In my 2016 reader survey, I had several requests for a post on how on manage my stress. The answer? I’ve learned to take care of myself.
Even before I became a Mom and self care became a buzz word, I’ve been practicing it. But this past year it’s become vital. I can’t say enough how important this is for me as a Mom. I truly feel that taking care of myself is also taking care of my family.
A few years ago I shared a list of things I do to treat myself regularly and last year I wrote about why self care is so important to me. Today I thought I would share even more practical ways that I’ve learned to keep my stress levels in check.
Here are some things I do to practice self care as a Mom:
- I communicate my need to my husbands so we can co-parent and I do not take on too much by myself. There’s no need to be a martyr!
- I take time each Friday to close out my work week and map out the upcoming week.
- Sunday mornings are for family. We’ve gotten in a good routine of going to church, grabbing coffee and then going to the park. Then I do a few things to prep for the week.
- I schedule my workouts like I would appointments and stick to them. This is truly my non-negotiable “me time.”
- I take time every other week during my lunch hour to get my nails done. It makes a HUGE difference in how I feel!
- I also get my hair done every eight weeks like clockwork and eyebrows threaded at least once a month.
- I’ve given up on being the manager of our calendar. Instead these days Rich and I keep shared Google calendars so we can coordinate our day to day easier.
- Rich and I are more intentional about time together and schedule time together every week.
- I do not hesitate at all taking a night off if it’s been a long day. Rich and I truly share responsibilities with Buel, but some nights I just have to say I need time and relax.
- Last but not least, setting realistic expectations for my days is the key. I typically fall back on my 3×3 check-in to transition from work to personal and keep everything manageable
- I gave up dieting and instead focus on making the majority of my meals at home and splurging when it’s truly worth it.
- I prioritize sleep and stick to a bedtime, for the most part.
- When it comes to “stuff” I stick to quality not quantity and get the best version of the things I need when it comes to beauty products, clothes and any items I use regularly.
- My home is decorated in my “style” and I love it. I also keep things clean and have my house professionally cleaned twice a month. It’s a luxury, but it saves me from spending a signifiant amount of time on the weekends cleaning and instead spending time with my family.
- I get my errands done on Friday so that I do not spend my weekends out and about. Using my lunch hour sets me up and magically frees up my weekend.
- I balance our family budget on a monthly basis and my personal budget a few times per month.
- I stick to regular hours at work and get in on time and leave on time. If I absolutely have to work outside of work hours, I do it after bedtime and put on a show I like so it seems less like work.
- I prioritize my friends, but am ok with saying no. If I’m overwhelmed sometimes clearing my calendar is necessary.
- I take every opportunity that I can to travel- both for work, with friends and as a family. Getting out of my day to day routine helps keep things fresh.
- At work I’ve stopped writing to-do lists, instead I block out the time that’s needed to get necessary tasks done. This helps with keep work within business hours.
- I prep EVERYTHING at night
- I stick to a quick morning routine. I simply chug a glass of water, brush my teeth, put in my contacts, get dressed and have coffee before I head to the gym.
- At night almost every night I take a bath, read a little and go to bed. It’s simple but it helps me transition to and from sleep.
- I schedule play dates with friends to get us out of the house on the weekends.
- I try to use weekend nap times for myself to relax- if I do try to get stuff done I keep it quick so I at least get an hour to myself.
- I write 2/3 of my blog posts on the weekend and keep Friday for more “live blogging” style so I don’t stress about writing during the work week.
- I drink a ton of water, always, since I know I get dehydrated easily.
- I’ve paired down the TV shows I watch- now I watch less than five shows weekly.
- We take time to have dinner together as a couple after bedtime most nights so we can catch up on our day. Connecting with my husband helps me from becoming resentful and disconnected.
- Lastly, the same as last time- I’ve learned to accept that I’m not perfect, and instead of trying to do it all, I’ve learned to prioritize. This is especially important as a Mom because you can always, always do more!
Do you focus on self-care? Let’s here three things that you do to keep yourself sane and happy! 🙂