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Motherhood and the Daily Fight for Self-Care—Part 2

Self-Care

I’m super eager to find out how the self-care tips from Part 1 worked out for everyone! Were you able to implement any of them? Which ones? Leave a comment at the bottom of this post and let us know.

If you missed out on Motherhood and the Daily Fight for Self-Care—Part 1, I highly recommend hopping over and checking that one out first. It’s brimming with practical ideas and a brilliant self-care list; a perfect guide for self-care for beginners if it’s not something you currently practice. In Part 1 we covered: why self care is essential, warning signs that you may be lacking in the loving on yourself department, benefits of self-care, how to take baby steps into doing better with self-care, and simple chemical and physical modifications you can make.

Today we delve into Part 2 with mental and emotional modifications. And girl, you NEED to read this. Afterall, mindset is everything: we create our lives with our thoughts; your thoughts quite literally become your reality.

 

Simple Mental and Emotional Modifications

Simple self-care can improve how you feel about yourself and your ability to manage your emotions and deal with daily challenges. This means swapping old ways of thinking and old coping strategies for healthy, positive thoughts and coping tools.

 

Gratitude and Reflection.

Meditating on your daily wins–big and small–throughout the day is the simplest thing you can do for your mental self-care.

A grateful heart has a better, clearer perspective on every situation life may throw at you.

  • Get on Pinterest or Google and print some inspirational quotes or verses. Tape them up around the house where you can see them and be encouraged throughout the day.

 

Allow yourself to process each stage of motherhood.

  • Write a blog or post to process life that’s happening. Even if it is just for yourself.
  • Cry it out.
    • Find an emotional chick-flick (my go-to is Raising Helen) and have a good cry.
  • Call a friend to verbally process your situation.
  • Journal.
  • Meet with a professional counselor that specializes in women’s mental health.  (https://www.facebook.com/SageTreeTherapy/)

 

Rest and refresh.

Sleep is important, but so is guarding your time to rest and refresh—whatever that looks like for you.

  • Implement a Sabbath concept, adding one day of rest to your week (or start with one night a week).

For me that looks like not touching dishes on Saturdays. We also try to not leave the house as a family on Saturdays (since my husband commutes to work through the week, he is also refreshed by a day without driving).

We have to fight to protect our rest and quality family-time. It’s not easy, but totally worth it!

  • Try a technological fast. Remove that social media app from your phone and don’t open your computer for a few days. (Speaking from personal experience, I guarantee you will feel more in-tune with yourself and your surroundings after just one day.)
  • Set healthy boundaries.

That may look like saying “no” to some of those relationships, parties, extra-curricular activities or even family gatherings…yes, I went there. What works “best” for most may be breaking you and preventing you from being the best mom you can be. Take some time to reflect on all your commitments and relationships—are they serving you or breaking you? Often times “no” or “not in this season” brings more freedom than guilt.

Let it go, girl!

Rediscover what refreshes you.

I recently had a conversation with an old  friend who was rediscovering herself as a new mother. I had given her a book for Hanukkah, because I remembered how much she loved to read when we were growing up. She read it, loved it, read it again and rediscovered that she is a “reader” and loves to get lost in a good book.  

Sometimes, becoming a mother changes how we are best refreshed. Where you used to enjoy going to the cinema or golfing, now you may rather walk the dog alone or (please, God) soak in an Epsom salt bath without interruption.

Do you enjoy reading? Writing? Crafts? Painting? Singing? Dancing? Playing an instrument? Animals? Cooking? Time with friends? Playing or watching sports?

The way you receive love may also change once becoming a mother. Take this quiz to learn how you receive love. I was shocked how much my love language changed after my son came into the picture. After completing the quiz, sit down and talk to your spouse and support system about how they can love you the way you can receive it best.  

 

 

Communicate your needs.

Sleep-deprivation and nutrition-deficiency can prevent us from even recognizing our needs. This is why sleep and proper nutrition are essential to self-care, but it is also our responsibility to communicate our needs with those that love us.

They can’t read our mind.

  • Find yourself a trustworthy babysitter and schedule a regular girls’ night and/or date night. Write down your needs, if it will help you remember and communicate your needs to your spouse or friends.
  • If you are in a season where a sitter is not an option, there is always after bedtime, video chats and phone calls.

Ask for help and be willing to receive help. They cannot read your mind.

 

In Conclusion

It is a daily fight for self-care, but you can plan ahead and successfully take action toward implementing more one day at a time! The benefits of self-care are totally worth it, and so are you.

Regardless of the chaos you are facing, self-care is your responsibility.

All of us at 1st Step Family Wellness in St. Louis are proud of you for taking the time to read this article and all of the big and small actionable steps you are taking to be the best you. We are here to support your wellness journey, and that definitely includes your self-care.  

Self-love directly affects your ability to love those around you.

We want to know how we can help you reach your self-care goals. Contact us today.

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