8 Best Self-Care Tips For Moms in 2024
Self-care for moms
Self-care for moms can be hard.
Like, really, really hard.
I remember two distinct moments in my life as a new mom where I thought, “Whoa. Do I really look like that?” (And not in a good way).
The first time was when my husband took a photo of us walking around the block with our two year old daughter and newborn son.
I was so embarrassed of my no makeup, greasy, frizzy hair, mix matched outfit, and gold Birkenstocks. I love my Birkenstocks, but they made my unmatched shirt and shorts look even worse.
The second time was when I was in the brand new phase of preschool drop off and pick up, and I had the epiphany that all the moms showered and got appropriately dressed for the day. Every day.
I, on the other hand, did not. What happened to me??
Self-care is obviously more than appearance. But, a lot of the time, how we treat ourselves on the outside is a reflection of what we are doing to ourselves on the inside.
Physically, I was not taking care of myself because mentally I was not taking care of myself either.
After my first instance with the photo my husband took, I remember justifying the lack of effort in my appearance with the fact that I had a newborn.
But somehow, more than an entire year had passed, and I was still a slob kabob. Not just around my neighborhood, but now fully in the public at my daughter’s preschool.
That is when it hit me hard that I was not making myself a priority.
I realized I needed some MAJOR self-care.
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What is Self-Care For Moms?
Self-care for moms is simply taking care of yourself. Your whole entire self. The physical, the mental, the spiritual. Every part of you.
So that you can be the healthiest version of you and ROCK IT as a mama, wife, friend, employee, and most importantly, YOU.
8 Best Tips on Self-Care For Moms
Becoming a mom is a beautiful and transformative journey, but it is also one of the most demanding roles we can take on. Amidst the joy and challenges of motherhood, it is crucial for us mamas to prioritize self-care.
Taking care of yourself is not a luxury; it is a necessity that enables you to be the best version of yourself for your baby and your family.
Here are 8 practical self-care tips and strategies to help you feel fabulous!
1. Do something that is NEW to you.
Some of the best marital advice I received is something that I think applies not just to married women, but to all people:
“Keep yourself interesting. Do new things as often as possible, and have hobbies for yourself. Hobbies with your spouse and children are of course important, but activities you do alone are equally important.”
As a brand new mom, this can feel unrealistic.
When I was in the cluster feeding days and nights with my babies, barely getting any sleep, feeling like I was simply a source of food and nothing more, my “new” hobbies were 5 to 15 minute walks around the block or laying in bed reading a fun book or taking an extra long, hot shower.
My current new hobbies are training for a half marathon and learning how to line dance on Tuesday nights.
Doing something new by yourself is mentally stimulating, liberating, and FUN! It makes you feel so good.
The happiest people do not do the same thing every single day. They are out creating new memories, new experiences.
Investing in ourselves is important for self-care.
2. Get outside. Get outside. Get outside.
Studies show that spending time outside by yourself with no electronics can be more healing than seeing a therapist if you do it 3 times a week for 20 minutes each time.
That is awesome free therapy! I learned that cool fact in The Comfort Crisis, by Michael Easter.
I have seen such an improvement with my mood ever since I made this a habit.
Nature is incredibly nurturing for the mind and soul; read more about that here.
Sitting outside as you eat your breakfast (and not looking at your phone) counts. Walking down the city streets to a store counts.
It doesn’t have to be nature like the forest or the ocean. Urban nature counts, too.
3. Move it, move it, move it!
Regular physical activity is important self-care for moms because it boosts energy levels, enhances moods, and aids in postpartum recovery.
I used to work out 5 days a week. When I became a mom, I was blown away at how hard that was to still accomplish.
I quickly felt disappointed I wasn’t exercising every day. But then, I heard something that I love:
Give yourself a range for your goals. Instead of saying, “I will exercise 5 days a week,” say, “I will exercise 2 to 4 days a week.”
That way, you are more prone to strive for your goal RANGE and feel success if you meet your range.
Then, your success will motivate you to keep going next week, and it will just snowball into awesome forward momentum.
Have you heard of FitOn? It is a FREE workout app!
I love it because there is a quick questionnaire you complete at the time of download that allows you to say how long you want your workouts to be.
I choose workouts that are only 10 to 20 minutes in length because as a busy mom, that is all I can squeeze in. Even though they are quick, I break a sweat, have my heart rate pumping, and I feel sore the next day.
