As a working mom, I often find myself stretched thin between work, family responsibilities, and other commitments. It can be tough to find the time to take care of myself, but I’ve learned that it’s important to prioritize self-care in order to stay sane and happy. Here are some tips for squeezing in self-care activities during a busy week, with a few examples thrown in for good measure!
Why Self-Care is Important
It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind and neglect our own needs. We often prioritize work, family, and other obligations over ourselves, leading to burnout, exhaustion, and even health problems. That’s why self-care is so important. It’s not a luxury, but a necessity for our physical, emotional, and mental well-being.
Self-care can take many forms, from simple acts of kindness to ourselves, to more structured activities like exercise, meditation, or therapy. Whatever form it takes, self-care helps us recharge our batteries, reduce stress and anxiety, and increase our resilience to life’s challenges. It also helps us build stronger relationships with ourselves and others, and boosts our overall happiness and satisfaction with life.
So, the next time you feel guilty about taking time for yourself, remember that self-care is not selfish, but an act of self-love and self-preservation.
10 Tips for squeezing in self-care activities
1. Wake Up Early
Rise and shine! One of the best ways to fit in self-care activities is to wake up early. Yes, I know it sounds brutal, especially for us night owls. But trust me, it’s worth it. Even just 15 minutes earlier than usual can give you enough time for activities such as yoga, meditation, or journaling. By starting your day with a self-care activity, you can set the tone for a productive and mindful day ahead. Plus, it’s a great excuse to indulge in that extra cup of coffee.
2. Schedule It In
One of the best ways to make sure you actually make time for self-care activities is to schedule them into your calendar. Treat them like you would any other appointment or meeting – block off the time and stick to it. For example, I schedule my weekly yoga class on Wednesday nights and make sure I don’t schedule anything else during that time.
But what happens when something comes up? As a working mom, you know that schedules are rarely set in stone. That’s where the next tip comes in.
3. Be Flexible
Life happens, and sometimes you have to be flexible with your schedule. Maybe your child gets sick and needs to stay home from school, or you get called into an emergency meeting at work. Don’t beat yourself up if you have to skip your self-care activity for that day. Instead, try to find another time during the week to make up for it.
For example, if I have to miss my Wednesday night yoga class, I might try to squeeze in a quick yoga session at home on Thursday morning before work. It might not be as long or as intense as my regular class, but it’s better than nothing.
You’re probably a pro at multitasking. So why not apply that skill to your self-care activities? For example, I like to combine exercise and socializing by going for a walk or jog with a friend. We get to catch up and enjoy some fresh air while getting our heart rates up.
Another way to multi-task is to do some self-care activities while you’re doing other things. For example, if you’re taking a bath, you could also listen to a podcast or audiobook. Or if you’re doing some stretching or yoga, you could also watch your favorite TV show.
5. Make It a Family Affair
Self-care doesn’t have to be a solo activity. Get your family involved and make it a fun, bonding experience. For example, you could have a family game night, go on a hike together, or have a movie marathon.
6. Keep It Simple
Self-care doesn’t have to be complicated or time-consuming. Sometimes the simplest activities can be the most effective. For example, taking a few deep breaths, going for a quick walk around the block, or simply taking a few minutes to meditate can all help you feel more relaxed and centered.
One of my go-to simple self-care activities is to take a few minutes to do some gentle stretching or yoga poses. I don’t need any special equipment or a lot of space, and it only takes a few minutes to feel the benefits.
7. Use Your Commute
If you’re anything like me, your daily commute can be a real drag. But what if I told you that you could turn that time into an opportunity for self-care? If you take public transportation or drive to work, use that time wisely. You can listen to a guided meditation or affirmations, or read a self-care book. By using this time for yourself, you can reduce stress and improve your mental state before even starting your workday. Plus, you’ll feel like a total boss when you arrive at the office.
8. Take Short Breaks
Let’s be real, we can’t be productive robots all day long. Incorporating short breaks throughout your workday is a great way to practice self-care. Take a few minutes to stretch, go for a walk, or do some deep breathing exercises. These small breaks can help refresh your mind and reduce stress, making you more productive and focused when you return to work. Plus, you’ll feel like a mini wellness guru.
9. Make the Most of Your Weekend
The weekends are precious. It’s the time to catch up on sleep, socialize with friends, and binge-watch your favorite TV shows. But it’s also a great time to catch up on self-care activities, especially if you have a busy workweek. Plan activities such as a relaxing hike, a spa day, or a long bath with a book. By taking the time to recharge over the weekend, you can feel refreshed and ready to tackle the new week ahead. Plus, developing a Sunday night routine can set you up for a great start to the week. Who says Mondays have to suck?.
10. Don’t Feel Guilty
This is perhaps the most important tip of all: don’t feel guilty for taking time for yourself. As a working mom, it’s easy to feel like you should always be doing something productive or taking care of someone else. But the truth is, taking care of yourself is just as important as taking care of others.
Remember, you can’t pour from an empty cup. If you’re feeling drained and depleted, you’re not going to be able to give your best to your work, your family, or anything else. So give yourself permission to prioritize self-care, and don’t let anyone make you feel bad for it.
Squeezing in self-care activities during a busy week can be a challenge, but it’s definitely doable with a little creativity and flexibility. By following these tips and making self-care a priority, you can feel happier, healthier, and more balanced in your busy life.
Remember, taking care of yourself is essential for your well-being and happiness. So don’t be afraid to prioritize self-care and make it a non-negotiable part of your routine.
Now it’s your turn to take action! Choose one of these tips that resonated with you and commit to incorporating it into your week. Whether it’s scheduling in some quiet time for meditation, going for a walk with a friend, or simply taking a few deep breaths throughout the day, every little bit counts.
So go ahead, give yourself permission to prioritize self-care, and watch as your life becomes a little bit brighter and more manageable. You deserve it!