We’ve all heard the phrase: “You cannot pour from an empty cup.” But if anyone is going to try and push through the burnout, overwhelm, and exhaustion, it’s moms. Where would we find the time and energy to prioritize any self-care practices? What does “filling your cup” even look like? How can we take that time for ourselves without feeling guilty about not being with our family? Where do we even begin?
These are all questions I started to ask myself a couple years into my motherhood journey of being a stay-at-home mom. My days consisted of taking care of my family and my home. However, I wasn’t doing anything beyond that to take care of myself. I realized that I had put myself on the back burner of my own life. Within my day, I did not have a place for myself.
I knew that I wanted to feel more like myself again outside of the roles of being a mom and a wife. I knew that I wanted to feel like I had the energy to be present, patient, and intentional throughout my day instead of feeling like I was on autopilot. Even though I knew all of this, I had no clue where to begin.
Thankfully, since then, I have learned what it takes to prioritize myself again as well as what those self-care practices can look like–and it’s not as complicated or as time consuming as you might think.
Where to Start
The key to getting started is to start very small and stay consistent. Even starting out by prioritizing just 10 minutes a day for yourself can lead to big changes! Within that time, it’s important to find self-care practices that allow you to slow down, get present, and make you feel like yourself again. These activities will look different to each person because all of our interests are different. But, they all allow us to create space for ourselves within our day. And, the act of doing this helps us to recharge and fill our cups.
There are a few activities for self-care that you can start with, right away.
Yes, even moving your body is a way to help you get into the present moment. You will gain more energy and fill your cup! These activities can include singing, dancing, exercising, stretching, walking, playing a sport, decluttering, gardening, and cooking or baking.
When we think of self-care practices and ways to fill our cup, I think many of us think of the more restful activities. These can include, but are not limited to, activities like reading, being fully present without distractions when watching TV, journaling, massages, baths, painting, coloring, drawing, face masks, spending time alone in a quiet space, meditation, breath work, sitting outside, disconnecting from electronics, listening to a podcast, or taking a nap.
Of course, getting a good night’s sleep falls into this category as well, so prioritize that if you can. However, as moms, we cannot always count on being able to go to bed at the same time each night. We also may not be able to count on the fact that we will be able to sleep through the night, either. This is why it is important for us to find other ways to recharge throughout our day.
Some of us feel most taken care of and able to recharge best when we’re able to get out of the house by ourselves or be social. These activities may include catching up with friends or family over the phone or in person, having a night out, playing a game, going to a play date, going to a community event, or even going on a trip!
How to Create the Time
Once you are aware of which self-care practices make you feel the most like yourself, it is time to create and prioritize the time to do them within your daily life. Even with our busy schedules, we all deserve to take 10 minutes to ourselves. Some suggestions on how this may fit into your day are to wake up earlier, take time to yourself during your lunch break or breaks at work, or taking the time during kid’s nap times, after the kid’s bedtime, during a period of “quiet time” for your family during the day, or before your own bedtime.
Get creative! You know your schedule best; where can you take some much needed time for yourself? What boundaries do you need to enforce to get that time? Do you need to ask someone for help to ensure that you’re able to take that time?
You got this!
There is no question that moms carry a lot on their plate. With all the energy we are giving to others throughout our days and the constant stimulation, we can easily end up overstimulated and exhausted, even if we are working hard to prioritize ourselves. The important thing to remember is that by creating the time to fill your cup and recharge your battery through these self-care practices, you are helping yourself to be better able to manage those difficult spaces.
I challenge you to create and prioritize at least 10 minutes for yourself as often as you can within the next month. See what changes start to happen within your life. Don’t be surprised if you find that you have a boost of self-love, self-confidence, and more energy to stay present!