It’s Valentine’s Day and most often we associate this day with flowers, chocolates, fancy gifts and dinners. While I don’t have anything against that idea, as I too had swooned over my boyfriend’s (and now husband’s) heart-warming surprises, I have come to also appreciate more the act of “SELF-LOVE” especially when I became a mom.
You see, motherhood has a way of shifting ones priorities. Our own needs and wants become secondary, and all we can think of is how we can give more and more to this tiny precious being. We become obsessed with pouring all of our time into feeding, bathing, educating, nurturing our kids that we sometimes forget to do that for our own selves. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. In fact, that’s what make mothers selfless and it’s one of the most admirable thing about moms.
Being a mom myself, I’ve had too many bad days when everything seems to be falling apart. Yes, there’s no better feeling than being a mother and to be spending time with your kids, but there are also moments when I just want to be by myself, have quality time for myself, and just BE me.
There’s nothing strange about wanting to be alone or wanting to do things for yourself. And no, you’re not being selfish. You’re just being human. No matter how phenomenal you are as a mom, you too can get exhausted, get pissed off, get drained, and you need to recharge from the pitfalls of this crazy, beautiful mom life. When you take care of YOU first, you can take care of your family even better.
YOU, of all people deserve so much love! And whether it’s Valentine’s Day or not, there are tons of ways you can do to nourish your body, mind, soul, and give yourself that much needed attention. Self-care is an activity that nurtures and refuels you at a deeper level. It goes beyond just a mani-pedi or a massage even though those are a few good examples. It’s about looking after your PHYSICAL, EMOTIONAL and MENTAL STATE, SPIRITUAL BELIEFS, RELATIONSHIPS, and CAREER. Here are some ideas for you to get you started:
- Have a date with your partner or significant other (without the kids this time). Arrange for a baby-sitter or maybe your parents or close friends can look after your children while you enjoy a good movie, or a quiet dinner while reminiscing your times together before parenthood.
- Daily outdoor time. Go for a nature walk, head to the beach or take a stroll at the park. When you’re outdoors, notice the sky, the trees, and the beauty that surrounds you. Take it all in. And please, forget about the laundry and the dishes while you’re at it.
- Morning pages. Creative guru, Julia Cameron invented the idea of long-hand conscious writing. Morning pages is a practice of writing down any thought that comes into mind in the first 20 minutes of your day. It’s not even art. It’s just a way of pouring out consciously your innermost feelings or instantaneous ideas. And they’re for your eyes only. Don’t overthink, just write.
- Be part of something bigger than yourself. Find a tribe or a cause that you associate yourself with. Whether it’s meeting fellow moms or other groups of people who share your interests or advocacies, having new acquaintances is always refreshing to the heart and soul. Also, having adult conversations every now and then helps to keep you sane!
- Have a cuppa with your girlfriends and momma friends. A good cup of coffee plus an afternoon of chitchat and laughter with your gals will remind you that you are surrounded with friends who are there for you even if you’ve hibernated into your mom bubble. Living overseas? Have a virtual date with them either thru skype or just a phone call. Hearing a familiar voice can lift your senses in ways you never imagined.
- Be stilll. Have some quiet time in the morning. A good 10-15 minutes of meditation, yoga, or mindful breathing every morning or when the baby naps, can go a long way. It will help you get more focused and be more intentional for the rest of the day.
- Learn something new. A new language perhaps? New hobby or sport? Crafting? Photography? Thai cooking? Think of something that you have never done before but you’ve always wanted to try. It’s now or never!
- Reward yourself. If you’ve achieved a milestone no matter how big or small, give yourself something to celebrate it. It doesn’t have to be extravagant, but it has to be rewarding. Give yourself permission to enjoy whatever it is that feels uplifting to you.
- Forgive yourself, over and over again. You’ve yelled at your kids, or have missed a school recital, name it, we’ve all done it. You’re not alone momma. So don’t torture yourself. It won’t change anything.
- Slow down. I mean, REALLY slow down. You’re not Wonderwoman (although having Gal Gadot’s physique won’t hurt) so try not to multi-task and multi-think all the time. Not only is it physically exhausting, but it can be mentally and emotionally draining.
- Be your kind of beautiful. Forget comparing yourself to that other mom. Embrace your own body and shape. Believe that you are beautiful coz you know what? You are! Say it to yourself over and over again until you believe it. Self-affirmations are very powerful and can uplift your mood in a matter of seconds.
- Get active and get moving! Go for a run, or do some quick stretches, or squats at home. Turn up the music, sing, and dance your heart out, or just listen to the beat and feel the rhythm. Exercise releases endorphins which are known as happy hormones!
- Eat healthy. When you eat crappy, you feel crappy. When you eat healthy, you feel healthy. And when you’re healthy, you are happy. Take it easy on the refined sugar and go for something that gives you more energy like fresh fruits, whole grains and vegetables. Your skin will also thank you for it.
- Be grateful everyday. Focus more on what you have now and always remember that you are far more blessed than you athink you are. Start and end your day pointing out three things you are thankful for.
I am sure you have a hundred more ways to add to this list. More than the act itself, what’s important is that you also make a consistent commitment to expand your routine of caring for yourself and nourishing at all levels of your being.
Whether you’re an expectant mom, a new mom, or a mom of fully grown adults, I am hoping that today you show yourself the love you so easily give to your kids and loved ones because someone once told me you can never pour from an empty cup.
Happy Valentine’s day to you beautiful momma! Let’s celebrate YOU today and everyday.
PS –> What other SELF-CARE tips do you currently practice? Leave a comment below. And share this to other moms you know who deserve all the love and care.💗