After becoming a mom in October last year, it became really hard for me to find time for myself. The first half of this year passed by in a blink of a second with a brand new baby at home to care of and the second half of the year was filled with events like returning back to work after maternity leave, struggling with the separation from the baby while I am at work or tackling the uncountable household tasks like cooking, cleaning etc. In the midst of all this while trying to find a decent work-life balance, taking care of me took a complete back seat.
It was not until my daughter was nearly eight months old, when one day while cleaning my bathroom I glanced at the mirror and surprisingly I could not recognize myself. What I saw back was a tired, exhausted, sleep deprived, messy person who definitely did not look very happy to me. I was a big mess!! It was then and there that I decided that I have to start taking care of myself, to be able to take better care for my daughter, my husband and our home.
Here are few of my favorite ideas on how I instilled self-care in my busy schedule.
1. Say ‘YES’ to HELP whenever you can
I cannot describe what a huge difference this can make. We ‘moms’, have lot on our plate to tackle in a day and so passing some of the to-do list tasks to your partner or a help that you can hire from outside for household tasks or a care-giver at home for the baby really helps take awake a lot of the stress and keeps you from running down.
2. Spend 30 minutes a day working out
This is my favorite! I spend 30 minutes few times a week on myself working out. I don’t keep strict goals on what I must achieve in my 30 minutes, but I just let myself do my favorite exercise (whatever I am in mood of), sweat a little and listen to music while doing so.
3. Take a hot steam bubble bath at the end of the day
Sometimes when the baby is asleep and I have some time for myself, I love taking a hot steam bubble bath with some instrumental music and candles around. It magically takes away all the pain in my body and helps me unwind and relax.
4. Go out with a friend
Talking to a friend and sharing what’s in your mind over a cup of coffee or a lunch / dinner can be such a huge mood elevator. Sometimes with our busy lives, it gets difficult for me to physically go out and spend time with a friend. During those times, I pick up my phone and give my friends a call. It makes me feel so good to share what’s going on in my life and listen to their part of life stories.
5. Shopping in the mall
Always a great idea! Exploring the new stuff in the mall and treating myself with something new always makes me feel good.
6. Spa to unwind
Lastly, I love going to a salon and getting a spa or a manicure / pedicure at times. It’s a great way of taking care of oneself. But since, I don’t always have the time to go to the spa, as an alternative I like relaxing at home with a soothing face mask. I have a couple of favorite masks that I own and absolutely love – this rose clay face mask before I go to bed in the night, my Perricone MD’s H2EE Firming Foam Mask or this face sheet mask which gives a great cooling effect and helps me cool down.
Finding time for yourself in this busy mordern lives where we have so many tasks to be completed is always a constant struggle. And, since my husband and I both have full-time 9 to 5 day jobs, I used to initially feel very guilty while taking some time away for myself especially while leaving my partner with the baby as he might be in the same boat or being away from the baby when she is already away from me for the entire week when I am at work. But after a few “me-time” sessions I could feel and also see a big change in myself. I found myself more contented, more energetic to take on the mom/life tasks and I was a more happier version of me.
Give yourself the gift of “me-time” sometimes. You deserve it!