enable you to take better care of everything else in your life. 

    When you take care of you your problems become few.