From dancing to weights to low impact workouts and more, there is something fun for everyone on FitOn.
4. What you eat today, affects your tomorrow.
As a busy mom, taking the time to properly fuel our bodies with good nutrition can be so tough.
I went from being such a health conscious person who loved eating vegetables, to someone who mainly ate chicken nuggets and quesadillas all day long.
Because as a tired, new mom, I was too exhausted to do anything different. That spiraled into weight gain, low energy, poor sleep, and lots of illness.
With my sleep a big priority in my life now, I have my diet back in order, too.
Something my sister once told me that I love is: If you want to eat better and lose weight, start with moving (exercising) first. The habit of exercise will naturally lead you to a healthier diet.
I found that to be the case for me. I now have a list of 26 Healthy Snacks for Moms That Are Quick & Easy, along with 21 Toddler Meal Ideas the Whole Family Can Enjoy, plus 35 Easy AND Healthy Toddler Breakfast Ideas that help me feel my best.
5. The number one most important self-care tip is SLEEP.
You absolutely must make sleep a priority. Getting 8 hours of sleep is incredibly hard, especially as a new mom, and I honestly rarely get that now. But, I always try.
Nothing is more important than sleep. If we are exhausted, everything else is AMPLIFIED. All our moods. All our battles. Everything is worse, including our health.
Did you know that the most valuable sleep for our brains is between 8 pm and midnight? TIME states that every hour of sleep before midnight equates to two hours after midnight!
Sleep deprivation is an unavoidable part of new motherhood, but finding ways to maximize the quality of the sleep you do get can make a big difference.
When your baby sleeps, consider taking a nap instead of immediately tackling household chores.
Ensure your sleep environment is comfortable and conducive to rest.
Sharing nighttime duties with your partner can also help distribute the load and allow you to catch up on much-needed sleep.
I have had sleep interruptions throughout the night with our little ones constantly for the past 4 years. It is the reason my self-care went out the window.
But with the help of seeing Chelsea Kunde, a sleep specialist, I finally have consistent, solid sleep in place for everyone in our house, and I know you can have that, too.
Random Fact: Did you know that coffee can irritate the tissue in your bladder? After years of being a coffee drinker, I coincidentally would wake repeatedly throughout the night to go to the bathroom. I would then wake super tired, so I would drink more coffee, and the cycle continued. When my doctor recently told me this coffee fact, I decided to stop drinking it…I now sleep all night long without waking to pee!
6. Celebrate small achievements.
If you are a new mom, did you take a shower today? That’s an achievement. Did you soothe your baby during a fussy moment? That’s an achievement.
Whether you are a brand new mama or a seasoned one, we have to remember to give ourselves grace and to celebrate our wins.
Moods are contagious, just like a smile is contagious. Focusing on the positive is contagious and good for your self-care.
7. Time block personal time into your day.
Schedule time for yourself. Write it in your calendar and follow it.
Even if the only time to yourself that you can afford right now is waking up 5 minutes before your children do, DO IT.
Figuring out how to schedule time for yourself can sometimes feel impossible, but these 7 Organization Tips for Moms That Saved My LIFE can help you, too!
8. Go to the Doctor
It dawned on me that my kids do annual well exams, but I didn’t. I would see my OB/GYN regularly, but I didn’t have a primary care physician.
No matter our age, we should all be responsible and do annual health exams, just like our children do.
I struggled with depression pretty significantly after my second born. When I realized how often I was crying all the time, and when I realized I was having some pretty dark thoughts, I knew I needed to make an appointment with my doctor.
That appointment was the catalyst to getting me to move in the right direction.
Because of my doctor visit, I was able to open up about my depression with my husband and my sister–the two people I am closest with.
Everyone copes with depression differently, but having 3 awesome outlets (my doc, hubby, and sister) to safely share my thoughts with was what helped me start climbing up out of my rut.
Self-care is easier to maintain when you have one person you can safely confide in, free of judgment.
Surround yourself with only the best people.
Final Thoughts on Self-Care for Moms
By making self-care a priority, you are not only nurturing yourself, but you are also setting a positive example to your children about the importance of self-love and balance.
Follow these tips on self-care for moms and you are bound to start feeling awesome.
You got this, mama!