Six months after my daughter was born, I was on the verge of a mental breakdown, and my marriage was struggling.
While this was about 3 months before the world stood still due to a global pandemic, my world was crumbling.
I was a mom of two littles, one of which was exclusively nursing and waking 2-3 hours a night. I was also working full time in a busy dental practice, on top of managing my online business endeavors. And, I was overwhelmed, overworked, with no boundaries on my time and energy, and feeling like asking for help would be failing.
I was in an impossibly unsustainable situation meanwhile feeling like every other mom I knew was breezing through it. Something had to give. I could not continue neglecting my health and self-care needs, even if my pursuits were noble.
Here’s the thing mama, you can’t either. We must understand that self-care and the consistent stewardship of our health is not selfish. We must be intentional about cultivating calm and focusing on self-care to be able to show up for those we love.
Continue reading for 9 simple self-care tips for busy moms that have helped me recover from that place of overwhelm to a space of more cultivated calm.
Why is self-care important for busy moms?
Self-care is the intentional care of our physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual needs and it is important to each of us. It is the effective stewardship of the blessings of health that God has given us. It’s an act of praise and thanks for the mind, body and soul that we have been given to use for the glory of God. It is also, often, the first thing that gets neglected when life gets busy.
As moms, we often find ourselves pulled in many different directions. School activities, homework, and house management lead to moms with very little mental margin for considering ways to take care of themselves. Self-care offers us so many benefits for our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual needs. These benefits include:
- Increased energy
- Improved resiliency
- Better mental clarity and focus
- More productive days
- Calmer mornings
- Increased gratitude
- Overall better health
Self-care allows us as moms to stay on top of our health needs by consistently assessing our health. This consistency makes us more likely to find inconsistencies and seek the help we need.
What are Some Simple Self-care Tips for Busy Moms?
As a working mom in this terribly busy time, it can be difficult to find time for the long expansive days of rest outside of the house that you used to be able to enjoy. Gone are the days of aimlessly roaming the aisles of your favorite boutique or having a day at the spa to have your stress massaged or wrapped away.
With so many working moms spending much more time at home with their kiddos, it may seem like self-care is a thing of the past. This could not be further from the truth. While it may take a little more creativity, you can still enjoy some of your favorite self-care activities, or even try out a few new ones, even with a home filled with children. Listed are a few practical self-care hacks to help you enjoy calm even in the midst of chaos.
1 Schedule Out Your Day
Write out a to-do list. Organize the things you must do for the day into a simple schedule and be as detailed as you need to organize your time. Doing this will help you find margins in your day where you could incorporate some self-care activities. With enough practice planning your day, you may also find that you can pre-plan self-care into your schedule.
2 Pray Often
Prayer is a form of self-care. It is a method of communicating with God and our most faithful source of strength in the midst. When we press into prayer when we feel overwhelmed and exhausted, God is faithful to give us what we ask. This is a promise he has given us.
3 Create a self-care basket
Often, self-care is missed because we are not prepared to take care of ourselves when we find a break, so we default to the things that we are used to, like playing games on our phones or scrolling through our Instagram feeds. Creating a DIY self-care kit is a way to make sure that you always have self-care items you need to find a sense of calm when you need to take a moment. You can add items like:
- Coffee Cup and Tea
- Prayer Journal
- Favorite book
- Coloring pages
- A stress ball or fidget toys
You can add just about any item that you can think of that is relaxing or honors your individual need for self-care.
4 Develop a Morning Routine – Simple Self-care Tips for Busy Moms
Another awesome self-care tip for working moms is to develop a morning routine. The morning routine has been one of the self-care hacks that has made so much difference in maintaining sanity amid the chaos. A morning routine allows you to have a few moments to yourself to take a deep breath before the children wake and need you. Your morning routine can be whatever you need it to be. I enjoy drinking my coffee, writing in my prayer journal and then completing a simple morning workout.
5 Plan a Relaxing Night Routine Before Going to Bed
Once the children are all in bed, many moms start working through the rest of their to-do lists, and while this is a practical use of time, it may not be the most sustainable. Consider taking 30 minutes at the end of the day before bed to create a nighttime routine that encourages you to slow down and rest. This will allow you to be more prepared to sleep when the time comes and give you time to reflect on the day you are leaving behind.
6 Start Journaling
Many times moms feel tired because we lack the margin to pause in our day. We go. We do. And, we become everything we need to be for those we love and care about and leave little for ourselves. This fascination with busyness then translates to the time we have left, and often that is the only time we leave for God. This is not God’s intention for us. We must have a margin in our lives to be able to listen to him. Having a regular journal is a great way to write out what you may want to say to God and write out what he says to you.
7 Make Simple Tasks More Luxurious
If you truly do not have the time for an extensive spa day, consider making everyday activities a little bit more luxurious. That could mean adding a few drops of your favorite oil to your steaming hot shower or lighting your favorite scented candle while you do work from home. Little luxuries like these can mean wonders for the overwhelmed mom.
8 Take a Day Off if Needed
Sometimes the best thing you need is time. If you have tried each of the previously mentioned tips and are still feeling overwhelmed, then take a day. Work out the time with your spouse or a fellow working mama for you to take intentional time for yourself. You should not feel guilty about this, nor should you ignore the feelings of exhaustion because of the things you feel you have to do. Do not worry, mama. Your loved ones need you to be at your best, and stewarding your health is one of the best ways to remain your best self.
9 Ask for help
This is the most critical of the simple self-care tips for busy moms. Often as moms, we feel the need to be everything and to do everything all the time. This supermom complex is leading many mamas to burnout. You can avoid the feelings of burnout by asking for help when you need it. That could be in the form of your spouse. It could be a trusted friend or counselor. It could also be hiring out help in the areas that you can reduce your workload.
Incorporate Self-care into Your Daily Routines for More Calm
The key to getting proper self-care as a busy mom is truly embracing the importance of daily small steps. With a busy schedule, a career, family, and additional obligations, it is easy to become overwhelmed by the sheer amount of self-care you think you need. Overwhelm can lead to procrastination and putting off the stewarding care you need to cultivate calm! I encourage you today, mama, to take on that apparent mountain with just the next step. Find 5 minutes and just breathe.
Self-care is possible for the career mom, the stay at home mom, the work at home mom, the part-time job mom, the two or more jobs mom, each of us can find a rhythm to find calm in our lives!
Which of these simple self-care hacks can you incorporate into your life today?
Guest post written by:
Hey! I’m Ashley from Undoubted Grace, a Jesus loving, smile creating, middle of the grocery store dance party having wife and mama of two! I love sharing Jesus practically and seeing women walk boldly in God’s purpose! My greatest passion now is providing the resources that busy women need to gracefully transition through various seasons of life and emerge victoriously by helping them know Jesus more all while teaching ways to be a better steward of the blessings of life.
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Lisa Kimrey is a 30-year veteran registered nurse, speaker, and author of the Bible study, The Self-care Impact: Motivation and Inspiration for Wellness. At Mylifenurse, Lisa writes about simple ways to care for yourself to stay happy, healthy, and rejuvenated while you serve and care for others. Combining her years of nursing expertise with Scripture-based encouragement, Lisa shows readers easy ways to begin and maintain their self-care journey – without feeling guilty. Be sure to grab your FREE Self-care Starter Guide!