This is a special feature post written and contributed by Vanessa Peil at Nessa Elaine blog. All credit and content is her original writing.
Whether you are a working mom, a work-from- home mom, or a stay-at- home mom, you have a huge role in caring for your family. In order to fulfill your role as mother and wife, it’s important that you take time out of each day to do something just for yourself. Our days can be busy and hectic, but it’s so necessary to make time each day to do something that soothes your soul, calms your mind or releases stress.
Where do I find the time? For moms who are home with little ones, you could use nap time as time for yourself. You can use this time to read a book, enjoy a cup of coffee with a devotional, take a shower, or do a workout. Of course, sometimes there are things you must get done during your child’s nap time,like feeding yourself some lunch (!!!) or doing some household chores; but if you’re child naps more than once during the day, dedicate one of those times to doing something you enjoy!
I’m blessed to have a husband that is very involved and helpful. On his days off work, he will wake up with our son Eli and let me sleep in, being that I am the one that gets up in the middle of the night to breastfeed. He will also play with Eli so that I can do a workout or run an errand on my own. It’s important that you get some alone time once in a while, so ask your husband in advance if there’s something you want to do that involves a longer period of time; or if you’re a single parent, ask a friend or family member for help.
I only have one child at the moment, so it’s probably a bit easier to find “me-time,” but here are somethings I enjoy and would recommend doing to care for your mind, body and soul.
1. Exercise. I love the feeling after a good workout. Exercise is a great mood booster and actually gives me more energy. Staying healthy helps me better take care of my little one and also sets a great example for him. There are tons of ways to get some exercise in your day, such as taking stroller walks,playing outside with your kids, doing workouts at home (while your little one is entertained or napping,)or taking a class that offers childcare!
2. Find a mommy and me group or another mommy friend that you can meet with weekly. This one is very important. It’s important to have close friendships where you can open up and share about your struggles. When you do this, you will find that you aren’t alone in your feelings, and can move beyond whatever mom-guilt you are beating yourself up about. This doesn’t have to be something fancy, and if there isn’t a Mommy & Me group in your area – start one! It’s as simple as inviting a few friends over to your house and having meaningful conversations while your babies play. It should be a relaxed time where you take care of your baby, while also socializing and growing with other new moms. If you don’t want to start a group, find a friend who you can plan to meet with 1x a week. I promise this will bring you joy during your week!
3. Make a hair or nail appointment. Treat yourself! This one isn’t something that most of us moms can do quite frequently, but is a special treat. It’s good to pamper yourself once in a while! My hair appointments usually take a few hours, so I have to plan in advance for these!
4. Take a long shower or relaxing bath. Showers aren’t always easy to come by as a mom, and when we do get to shower, they aren’t always as long as we’d like them to be. When your husband is home, or baby has gone to sleep, get that much needed shower, or immerse yourself in a hot bath with some candles lit and some relaxing music.
5. Get outdoors. Take your little one outside to play in the yard or to a park. It’s so good to breathe fresh air and see all the sights and sounds in nature. It’s hard to be outside for long periods of time in the summer here in Florida, but I still try to get outside a bit every day.
6. Read a Devotional and Journal. This is something I would like to do more of. How many times do I mindlessly scroll through Facebook, when I could be spending time refreshing my mind and soul with scripture and truth about God? A great resource for this is the First Five app, which has daily devotionals that are meant to help you start the day off right. You can find more info at firstfive.org.
7. Do something creative. Start a blog. Get out your camera and practice taking better pictures. Do a DIY project. (@BeingMrsMcIntosh has lots of them on her blog!) Get out your colored pencils or markers and doodle or color in an adult coloring book.
8. Bake something yummy. If you like to cook or bake, search Pinterest for a new, yummy recipe to try. I like to look for healthy alternatives and try to find recipes using ingredients I already have in the house. Something new I just made last week was banana “ice cream.” You blend frozen bananas in the food processor and can add whatever ingredients you’d like. I added cocoa powder and peanut butter to mine, and it was delicious!
These are just a few ideas, but I’m sure you could think of many other activities that you enjoy. I hope you will find some time this week to do something that brings joy to your heart. What is something that you like to treat yo’self with so that you are able to keep offering the best version of yourself to your family? I’d love to hear from you in the comments!
-Vanessa at Nessa Elaine
Shout out to my girl Vanessa for contributing the first ever Featured Artist post on Being Mrs. McIntosh. To read more by Vanessa visit her blog https://nessaelaine.wordpress.com.