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Self-care is currently a big buzz word.  Some love it and some hate it.  Most people don’t even know what self-care is.  Self-care is any activity that we do deliberately to take care of our emotional, mental, and physical health.  Self-care is truly loving and taking care of yourself.  Most people don’t like self-care because they don’t understand what it is.  A moms self-care is so important to herself and her family.

We will cover how I define self-care, benefits to self-care, obstacles to self-care, how to jumpstart self-care for yourself, examples of self-care, and some success tips.

My definition of self-care

Self-care is more than just a routine.  It’s figuring out what your ideal mental/emotional, physical, and spiritually healthy version of yourself is and going after it. It’s about truly loving yourself and taking care of yourself.  (Like you take care of your children and your husband).

You’re a person too, Mama?  YOU matter too.  You are worthy of being taken care of by yourself too.

Benefits of self-care

  • Fills up your cup

    You can’t help fill up other people’s cups when yours is empty.  You need to take care of yourself so you can truly take care of the ones you love.

  • Boosts your immune system and lowers stress levels

    Self-care can boost your immune system.  When you take care of yourself and relax, it activates your Parasympathetic Nervous System which helps boost your immune system.

  • Improves self-compassion

    Self-care improves your self-compassion with yourself.  You are far more compassionate when you get to know yourself and learn to love yourself more.

  • You figure out who you are

    In marriage and parenthood (especially when you have children with special needs), it is easy to put yourself on the back burner and lose yourself in your day to day life and duties.

    Self-care gives you permission to focus on yourself and take care of yourself because you’re a person too, right?

  • Improves self-esteem

    Self-care can improve your self-esteem because you feel so much more confident about yourself and you learn to love yourself again.  When you love something, you take care of it.

  • More productive

    When you have a full cup, it is much easier to be productive and take care of your family.  It makes it easier to do hour-long therapy sessions and countless hospital visits.

  • You are worthy of self-care

    You are a person too, Mama.  You are worthy.  You take care of everyone else and leave yourself on the back burner.  You are worthy of carving out some time to love yourself too.

Obstacles to self-care

 

Some might have these obstacles or excuses when it comes to self-care. 

 

  • You don’t believe you’re worthy. You are a person too and worthy of a few minutes a day for self-care.
  • You think it’s selfish. Not true. Self-care isn’t selfish.  Self-care is about truly loving yourself and taking care of yourself.  If you think that’s selfish, you need to look at the point above.
  • You don’t understand what it is. You don’t know what self-care is because most people get the definition mixed up. Self-care is more than just manicures and pedicures.
  • You don’t make time. You HAVE to make time for self-care. You don’t have to start big.  Just start with 5 minutes a day.  If you don’t have 5 minutes a day in your schedule, then you don’t have a life.  Sorry to be harsh, but it’s true.

How to jumpstart self-care for yourself

Where are you now?

What are you doing now for self-care if anything?  Are you just in survival mode?  If so, that’s okay too.  You have to start somewhere.  More than likely you are already doing some form of self-care, even if you’re not aware of it.

Make room for self-care.

How can you fit in 5 minutes every morning and night for yourself?  Start small.  Just 5 minutes.  You can increase it later as you get into the routine of actually doing self-care and think about caring for yourself.  How much time do you think you can give yourself realistically right now?

It’s okay if it is just 5 minutes twice a day.  Really.  You want to get into the habit of taking care of yourself and following through.

If you attempt to schedule an hour, chances are when the time comes, there will be something more important or urgent and you will push self-care aside like you always do for some other time.

Figure out what you want to do.

What makes you tick?  What excites you?  What did you use to do before you got so busy for yourself?  This is where you get to know yourself.  Maybe you used to do an extensive skincare routine and now you barely wash your face with anything but soap.  Maybe you used to journal and stopped.  What do you want to do? 

Don’t let perfectionism get in the way on this step.  You can always take out things you thought you would like and add things you like as you figure that out.  You will get better at this as you go along.  It is a skill to really know yourself and figure out how to care for yourself.  It’s okay to start with a couple of things and start small.

**Look at the self-care success tips and examples below to help you with this step.

Schedule it.

When are you going to practice self-care?  Schedule 5 minutes (or the amount of time you decided on in step 2.  If it’s not on the schedule it won’t get done.  Put it on your schedule.  When you put it on your schedule, it helps you make it a priority.

 

Follow through on what you say you’re going to do.

The final step is to follow through with what you say you’re going to do.  Part of loving yourself and having a good relationship with yourself is the confidence that comes with always doing what you say you’re going to do.

Examples of self-care by type:

Spiritual:

  • Daily devotional
  • Daily prayer
  • Daily meditation
  • Study the Bible

    Mental/Emotional:

    • Starting a gratitude journal or journal prompts
    • Girls night
    • Take time out to talk to your friends on the phone or in-person
    • Reading a book
    • Alone time
    • Unfollow people on social media
    • Do a thought download- write out all of the thoughts in your head
    • Get fresh air
    • Declutter your house- it saves your mental sanity
    • Buy yourself flowers

    Physical/Misc:

    • Drinking water
    • Taking a walk
    • Eating healthy
    • Saying no to soda
    • Taking enough nap
    • Do a face mask
    • Take a long shower with extra steps
    • Take a bubble bath
    • Get a manicure or pedicure at a salon
    • Start a hobby
    • Detailed skincare routine
    • Getting your hair highlighted at a salon instead of home

    Success tips and things to think about

    • There are 3 parts to self-care: mental, physical, and spiritual health. Think about these when figuring out what you want to do or start with for your self-care.
    • It’s more of a routine. It’s like a mindset.  You want to get to the point where you are thinking about your overall health.  This is how you start taking care of yourself and showing love to yourself.
    • Self-care is more than just pampering yourself and being “high maintenance”.
    • Self-care IS NOT a normal day to day hygiene like taking a shower, shaving your legs, or brushing your teeth. Those are your basic human right, NOT self-care.  Your husband wouldn’t consider taking a shower or shaving self-care.  It CAN be taking a long pampering shower with extra steps like oil treatments, etc. or a long bubble bath.
    • Don’t apologize for self-care. I feel like I need to blow this one up and put it on a billboard for you.  DON’T, just don’t do this.  You have a right to practice self-care without explaining yourself.
    • If you are still having a problem realizing you’re worthy of self-care, think about your daughter. How would you want the adult mom-version of your daughter to take care of herself?  Would you want her to take a couple of showers a week because she is stuck in martyrdom?  Or do you want her to practice self-care?  This can put things into perspective when you are at the beginning of learning and practicing self-care.

     

    Self-care doesn’t have to be hard, something you dread, or a big-time commitment.  Self-care is just loving yourself and doing nice things of appreciation for yourself.  You just figure out what you wanna do and follow through with it.  That’s it.  It’s that simple.

     

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