A study showed that moms work an average of 98 hours per week and get only 17 minutes of free time to herself each day. No wonder some of us look really frazzled! Below are 10 self-care ideas for food allergy moms.
Do you have friends who do yoga classes consistently before work, read two books a week (and go to a real book club to talk about those books), cook three hearty meals a day with their family – and actually eat with them – and gush about how great alone-time with their partner is? (What is alone time with anyone, anyway?!).
As a food allergy mom of a busy teen, I have this conversation with my friends a lot. We all agree that we need to be intentional about self-care. But how? When?
Between morning drop-off, afternoon pick-up, blogging, extracurricular drop-off, dinner prep, house chores, appointments, extracurricular pick-up (can’t forget the boy again) and sleep, when would I find the time do this self-care thing?
And if I do have a free moment (and I do mean MOMENT), what would I even do?
I feel like I’m stuck in this constant cycle that starts every Sunday night: I will work out and/or walk daily, eat healthy, go to bed the same day I woke up and make sure I do things that give me a sense of mental, physical or emotional joy every day.
But what really happens is this I should, I will, I can and I didn’t today cycle that is impossible to break. By Wednesday of every week, it seems my goals have changed to I will tomorrow, day after or this Sunday… for real.
The struggle is real, peanut allergy moms. I get it. And it’s not just us food allergy moms – it’s all moms. Mom Exhaustion does not discriminate. It gets us all.
Be Your Own Valentine: 10 Self-Care Ideas for You
So here it is – February – time of love – with Valentine’s Day smack in the middle of the month. And I got to thinking. Even if you don’t celebrate the holiday – it’s still a great time to show those close to you how important they are and how much you appreciate them in your life – starting with ourselves.
We can all agree that moms have the best job in the world – but raising little humans to be mature, self-sufficient, respectful is also one of the hardest jobs. And it never ends – it’s an evolving journey where the rules seem to always change without notice!
Especially for us food and peanut allergy moms, who never get a break.
We need the “time out” to rejuvenate, recharge. Without it, we become run down, drained and prone to snap. And dare I say it, susceptible to making mistakes.
I love the saying, “you can’t pour from any empty cup.” That means you have to pour into yourself first before you can manage everything else.
Getting Started: 10 Self-Care Ideas
To get you started, here are 10 self-care ideas that can help you unwind in under an hour. Some ideas are big, some are small, but all of them are doable.
1. Get a Massage
No argument here! The benefits of massage are incredible, and research shows regular visits reduce stress and anxiety, and help you sleep. Tired moms – here’s proof massages are great for you – 9 Incredible Benefits of Getting a Full Body Massage.
2. Manicure and/or Pedicure
Great self-care doesn’t have to end with the massage. Pamper your hands and feet with a manicure and/or pedicure too. Have fun and pick a quirky or off-the-wall color for your toes.
3. Call a Friend
How often do we get so busy that we don’t connect with those we cherish? Don’t forget that connecting with others is an excellent self-care gift for yourself.
Self-care is a Necessity, Not An Indulgence
4. Cook a Meal You Love or Dine Out at a Favorite Restaurant
Cooking may seem like a chore – and if it is, dine out! Either way, ditch the family orders and make something you love. Put on your favorite music, take in the aromas and taste-test all the yummy food while you cook. And if thoughts of hanging out in the kitchen dirtying up dishes makes you cringe – go out for a delicious meal!
5. Plan a Vacation
I think in my next work life – could be sooner than later, depending if anyone is actually reading my blog! – I’d love to be a travel planner. You may not be basking in the sun, getting a tan while sipping fruity drinks yet – but you can dream about it, and plan it out. Studies show you can experience a large boost in happiness when you plan a trip. Andiamo!
6. Paint, Color, Scrapbook or Read a Book
This is really endless and depends on what your interests are. Jump in with your little person and color, build LEGOs or construct a train set. If playing isn’t your thing or you just need a break – take up painting or catch up on scrapbooking or organizing your photos. You can also grab a good book and hide out in a favorite spot in your house for some quiet reading.
7. Take a Long Shower or Bath – or Hit the Spa!
You deserve every free moment you can steal and savor for yourself – even if it is in the shower! Put the kids to bed and take a minute – or 20 – to relax, reflect and rejuvenate in a bubbly bath, hot shower or even a spa (if you are lucky enough to have one). Just add wine and soft music.
Self-Care Strategies That Will Fuel Your Energy
8. Pick Three and Reflect
I know this seems silly to some, but I always have to have something to look forward to – whether it’s an upcoming lunch date with a sweet friend or a favorite meal I plan to cook next week. It doesn’t have to be elaborate or costly. I just like to be mindful of three things I’m looking forward to and can plan. Think of three things YOU can look forward to and envision the joy that will give you.
9. Say No
Think of one activity or task you can cut out of your schedule that you wouldn’t miss. Then cut it. I do this periodically with Matthew’s competitive engineering team, where I serve as a writing mentor. However, as I type this, I confess I’ve fallen off the say-no wagon (again). I’m going on day 13 with only one night off. So I’ll be practicing what I preach and cutting a day or two from the serving schedule. My laundry will thank me later.
10. Just Be Still
All these tips about doing something for self-care and sometimes we just need to do nothing. It only takes a moment and it’s free. Sit, be still and look around and take in your surroundings. Take a deep breath and let it go. What will really happen if the kitchen is still a mess in an hour or if there’s no clean socks? Life will go on. I promise.
I hope you’ll treat yourself and be your own Valentine so you can keep being the amazing food and peanut allergy mom that you are. I’d love to hear what some of your favorite self-care ideas are. Comment below or on my Facebook page.