The Nerdy Mama’s Guide to Self-Care

Thank you for sharing!

Hi there- I’m Sara. A mom, writer, reader, and lover of all things self-care.

I love self-care so much that my friends are used to me telling them that they need more of it. And then talk about all the things the different activities they can try or ways to fit in more self-care.

And then I tell them that they don’t need to feel guilty about this.

I talk about this with my friends because I love them. And I’ve learned that generally, moms aren’t great about self-care.

We tend to:

      Not make it a priority

      Miss opportunities for self-care

      Feel guilty about it when we do it

Sound like anyone you know? (Again, no guilt if that’s you!!).

So, I’m excited to help you make more self-care happen in your life.

First, let’s talk about what self-care actually is.

What is self-care?

Simply put, self-care is anything that helps you feel good and is important to your overall well-being.

This wide definition of self-care is important because self-care has become synonymous with things like bubble baths, wine, and massages.

But what if you prefer a Star Wars Marathon, butter beer, and some cozy cat socks?

I’ve got news for you- all that is self-care too!! (Go ahead, you can cheer out loud!!)

There are 6 Types of Self-Care

Self-care has a much wider spectrum than we often realize, and we need to make sure that we’re touching on all 6 of these needs in order to really help our overall well-being. As you read through these 6 areas, take note of which areas you’re not addressing (no guilt if you check very few boxes!)

Emotional self-care: This is taking care of your emotions and working on creating positive emotions. For some people this will be going out, being around others, or getting that massage, but for you, it might be curling up with a book, doing some journaling (shameless plug: here’s a self-care journal I wrote!), or watching Harry Potter for the fifteenth (who are we kidding, fiftieth) time.

Mental self-care: Nerdy mamas tend to be good at this one because mental stimulation is an important aspect of mental self-care. So, when you do those crossword puzzles, word searches, and answer the Jeopardy questions before the contestants, this is mental self-care! This is important to be aware of because you might just think you’re living life. Yes, you are doing your normal daily “stuff” but you’re also meeting your self-care needs. Score!!

Of course, just because mental self-care might come naturally to you, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have to keep track of it and make time for yourself. When you’re busy and burnt out, thinking might be one of the last things you want to do. Or you honestly might just think you’re too busy to relax, whether its physically or mentally. The important word there is “think”. Even if it’s just for fifteen minutes while you’re in the middle of a workday, make time for yourself to reset your mind. Play something like spider solitaire, grab a drink, and you’ll find that you’re actually more refreshed and productive.

Physical self-care: Taking care of our body is self-care. And right now you might be cringing because you’re picturing workout classes with other people, awkward moments trying to get on (and off) a spin bike or other ways that working out can go wrong. But guess what? The ways to take care of yourself are endless: yoga (at home or in a class), taking a solo walk (or with your kids), and also includes eating well, staying hydrated and getting enough sleep. If you’re already doing some of these, give yourself a pat on the back (or a gold star if that’s your thing) because this is self-care.

Now, let’s dive into a less talked-about but crucial aspect of physical self-care that’s been making headlines lately. Recently, the beauty industry has been rocked by controversies surrounding certain salon treatments, such as the hair relaxer lawsuit cases. It’s essential to stay informed about the products and treatments we use. While a salon visit can be a relaxing experience, it’s also wise to prioritize your health and research any potential risks associated with beauty procedures. Remember, self-care encompasses pampering and making informed choices for your well-being.

Practical self-care: Okay, fellow nerdy mamas…this is where you’re probably rocking self-care with absolutely no idea that you’re doing it so well. Practical self-care are the chores, tasks and the STUFF that moms constantly do that we just feel are #momlife but really are so critical to the functioning of life for ourselves and our families. When you schedule those doctor’s appointments, go grocery shopping and find your kids’ favorite gluten-free cupcakes, and finish the laundry, it’s time for a celebration, because you’ve done self-care.

Spiritual self-care: This self-care will look different for everyone and may be something you’re already taking care of with your visits to church, reading books like the Bible or other faith-based books. But, spiritual self-care doesn’t have to be religious- it can be taking a walk and connecting with nature, or doing something that allows you to feed your soul like volunteering. Make sure you take the time to feed your soul in whatever ways feel best for you.

Before we get to this last category, if you’re an introvert…stick with me!

Social self-care: Deep breath. Yes, social self-care is important. As humans, one of our core needs is to connect. As moms, we spend A LOT of time connecting with kids, but we also need to connect with peers. Trust me. You don’t have to go out dancing (that’s one of my faves!!)- you can go to a poetry reading with a friend, meet for coffee after you drop off your friend, or even go grocery shopping with a friend! Our spouse or partner can also be part of your social self-care, and if you’re a total introvert, consider having a friend over for a quiet evening at your house.

Isn’t that cool how many different types of self-care there are and how so many types of activities are actually self-care?

How can you make time for self-care?

You’re busy. I know.

But- you can STILL make time for self-care. Here are a few ways to make it happen:

– Schedule it in: When you’re working on your family’s schedule (practical self-care), make appointments with yourself

– Trade time with your partner. You get an hour to watch Dr. Who uninterrupted and your partner then gets an hour to do whatever the heck your partner finds fulfilling.

– Multitask with purpose. One of my favorite ways to get more self-care in is to listen to audiobooks while I do laundry and dishes. I also turn on Pandora a lot when I’m doing chores and need to be more focused on the kids

– Keep a book with you at all times. Most of us enjoy reading. And as moms, we wait a lot. So, keep a book with you so that if you’re waiting (in the car pickup line, for the doctor who’s running late- again, or you’re at the park with your kids), you can sneak in some extra self-care.

– Team up with a friend. Commit to getting more self-care and get yourself an accountability partner. When someone else knows we’re working on something, we’re more likely to do it.

– Get a self-care journal. Okay, not any journal, more specifically, Choose You, which is a guided self-care journal I wrote. It’s got a chapter that expands on some of what’s in this post, and prompts for tracking your self-care journey. You’ll also find tips, activities, and quotes to keep you inspired.

Being a mom is hard.

When you are taking care of yourself, you’re in a better position to be the mom that you want to be.

Also, taking time for self-care sets a great positive example for your children.

There’s no need to feel guilty about taking time for self-care. If you do, reference the two points above.

Thank you for sharing!

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