Are you in need of some solid self-care ideas that you can actually do and enjoy, even when life is busy?
Learn more about the positive practice of self-care and how you can get started today!
That’s why I’m thrilled to welcome Leslie from lesliewblog.com who’s sharing her personal tips and tricks plus excellent suggestions for how you can use these self-care ideas to help you feel better.
Why Self-Care is Essential
It’s something we have all heard about as busy mothers or just busy women in general. It’s something society likes to tell us to practice weekly, at minimum. It’s something our friends make sure to inquire if we are doing.
We see it all over social media. We should be doing it regularly, right?
Well, if you’re anything like me, the answer to that is “no.” Until recently, I had not been practicing good self-care.
I would see posts about it on social media or have a friend ask me about it and say “yes,” that I was practicing self-care, but I knew deep down inside that I was only lying to them (and myself). It made me sad. Very sad.
I am a stay-at-home mom to my 2-year-old, Harrison, (as well as my 13-year-old stepson who’s mostly self-sufficient). I also just finished my Masters in Teaching.
Along with both of these very-full-time, very important jobs, I also run a full-time business with my blog and social media platforms.
So, for a while now, I have essentially been working 3 full-time jobs.
And I know you are right there with me – whether you’re a working mom, a stay-at-home mom, a working stay-at-home mom, or anything else.
I see you. I know you are working hard. And trying to fit several things into a time slot that is only so big.
All of these things are why self-care is essential.
You do need to practice self-care.You do! We all do!
It’s as simple as that. You deserve it. You need it. And we all know you want it.
But, how? How does a mom who is juggling five jobs at once fit in any time for self-care? And in a world like the one we live in today, especially with the recent pandemic, how on earth should we ever feel good enough to do it?
Well, the answer is kind of simple (but also kind of annoying): practicing self-care is part of a “fulfillment circle of self-care”, as I like to call it.
It’s somewhat of a catch-22: when you practice self-care, you feel better, which leads to you practicing more self-care, which makes you feel better, which…you get the picture.
On the opposite side of that circle, when you don’t practice self-care, you feel worse, which leads to you practicing less self-care, which makes you feel worse, which…ok, I know you get it, I know.
Before we go back to the “how”, let me tell you one more thing. I mentioned that I haven’t always practiced self-care.
But starting this year, in 2020, I decided to make it more of a priority. And I have learned some things since then:
- Self-care isn’t all “spa days” and pedicures. Nope. In fact, self-care is often me squeezing an extra 20 minutes on my laptop to do some writing, hiding in our bathroom upstairs, while my husband watches my son. Yeah. That, for me, is self-care. Now, yes, there are many times where self-care is that hot bath I’ve been looking forward to all week – don’t get me wrong. But it doesn’t always have to be that luxurious. Heck, it can’t always be that luxurious.
- Self-care doesn’t have to take a lot of time (see number 1). 5 minutes here, 15 minutes there, etc. It’s about the time that you have, not the time that you want to have. You have to use that time to your advantage and realize that 5 minutes may be all you get sometimes. And that is ok – something is better than nothing, especially when it comes to self-care.
- Self-care isn’t perfect. Self-care is not perfect and it isn’t always pretty (remember me typing away in the bathroom? Yeah. There’s that.) But it is gratifying, it is fulfilling, and sometimes, yes sometimes, it can be other-wordly (keep reading).
So I’ve learned those three things about self-care since I started practicing it regularly this year. But back to the “how”…because I know you want to know how.
Well, I gave you one example above, but let me give you some more concrete examples.
Quick Self-Care Ideas for When You Just Don’t Have Time
Let’s start with quick, on-the-go self-care ideas, as I like to call it. This is self-care that fits into the moment, wherever you are, whenever you are, whatever you are:
1. Nail File:
Always have a nail file on you. Seriously. Keep one in your purse, in your car, in your kitchen, in your bedroom, everywhere.
Scientifically speaking, (ok, not really, but humor me a little) women simply feel better and more “womanly” when their nails are “pretty.” We do! I know you know what I am talking about.
Messy looking nails make us feel messy, dirty, and not put-together. But there’s a quick fix.
I know we can’t all make time (nor do we all have the money) to go get regular manicures, but what we can do is buy a 5-pack of good nail files at the drugstore or on Amazon and actually put them to use.
