Have you got yourself on the #selfcaresunday bandwagon yet? Self care is a widely popular topic across all social media channels and in day to day conversations. But what exactly is self care, and why is it so important?

Self care is critical for everyone, but especially for new moms. The reality is that if we don’t actively carve time out for it, it simply won’t happen. It’s all too easy to slip into the day to day of always caring for others and putting your own needs on the back burner. You may not immediately see the effects of it, but if you continue to not take the time you will get burnt out and it will start to really get to you. And it also shouldn’t just be on Sundays!

So, what exactly is self care?

In dictionary format, self care is “the practice of taking action to preserve or improve one’s own health.” This can be a number of things – some that we may not always think of. Take note that it does need to be anything extravagant to be effective.

Here are some examples:

  • Taking a hot shower alone
  • Reading a book or magazine for 10 minutes
  • Quietly sipping on coffee or tea before your kids wake up
  • 10 minutes of meditation or yoga before you start the day
  • Cardio exercise – walking, running, dancing
  • Being social – having a conversation with a friend, whether on the phone or in person (the key is hearing their voice, not just via text!)
  • Eating a fresh salad from the garden or local farmer’s market
  • Getting a massage or facial
  • Getting your nails done
  • Getting your hair cut
  • Buying new mascara
  • Taking a 20 minute cat nap to recharge
  • Watching your favorite tv show

As moms we often feel guilty for taking time for ourselves, no matter how small. But not taking the time is a big mistake. If you don’t, you are telling those close to you (including your kids) that you don’t deserve that and you don’t need it. But you do deserve it and you need it, for your sanity and so you can be healthy and recharged.

If you notice yourself losing patience with your kids, feeling irritable, or just plain drained, then those are signs that it’s time for some self-care. Put it in your calendar on a regular basis and let your partner know you’re doing it so you have the support and set that expectation. It’s actually more beneficial to practice small acts of self care more regularly than to only do it once in a while but “go big” by doing an all out spa day. Plus, the more you do it regularly, the more it’s built into your day and the less guilt you have. When you have guilt, you can’t fully enjoy your self care practice.

Now go add your favorite self care practices to your to do list – I know you have a list! 🙂

Tell me, what is your absolute favorite self care activity? The one you really look forward to and wish you could do more of? Let me know in the comments below!