Tuesday, August 15, 2023

Self-Care Strategies for Moms: Prioritizing Mental Well-being


Pixabay - CC0 Licence

Motherhood is an endlessly rewarding time, but it would be naive and a little delusional not to accept that it comes with its challenges. When you’re wrapped up in the daily hustle of parenthood, it’s all the more important to prioritize your well-being. It can be tempting to tell yourself that the most important thing is to just keep pressing on, but that’s counterproductive in the long run. Self-care also has to play a part, even if only because you need to feel well enough and strong enough to parent effectively.

Why does self-care matter so much?

Self-care is often referred to in the sense of pampering - expensive makeup or a subscription to something indulgent. That can have its place, for sure, but it is more important to treat self-care as a way to refresh, reflect and recharge. It’s what you need to do to ensure that you feel at your best; for your kids, yes, but also for yourself. You don’t stop being a person when you become a parent, and mental well-being is fundamental to general health. If you feel better, you’ll make better decisions, and in the long run you’ll do better as a parent, too.

How do you get self-care right?

Self-care should be seen as a multi-pronged strategy, because balance is important. That means there should be as many strings to your bow as there can be. Some of the most important strings are:

Mindfulness: Taking a few moments out of the day to meditate or just think about something positive can help you center the mind and release stress, and it will boost your focus.

Treating yourself: Yes, pampering does have a place every now and then. Prioritizing a spa day or putting the spotlight on 5 carat diamonds can give you a little thrill, which is essential.

Journaling: Putting your thoughts down in writing and exploring your feelings allows you to gain some much-needed clarity and is often genuinely therapeutic.

Hobbies: Sometimes becoming a parent means you shelve your favorite hobbies, and now might be a good time to either revisit some of those, or find new, parent-friendly ones.

Digital detox: Increasingly, it needs to be said that taking some time away from screens is beneficial. Whether from social media or reading the news, often screen time does little to make us happy. Plus some time away from it can be beneficial for your sleep, which is essential.

Finding time without feeling guilty

It’s common to feel that taking time for yourself is somehow selfish, and to feel guilty about it, but this isn’t fair on you and furthermore, it’s not going to do your little ones any favors either. Setting boundaries and schedules, enlisting help from parents, spouses and friends, and finding the spare time in between parenting chores will allow you to find time for you. Be prepared to ask even in cases where you normally wouldn’t, because those close to you should know that you’re only asking because you need help and need time.

As a mother, your time is often fully-booked, but you are constantly being relied upon and it’s not just nice to have a little time to yourself. For everything to function as it should, it’s essential.

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