I have been doing this for years now and I will tell you – not only has it cut down on my manicure budget, it has made me feel better in the moment. Just like that. It only takes a few moments to file a pretty shape and keep going. Try it out.
2. Face Masks To-Go:
Having a stressful moment? Pull out a face mask (I honestly don’t care where you are) and put it on. You only have to have it on for 5-10 minutes for its maximum effect.
Have some downtime at night once the kids go to bed but don’t feel like doing your whole skincare routine? Throw on a face mask. They are super relaxing (I think it’s the coolness of them) and can actually help with stubborn breakouts or uneven skin tone. They’re super quick, too.
I know, I know. This isn’t a super-fancy-brand-new-self-care tip. No, it’s one of the boring ones. But friend, it’s so important.
You have to stay hydrated. It helps everything (skin, hair, face, nails, body, joints, metabolism, etc.). And the best part? It’s quick and virtually free.
All you have to do is make sure you always have a bottle of water (reusable, please, like this one) for yourself – whether that’s a couple in the fridge or one in your purse, one upstairs, etc.
Just make sure you always have one ready so you’re more likely to stay hydrated. Dehydration can make you feel like you’re sick or just really tired. Don’t discount staying hydrated.
4. Brow Gel:
Ok. This one sounds crazy, I know! Hear me out.
A few years ago, I discovered this amazing product by Benefit Cosmetics called Gimme Brow. It was a life-changer. Seriously.
It’s just a lightly-tinted gel to comb onto your eyebrows – but ladies, it has been way more than that for me. Every day for the past three years, I have put that brow gel on my brows. Every day (well, maybe with the exception of a single day when I was truly ill).
And you know what? It has given me more confidence and “go” than any other makeup product. I don’t know what it is – but something about having your brows done each morning just sets a tone for the day and makes you feel good and life you can do anything you put your mind to.
Now, for you, maybe it’s not brow gel. Maybe it’s mascara or lipstick. But whatever it is, find your “brow gel” makeup product and don’t go a day without it ).
It’ll make you feel like you can conquer the world. Plus, it’s quick and easy to do on the go because it’s only one product.
Ok, so those are my quick and easy on-the-go self-care ideas. Those are just four. I bet you can think of more (if you can, leave them in the comments below).
Fulfilling Self-Care Ideas for When You Have the Time
Now onto the more deeply-fulfilling self-care ideas. The ones that everyone is after. These are the self-care ideas that you need to sit down and write out and think about before you start implementing them.
Get your favorite pen and a couple pages of the pretty floral blank paper from my The Busy Woman’s Planner. You’ll want to write these self-care ideas down to refer back to later, trust me.
To prevent overwhelm, I’m going to give you three self-care ideas. Feel free to reach out to me at any time and ask for more. I just think it’s better to start slowly and realistically for a better chance for success.
1. Start Reading Again:
Do it for you. Do it for your husband. Do it for your kids. Do it for everyone in the world. But just do it.
I have always loved reading – I mean really loved it.
But for some reason (ahem, marriage and children), for the past 5+ years, I’ve been really bad at it. By bad, I mean I’ve been that person who starts a book and never finishes, or checks out 5 books from the library only to return them 3 weeks late without having opened a single one.
I haven’t stuck to reading until recently. I decided to start reading again this year and to do it purposefully.
What I mean by that is I searched deep in my soul and decided what kind of books would “fill my cup” so to speak. I sought out those books without ever looking back.
I have found that I actually love (and my heart desires reading) history books (non-fiction) and self-help books. I have been reading Red Sky in Mourning by Tami Ashcraft and absolutely love it. It’s about a woman who gets lost at sea (I won’t tell you more because I don’t want to spoil it for you).
When do I read? It’s part of my new nighttime routine (another self-care tip for you). I head upstairs to my bed about 45 minutes before I used to and instead of getting on my phone, I pull out my book and read.
The amount of time that I read varies before I fall asleep. But, I read. And it has done wonders for my soul.
I kind of feel like a kid again who has just discovered a love for reading.
It’s just amazing. Ladies, start reading again. Read anything. Just read. Get lost. Enjoy yourself.
2. Go Plant-Based:
Ok, this one is going to spark some controversy, and I get it. But please, hear me out on this one.
