3 Foundations of Self Care

I had the incredible opportunity to be a guest speaker at a local networking group called Mommies Hiring Mommies in June. I was asked to speak specifically about Self Care for moms. Since the audience was a variety of “moms” from soon to be new moms to moms with kids in college, I stuck with my basic foundations when helping clients with self care.

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As women we overthink things. No really, we do. You see, instead of doing a complete life overhaul- we need to stick with small, obtainable steps first. We need to master basic life skills before changing or modifying things. Because what happens is, if we don’t have a foundation, the whole system crumbles. So you need to have a solid foundation in order to build on things. Here’s what I mean:

Step 1) Nutrition – I see it all the time, heck I was that girl for years – hoping on diet after diet thinking it would “help me lose weight” “make me feel better” – but I didn’t have the basics down. We were eating way too much processed food, eating out several times a week, and I hadn’t eaten a vegetable in….I can’t even remember. So everytime we started a “diet”, I was really great for a week or two and then I would fall off the wagon and binge eat. Or I would get bored and quit. It was this never ending cycle.

Here’s where you need to start:

A) Start by cutting down on the eating out. Start by just making your lunches or your breakfasts. Let’s get you down to eliminating the eating out and making your own food before making complicated things. Keep it simple. Sandwiches or salads you can make easily the night before or on the weekend for the week, just to get into the groove of the system.

B) Start by eating 3 solid meals a day before elevating the food choices. Get into a rhythm before making the recipes. Think simple: Oatmeal for breakfast. Salad for lunch. Casserole for dinner. You aren’t married to these foods forever, this is just to get you into eating frequently- every single day. You can change up the food once you no longer skip meals or try to solely survive off coffee.

C) Once you have the first two under wraps and things are way more manageable, then focus on one meal of the day making it healthier. For example: Eating Oatmeal for breakfast? Are you using those little instant oatmeal packs- those are FULL of preservatives and sugar, and barely any nutrition value. Switch to quick oats, buy some bananas, walnuts, chia seeds, and cinnamon and make your own. Think about elevating the nutrition of the food.

Step 2) Basic Hygiene – I usually cringe when moms tell me they rarely shower. Why? Why is that? Why is that our kids take up so much of our day we can’t even get in a 5 minute shower? Why is that okay? It’s not. Showering is proven to lower stress levels, make you feel refreshed and energized, and not to mention it’s hygienically the best option considering our jobs as mothers.

Here’s where you need to start: 

A) Stop looking for those 30-40 minute long, relaxing, uninterrupted showers. We’re moms, those don’t happen as much. Instead – Focus on short, 5 minutes at a time. I have super curly hair, and two times a week – I wash it- that makes my shower way longer – but I plan accordingly.

B) Try your best to shower before noon. It will greatly improve your emotional disposition if you can make it happen before lunchtime. Try it and prove me wrong. I dare you.

C) Showering doesn’t have to be pretty, but set your kids up for it. Put a movie on, give them a snack, put the baby in the bouncer in the bathroom- do it during nap time. Just make it happen, no matter what.

Step 3) Alone time

I understand that leaving your children with someone can be an anxiety trigger. I understand that it is hard. I understand that it won’t be easy and that you may cry the first few times. But you NEED to have some peace and quiet to yourself. It can be as simple as going for a walk around the neighborhood. Sending a family member with the baby in the stroller to the park for an hour. It can be running an errand with out them. But you need the separation and the space for your own mental sanity.

Here’s where you need to start:

A) 15-30 minute intervals if you’re having a hard time. 1 hour if you’re not. Small steps up to larger chunks of time.

B) Communicate to your spouse if you want to hear updates or photos during that time away. For some women – it makes them feel guilty, others like the control of knowing everything

C) Give yourself grace if this is difficult. And remember, it takes time to be able to truly enjoy this solace.

These are my 3 foundational principles. Once you can get these 3 times as daily and weekly steps with minimal effort- you’re ready to tackle harder things such as:
Time Management
Work/Life Balance
Marriage/Partner work
Hobbies and Trips

But give yourself time to get these three things built up before anything else.  Are you struggling with your mindset in order to even implement these 3 foundational truths? check out my free download on the 7 lies I told myself in the height of my PPD and how I used positive affirmations to change my thought process, so that I could begin healing myself and getting better.