It appears to be ‘Free Week’ on My Debt Epiphany. On Tuesday, I shared 75 free activities to do during the weekend in case you missed it. Today I have a guest post from Latoya about free ways busy moms can practice self-care.
Latoya is a writer for hire who loves talking about budgets and money. Her mission includes paying off $79,000 in student loans and living to tell about it. She’s a full-time, work-at-home mama who shares her journey over at Life and A Budget. Connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.
Moms, I get it. We are the caregivers of the family and it’s a responsibility that we can’t run from. We work all hours of the day taking care of babies, significant others, and family members and majority of the time, no one is taking care of us. It’s easy to neglect self-care when you’re being pulled in all different sorts of directions; however, this is not an aspect that we can afford to overlook.
You may be saying to yourself, “I don’t have time to take care of myself.” Or, “I don’t have enough money to practice self-care”. We all find time to do things that matter most and that principle applies to our finances too. With this being said, you have to prioritize taking care of yourself. Putting your health and self esteem last on your priority list can negatively affect your ability to handle your daily responsibilities. You can’t take care of anyone else if you’re falling apart.
To help you eliminate the excuses of lack of time or money, I’ve come up with a few no-cost ways to take care of yourselves. All it requires you to do is set aside some time each day, figure out a few activities or things that make you happy, and do it. Hopefully, a few of these ideas will bring you a much needed reprieve from the day-to-day grind of life.
Here are some of my favorite, no-cost ways of practicing self care:
Take a Nap
This may require some creativity on your part, but as a mother of a 7-month-old and kindergartener – who also happens to work full-time and freelance at night – I can assure you this can be achieved. You might not get a nap every single day, but get it in when you can.
Go Outside for Fresh Air
If you’re able to — do this alone. Simply step away from all the noise in the house. Leave your phone on the table and go stand outside. When you get there, do nothing. Look around you and enjoy the moment of peace and quiet.
Take your kids for a walk outside. Dance around the house. Clean hard to clean spaces in your home. Exercise doesn’t have to involve breaking out your gym clothes and heading to the equipment. Exercise simply means get your body moving. Get your endorphins pumping and get rid of some tension.
Take an Extra Long Shower
I’ll admit, this is my favorite and at times it seems like a luxury. Take advantage when someone is there to watch your kids or leave your significant other hanging for a few extra minutes with the kids. Meanwhile, you can enjoy a some extra time to yourself with a nice stream of hot water running down your tired body.
Call a Friend
With social media and text messaging, it can be hard to remember the last time you called a friend. Give your thumbs a break and hit the call button. Your true friend won’t mind having a conversation with you even if the kids are getting crunk in the background.
Keep a Journal that Focuses on Everything You’re Doing Right
Mamas, we have the special ability to beat up on ourselves when we feel like we aren’t doing enough. We think we’re supposed to be able to help our kids create the perfect class project, pop dinner in the oven, and pretend to be interested in our husband’s football games (for those of you who are actually interested, kudos to you!).
In reality, our kid’s project looked half-finished, dinner burned, and you fell asleep during 2nd quarter. Instead of focusing on what you wished you had done, focus on the wins — you spent quality time with your kid, you fed them something, and your hubby knows you still love him.
Ask for Help
I don’t do this enough, but when I finally get around to it — I’m so relieved! We expect ourselves to do so much and in reality, sometimes those we love don’t mind helping out at all. So pick up the phone the next time you want to go to the grocery store in peace. You never know who wants to watch your darling kiddos while you run errands.
Grab that cheesy romance novel you’ve been eyeing at the grocery store and just read it. Take a few moments before bedtime. Read a few moments on your lunch break. Or, sneak to your car and hideaway for a few chapters. Reading is not only fundamental, it’s relaxing.
Block People on Social Media who Bring you Down
This easy, no-cost act of self-care will not take much time out of your day. You will feel much better when you don’t have to see statuses from the guy who hates everything or political Patsy. Everyone has a couple of these followers, and it’s good for your mental health to stay clear of their drama.
As you can see, practicing self-care is all a matter of perspective. You don’t need a bank account full of money and you don’t need an entire day to yourself (although the thought may pique your interest). All you need to do is develop a few habits and intentionally seek them out everyday. Eventually, these acts of self-care will become routine and making time for yourself will become a part of your regular routine. Now that you’ve read a few of these, decide on your first act of self-care and go make it happen.
Do you practice self-care? If so, what are some of your favorite things to do?
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