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You’ve probably heard the term “self-care” used a lot lately – you might even find it on social media as cutesy “Self-Care Saturday” posts or “Me Time Mondays”. But how do you implement self-care activities for homeschool moms? What do you do if you don’t have anyone to take the kids so you can get a break?
Self-Care Activities for Homeschool Moms
When you are with the kids all day and all night, every day of the week, self-care is hard to come by. Finding time for self-care for busy moms is a challenge no matter what, but when you are a homeschooling mom it can be extra challenging because many of us don’t have anyone to watch the kids.
The first step in practicing self care is actually understanding what it entails and why it matters, and then you can get started doing it. Keep reading to learn how to evaluate your own self-care needs and to get answers for all your questions about self-care activities for homeschool moms.
Basic Hygiene is not Self Care
Self-care covers a lot of areas with regard to caring for yourself. It involves nurturing your body, mind and spirit. It focuses on building yourself up so that your internal resources don’t become depleted. Essentially, self-care is being as good to yourself as you would be to someone you care about.
Let’s say that one more time – it involves nurturing your body, mind and spirit. If your partner thinks a daily shower is self-care, then they will need to read this post as well. 🙂 Basic hygiene is not self-care. Yes, it is one way we take care of ourselves but self-care is treating yourself tenderly and giving yourself special attention so you can better cope with life’s daily stresses. Hygiene should be a given (Partners- make sure the homeschool mom in your life has time to do these basic tasks without feeling stressed about it!)
What are the Benefits of Self-Care?
We all know the cliche that you can’t pour from an empty cup. This is the biggest benefit of self care for busy moms, you are refreshed and rejuvenated so you can love those around you even more.
Making self-care a daily practice can be difficult if you are not in the habit or were even raised to believe that self-care was a frivolous and selfish waste of time. Spending time and effort on yourself rejuvenates and energizes you. Taking time to indulge in your own interests demonstrates your worth, leading to improved self-esteem and a more positive outlook on the world.
If you begin a practice of self-care, it will teach you a lot about yourself and provide you with insight into what you need to be the best version of yourself. Self-care helps you better cope with stress and to prioritize what’s important to you. You’ll be better able to take care of others when you also take time to meet your own needs.
Another benefit of self-care activities for homeschool moms is the lesson we teach our kids. By taking time for yourself, you are teaching your kids what it looks like to love themselves. You are teaching them their own worth, and this is an invaluable education.
How Do I find time for Self-Care?
Before you can choose the best self-care activities for you, it’s important to evaluate your actual needs. How much time is realistic for self care? Do you have a support system to watch the kids? Is a weekly routine or a daily practice preferable? Do you want to leave the house or have the house all to yourself?
Sometimes your wants will not match up to the actual logistics of your reality. I get it, mama. I had 4 kids under the age of 5 and a husband in grad school when we started homeschooling. Basic hygiene was a stretch let alone additional self-care time. But, oh, if I could go back in time, I would certainly set that boundary early and make sure I had a bit of time for myself. If you are in this stage when you have littles and stress a plenty – please make a daily routine for yourself – even if it is just 10 minutes a day.
What are some Examples of Self-Care Activities for Homeschool Moms
There are countless ways to add self-care into your routine. The key is to choose activities that are most enjoyable to you and provide you with the most personal benefits. I recommend doing a brain dump of self care ideas that appeal to you and then put them into the categories of mind, body and spirit. Below is a list of my personal favorites.
- Going for a walk. Nature heals. Sunshine is good for the spirit and the body. It doesn’t have to be a long or involved walk but just getting out of the house by yourself can be so refreshing.
2. Exercise. Yoga, running, Zumba – most gyms have drop in rates for a class so this is a great out-of-the-house activity that you can do in the company of others but without any family responsibility.
3. Time with a Friend. Sometimes we just need to laugh and talk about adult things without little ones around. Meet for coffee or walk together or just sit by a stream together.
4. Treating yourself to a favorite, affordable indulgence like a movie, manicure or ice cream cone.
5. Take a relaxing bath after the kids are in bed. Or in the middle of the day if you have someone to watch the kids.
6. Meditate. Use a relaxing guided meditation or just sit in silence.
7. Color. Proven to be an effective coping skill, coloring for adults can be a worthwhile coping skill. I recommend doing this on your own, but if you have no one to watch the kids then they can color right along with you. They will feel connected to you and you will get a little break.
8. Buy yourself some headphones. No, really. This way you can listen to a podcast or movie while you are doing household tasks or walking. Sometimes you want the stillness but others we need a distraction. When I finally caved and “wasted” money on headphones, I was amazed. Now they are never far from me. 🙂
9. Delegate a task. If you feel you can’t take care of yourself because you have too many things to do, delegate. A while back my husband and I had a …. let’s call it an energized discussion…. about household management and responsibilities. The result of that discussion is that he is in charge on Sundays. He makes the meals and manages the kids. It is a day for me to work at home, have time with a friend, go shopping, lay in my hammock and read. This has literally been the best decision of my marriage (other than marrying that handsome guy in the first place, obviously).
10. Journal. Journaling is another simple yet effective coping skill. Use a gratitude journal or worry journal or just a plain notebook to write down your thoughts.
11. Read a book. Again, nothing earth shattering here. If you are stressed and burnt out, then choose an easy summer read book. If you need mental stimulation try something a bit meatier that will force you to re-examine your values or beliefs.
12. Try a new recipe. I hate cooking but I love experimenting with new salads, desserts and drinks. Remember with self-care we need to focus on mind, body and spirit. Nourishing our bodies with a new recipe is one way to do that. I have a bunch of food boards over on Pinterest if you want to come see what I’m experimenting with. 🙂
13. Pick up a hobby. If you are familiar with Charlotte Mason homeschooling then you have heard the term Mother Culture. This just means to continue learning for ourselves too. If you had a hobby before kids – when was the last time you picked it up? Is that something you could fit in? Or maybe you want to learn something new? I decided last year I wanted to learn more about photography so I took a free online course and have been experimenting. It feels good to have something challenging, but also benefits my whole family.
Self-Care Planner for Moms
As moms we all know that we NEED self care – it is just usually a challenge to find the time and resources to fit it in. I have a self-care planner in my shop where you can brain dump ideas to feed your body, mind and spirit. Make a long list of 5 minute activities, hour activities or even a full day. Even if a full day seems like a pipe dream right now, before you know it your babies will be more independent and you’ll have the freedom to do it.
Let me know in the comments if you have other ideas you’d like to add to this list!