10 Simple Ways to Bring Self Care into 2019
by Chelsea Becker, Editorial contributor
Looking back on what I accomplished in 2018, there was an overarching theme of self care. I said no to more obligations, spent weekends at home, fit in small healthy routines, and got pregnant with my first child while feeling as self-loved as possible.
Now, there was also too much time in front of the TV instead of working out or reading, sugar binges that I always regretted, mindless Instagram scrolling, and the list goes on. But for the most part, I was dedicated to self care.
As I step into 2019 and countdown the weeks until my first child is due (13!), I’m trying not to be naive about how my self care will change. After all, it’s a lot easier to focus on yourself and self love when you are essentailly all you have to worry about. And I know balance is one of those unicorn words that mama friends of mine say is impossible to achieve. Noted!
So, in an effort to keep the self care vibes going but to also anticipate my world changing when my child is born, I’ve created a list of small practices that account for both. These are practices that don’t take a million dollars, an unrealistic Pinterest bath, hours upon hours, or even a babysitter (though I’m sure help…helps). Most importantly, they’re ideas that I hope all mothers and women reading can consider for their own lifestyle.
Instead of reaching for the TV remote (or wine, your phone, your crutch) on autopilot at night, assess your state of mind. Is your mind racing? Maybe a meditation or book would be more soothing. Are you exhausted? Maybe sleep is a better idea, even if it’s 7:30 p.m. Haven’t talked to your partner much? A conversation or massage in bed might be nice.
When you feel overwhelmed or like you’re about to spin out of control, catch yourself. Take 5-10 deep breaths, roll your shoulders back and your neck from side to side, sit up straight, list something you’re grateful for in that moment. Then go back to your next task.
Make a big glass of water be the first thing you reach for once the sun is up. Keep it next to your bed.
Stretch before getting into bed (or in bed!).
Take a quick weekly assessment of what you need more of that week. It could be friends, sleep, alone time, being present, vegetables, etc. Make a plan to get more of that, even a snippet.
Mute or unfollow anyone on your social media feeds who give you pings of comparison, negativity, anxiety, and so on. I personally like to mute so that feelings aren’t involved, and I can always come back to that person later if they’re worthy of my headspace and eyes.
Make body love a habit. When you shower and are soaping up, thank the body part you are cleaning. Tell it it’s beautiful.
Delegate a few healthy meals a week, whether that’s a local restaurant who delivers beautiful meals, a regular delivery service, or Instacart bringing in a bag of salad and rotisserie chicken.
Have one weekend day without obligations a week. Make it sacred for your family and do the things that’ll make you feel your best - or at least better. Lay in bed and read while the kids nap, watch a movie with your partner, get ahead of chores, cook healthy meals, head to the playground and an early dinner, etc.
Explore podcasts. There are so many self development podcasts that can inspire and teach, and you can listen while taking a walk, doing the dishes, or nursing a baby. Some favorites: Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday, Mom Brain, Goop, Rise, TED Talks, and Goal Digger.
What’s your favorite simple self-care practice? Any advice for balancing it once you become a mother?
Chelsea Becker is a San Francisco based writer, creator of becker editorial, and on the editorial team at MU. She’s expecting her first child this spring. For her thoughts on loving yourself during your first trimester click here, and a clean skincare routine here.