In light of the new year, here are some practical and achievable self-care tips and tricks for moms. It doesn’t all have to be spa getaways, we promise!
And if you’re the mom of a little one, self-care can include freeing up a hand with the help of the bökee. Make feeding time easier and give yourself a little break with our line of products designed for busy parents.
Self-Care Tips and Tricks Without the Pressure
Pinterest-worthy mom spa days or solo vacations sound amazing, and they probably are. But for most parents, those excursions aren’t practical. Financial and time constraints are likely to dictate what self-care looks like for you. And maybe spa days just aren’t your thing! There is no reason that social media’s idea of self-care has to be yours.
Here are some realistic but highly valuable self-care ideas, from one mom to another.
You cannot be the mom you want to be if you don’t take care of yourself physically. But what does that look like in real life? Start with the basics.
Finding time to move your body in a way that feels supportive is one of the best forms of self-care possible. And this is one type of pampering that can be free or inexpensive, depending on what you choose to do. Some possibilities to consider:
- A neighborhood walk by yourself after dinner
- YouTube exercise videos
- A class at your local dance studio or rec center. Everything from hula to rock climbing to walking groups is available
- Stretching and yoga
- A gym membership
Keep in mind that your energy level and movement needs can change. Pay attention to what feels right on any given day and honor what your body is saying.
Some days a rigorous cardio workout might feel amazing, while a low-key walk is plenty at other times. Powering through when you don’t feel up to it isn’t self-care. Notice and trust your body’s signals.
Have fish crackers and old oranges that your kid didn’t eat become a normal meal for you? If so, you’re not alone. And there’s no shame in that because sometimes that is just real life. Most moms can’t slow down for a luxurious and peaceful meal three times a day. Maybe not even three times a month!
But self-care does include supportive nutrition. Without the right fuel, you cannot show up for your children as your best self, and you run the risk of getting sick.
Here are some of our favorite tips and tricks for meeting your food needs:
- Batch-cook large amounts of proteins, grains, and veggies a few times a month. By prepping these meal staples, you will have plenty of ready-to-heat options for your meals. You’ll be less likely to skip a meal or reach for those fish crackers with these items on hand to mix and match.
- Consider a meal delivery service. There are loads of these choices on the market now. If your budget allows, they can be a great way to ensure that you get nutritious meals without stress. For many moms, a ready-made meal that doesn’t require any grocery shopping is the ultimate in self-care.
- Stay hydrated. Shockingly, about three-fourths of Americans are chronically dehydrated. Lack of adequate water intake leads to fatigue, irritability, and more. These are not the attributes most moms want! And hydration is particularly important for breastfeeding moms. Self-care in this area might be as simple as treating yourself to an amazing water bottle or your favorite flavor of seltzer water.
I can already feel you rolling your eyes at the notion of rest for moms. And I get it. It can seem as if adequate sleep went out the window as soon as you peed on the stick and found out a baby was on the way.
The reality is that rest and sleep are crucial to your physical and mental health. But the companion reality is that having children makes it very difficult to get that oh-so-needed sleep. So, how can you make it work? Try these self-care tips and tricks to maximize your rest.
- Coordinate kid swaps with a friend. Set up times when your friend takes your children for a few hours, and another day you’ll do the same for them. Here’s the key, though: use the time to rest and recharge! You’ll be tempted to catch up on cleaning and laundry, but try to give yourself some actual rest time.
- If you have a newborn, consider hiring a nighttime doula once a week. These professionals can provide you with several uninterrupted hours of sleep at night by being on baby duty. Whether you're breastfeeding or bottle-feeding, they can give you a much-needed break.
- Screen time, anyone? There’s no denying that a well-timed show or movie can buy a tired mama some moments to rest. There’s certainly no judgment here for giving yourself this luxury!
- Don’t ignore the power of catnaps. Short snoozes in the early afternoon can help boost your mood and energy for the remainder of the day. If your child still naps, take advantage of it once in a while to get 15-20 minutes of sleep for yourself.
Moms are notoriously adept at ignoring their own routine medical care, even while staying on top of doctor visits for their children. Self-care for moms must include preventative exams and follow-up for anything concerning.
Even the busiest parents can probably schedule one appointment a month for themselves. By doing this, you can get into a healthy schedule and routine for your medical needs. Depending on your age and health conditions, consider getting these appointments on the calendar in the new year:
- Dental cleaning and exam
- Yearly physical exam
- Eye exam
- Dermatology checkup
- Annual exam and pap smear - January is Cervical Health Awareness Month, so it’s a great time to schedule this critical appointment.
Women are more likely than men to experience anxiety and depression, and when you add the possibility of postpartum depression, the risk escalates. Self-care for mental health is crucial, but that doesn’t mean that it always has to be elaborate or extravagant.
Fortunately, all of the tips and tricks for your physical health can have a positive effect on your mental health, too. Movement, nutrition, sleep, and proper medical care will all serve your mental well-being.
But there are countless small ways to boost your mood and protect your psyche, too. Just like your energy levels, your mental health needs will fluctuate, so listen to what your heart and soul need. Here are some of our favorite simple tips and tricks for emotional self-care:
- Spend some kid-free time with friends. Even a one-hour coffee date can do wonders for your spirit.
- Spend time alone. When you’re a mom, alone time can feel like an elusive dream. You might not even get to go to the bathroom by yourself some days. But try to find some pockets of time when you can be completely off-duty. If you have a spouse or partner, coordinate with them to make it happen. And by the way, scrolling on your phone in the car for 20 minutes can count as self-care if it gives you a chance to recharge!
- Learn something new. Moms easily get lost in their children’s lives. Consider signing up for a class or workshop to try something new or rekindle an old skill. It feels great to put your brain to work on something besides your child’s soccer schedule.
Self-Care Is What You Want It To Be
Social media can make us feel like we aren’t taking care of ourselves if we don’t have a weekly massage, a personal chef, and a monthly getaway to someplace serene. But these are simply artificial “shoulds” that don’t necessarily have any bearing on your needs and wants.
Give yourself the grace and space to recognize what is supportive for you. And then give yourself permission to ask for help in claiming it for yourself. Self-care can and often must fit into small pockets of time in your daily life. It certainly can be grand and large-scale, but it’s no less valuable when it’s quick and simple.
With the new year upon us, it’s a great time to commit to yourself that you’ll plan self-care that fits your life and your needs.
Give Yourself a Helping Hand
At the bökee, helping parents enjoy a little ease in their lives is our goal. Our signature bökee product allows you to prepare bottles, fill sippy cups, and open medicine bottles one-handed. It may not be quite the same as a weekend wellness retreat, but it is a great way to make life a bit simpler when you’re raising your little ones. And in our book, that counts as self-care, too.