Do you know what the number one killer for all women in the U.S. is? It’s cardiovascular disease. Approximately one woman every minute will die from heart disease this year. One every minute. That’s too many…but I’m not here to defend that point. I’m here to ask you this question: do you know that there is actually a proven cure for preventing this disease? Yes, there is. It’s called eating plant-based. Not only does eating a plant-based diet prevent heart disease, but it also prevents diabetes, stroke, joint issues, cancer, and many more health issues we all face – or will face – at some point in our lives.
But that’s not all! Eating plant-based also makes you feel good – like really good…all the time. I became vegan in 2017 (due to my son’s body’s refusal to take in cow’s milk from my breastmilk, story for another day) and have never felt better.
I feel lighter, mentally and physically. I feel stronger and more physically able to do the things I want and need to do. And I feel ethically good about my decision.
Not only does going plant-based help you take care of yourself, it also helps you to take care of our environment.
If you want more information about going plant-based, I recently wrote a blog post about 8 Health Benefits of Being Vegan. In it, I list sources for the statistics above that I just gave you. But please, try it out. Try it out for a day, a week, a month even – and see how different you feel. You won’t ever want to go back.
3. Take the Leap:
“Taking the leap” refers to that thing that you’ve been wanting to do or have been thinking about doing for years…but just haven’t yet done it.
You’ve made up every excuse in your mind to not do it. You give excuses to yourself, your spouse, your kids, your mother-in-law – everyone.
And they’re darn-good excuses, too! They make sense. You are right, you don’t have enough time, or enough money, or enough whatever-it-is.
But you know what? Neither did (name your favorite person on the planet outside your family and friends). That person didn’t have something that they thought they needed in order to make their dream a reality…but they tried anyway…and look where they are now.
Take the leap. I took the leap last year. I have always loved and have always been good at writing (even back before laptops and computers were a thing). I loved writing in school and actually got excited when given an essay instead of a multiple choice test because I knew I would ace it.
I’ve also always loved reading blogs. I have some of my favorites on my bookmarks on my phone and laptop.
Well, this past October 2019, I decided to take the leap. I launched my blog. I didn’t know exactly what it would be about (hence, the reason I named it my name, “lesliewblog.com”) but I knew I wanted to write about motherhood and womanhood. And that’s what I’m doing now.
Guess what? I’m actually starting to make some passive income off of it! Just a bonus for me, considering I started it thinking I’d never make money from it.
But I love it. I love it so much it hurts sometimes. I seriously cannot wait until Harrison goes to sleep (ok, I can because he’s adorable and I love him dearly and he is my little angel boy) to pull out my laptop and start writing.
I can’t wait. I can’t wait to check my emails during naptime to see if I have any new opportunities. I can’t wait to start designing a new pin for Pinterest or a new graphic for Instagram.
It’s kind of part of what I was meant to do – write. I was mainly meant to be a teacher (which I will begin teaching again once Harrison starts kindergarten), but I was also meant to be a writer.
I don’t know what changed in me from October 2019, but something major did. And for that, I am thankful.
Because I followed my dreams are now a reality and make me happy and elated to wake up every morning.I feel a deep sense of fulfillment every night when I lay my head on my pillow.
So, I say: go after it. Take the leap. Whatever it is you dream of doing, you can do it. I know you can!
Have you been thinking of starting a blog? Come check out my blog posts and resources on everything you need to start your own blog and social media business.
I began this part of my blog to help women who also love writing and want to get started but aren’t quite sure just how to do so. I recently shared 8 Simple Steps to Start a Money-Making Blog. Hope you get some inspiration and go for it!
If you want to find out more about my self-care ideas, check out 5 Life-Changing Self-Care Tips. There’s a nice self-care FREE Printable in there for you, too.
I am so grateful to Amy for having me on here. I truly look up to her as a mentor in the field of blogging and also in the field of motherhood. I know she is helping you in your journey that is motherhood, and please know that she has truly created a long-lasting impression on me and many other women out there; for this, we are all thankful. So, thank you, Amy.
Take care, lovely friends! I hope life’s treating you well and that you are able to practice these new self-care ideas! Feel free to reach out to me anytime on lesliewblog.com. Thanks for reading:)