14 Days of Mom Self-Care Challenge
February is all about L O V E : 14 Days of Mom Self-Care Challenge
Self-love is NOT selfish, it is preservation. In order to care for others, you much first take care of yourself. As women in the role of mother, caretaker, partner and/or working professional we tend to fall low on the priority list. If you have ever flown on a plane, then you have heard the flight attendants directives of what to do in an emergency...PUT YOUR OXYGEN MASK ON FIRST! You must take care of yourself before you can care for others. We created a 14 day self-love challenge for February as a reminder to practice some form of self-care daily. Most of our recommendations take less than 15 minutes and can be adapted to meet anyone’s individual wants or needs. We hope our suggestions bring clarity, reflection, and self-love into your life!
Day 1: Amp-Up Your Bath & Shower Routine
Sometimes the simplest thing like taking a hot bath or shower can help rejuvenate us. If you love a bath then go splurge on a new bath bomb, bubbles, or bath salt to make your experience more relaxing and luxurious. A bathtub tray can turn the ordinary bath into a more spa-like oasis. Rest your favorite candle, beverage, and book while you soak your worries away. Showers more your thing? Hang eucalyptus from your shower head for added peace and tranquility. Eucalyptus promotes relaxation and helps clear nasal congestion. Adding a specialty soap to the mix can make any shower more enjoyable. If you are someone that has trouble relaxing and become bored easily, turn on some tunes and listen to your favorite playlist or audio book to pass the time.
Day 2: Read
We absolutely love to read but understand that finding free time can be a challenge. Sometimes after a long day physically reading a book is not an option. We have incorporated audio books since having children. When we are driving, on a walk, cooking or cleaning we take the opportunity to listen. Keeping a book bedside and committing to reading only a few pages a night can help unwind and relax. We have kept a book of motivational quotes on our nightstand that just takes a minute to read before bed. If you struggle to find the motivation to read but have made this a goal for yourself, try joining a book club. We found that the involvement and participation in a social group helps hold us accountable for our readings.
Day 3: Hydrate
Staying hydrated is one of the most important things you can do for your body. It is also one of the easiest things to forget when you are heating up your cold coffee for the fifth time that day. Keep yourself motivated by filling up a water bottle the night before, so it is ready to go in the morning. Buying a new water bottle always reenergizes our desire to drink more water. We even have one that reminds us to drink more by lighting up. Adding fruit to your water is a great way to keep it interesting with out reaching for a sugary drink. Try downloading an app like Hydro Coach or Daily Water Tracker to help you through the day!
Day 4: Move Your Body
Even when we are so exhausted that we struggle to stay awake we find working out to be the best mood booster. Moving your body daily does not mean you have to run a marathon or lift weights. Do what makes you happy! Go for a walk, stretch, do a short yoga flow, or dance. Try looking up activities you can do with you kids like Mommy and me yoga. Anything that gets your body moving will help get you through the day! Stretching before bed or early in the morning can do wonders for you health! Revisit our BLOG post about self-care for stretching tips from PS Yoga!
Day 5: Pamper Yourself
What is your favorite way to pamper yourself? Is it a massage, facial, manicure or pedicure, a spa treatment, or fresh haircut and color? Maybe it is all the above! Take some time to treat yourself to something you find relaxing and makes you feel better. You deserve it. Being a new mom does not mean you should stop doing the things you love and helped revitalize you pre-babies. On a budget, short on time, lacking childcare and/or being cautious during this pandemic? Do not worry there are so many “mom-hacks”! One of our favorite at home mom hack is color street. Katie loved the convenience so much, she hosted a virtual party and became a rep for the company! We get salon quality looking nails without leaving the house. The only thing we do NOT recommend doing yourself is cutting or coloring your hair. Trust us, that should be left to a professional. If your hair is in need a of refresh, try a hair mask or invest in some new products. Also, we love at home face masks. Get creative and pamper yourself!
Day 6: Meditate
Daily meditation is a great technique to reduce stress, decrease anxiety, promotes mindfulness, and helps encourage peace of mind. Meditation does not have to look the same for everyone. The main idea is to focus on something other than the minute to minute, second to second, noise in our brains. Maybe sitting on a pillow with your legs crossed does not work for you. Try active meditation by walking and listening to calming music. Focus in on a physical activity, and work to consciously quiet that inner voice. Doing this for even 10 minutes a day can lower stress and bring you more fully into the moment. There are so many apps that can help with mindfulness. If you have an apple watch you can turn on your notifications for the breath app and it will remind you to take a minute to step back and reflect.
Day 7: Journal, Doodle, Color
Coloring is not just for kids anymore! Research shows that there are several health benefits for adults that incorporate coloring into their lives. It has been proven to reduce stress and anxiety, improves motor skills and vision, improves sleep and focus. Simply it relaxes the brain! Adult coloring books have gained popularity recently and there are endless options to choose from. Doodling has similar brain benefits of coloring. Typically, doodling was thought to be a distraction, but studies suggest it encourages concentration and memory. It is also a great way to promote creativity! Journaling can help improve your mood by prioritizing problems and fears. It can improve your writing skills, develop organization competencies, help to set and achieve goals, boost memory and inspire creativity. If doodling or journaling is your outlet of choice there is definitely a cute notebook out there with your name on it.
Day 8: Beverage of Choice
You know our go-to is a nice glass a wine or a bottle of bubbles! Whatever your favorite drink is treat yourself. We are not just talking alcohol. Whenever we must go to meetings or in the office to work, we make a trip to Starbucks to get a specialty drink to boost our mood and get us through the day. At home Amanda makes sure she has her favorite tea and local honey on hand. Katie loves keeping gourmet flavored coffee beans so she can grind and brew a fresh cup of joe. Sometimes just enjoying your favorite special beverage is a form of self-care!
Day 9: Shop
Good for the soul, but bad for our bank accounts! We found that we were mostly responsible for purchasing all childcare and household essentials. Formula, diapers, groceries, and cleaning supplies has become the norm on our credit cards and although these are costly, they are necessities. Occasionally, it feels good to purchase something for ourselves. Something exciting! Something non-essential! Something new and fun! Something just for us! We suggest a comfy new lounge wear set, a luxurious robe, or new pair of slippers.
Day 10: Music
It is time to crank up the music and dance like no one is watching (your kids don’t count)! Sometimes we forget the simple joy of listening to our favorite music. Putting on music of our choice is an amazing departure from listening and singing the same damn nursery rhymes all day. Anyone else have BabyBum on repeat in their house? Our favorite thing to do with our husbands is it put on some of our most beloved songs we listened to when we were dating. Songs we danced to in high school! Artists we saw in concert or are looking forward to seeing in the future! Anything nostalgic or sentimental to put us in a good mood. Playing and listening to music is scientifically shown to improve mood, ease pain, reduce anxiety, provide comfort, and enhances cognition. Music can promote happiness and relaxation in everyday life!
Day 11: Cook or Bake
Some people find cooking and/or baking to be therapeutic (Katie). Some people see cooking as another task to complete (Amanda). If you find comfort in cooking a homemade family recipe, we support you. If you find happiness in ordering take out, we support you too. Do whatever makes you happy, gives you a sense of accomplishment, and brings you joy. Katie recommends recreating some old family recipes such as your Grandmas Sunday Sauce for pasta or your aunts famous potato salad. Nothing makes a kitchen warmer than full belly's and family time.
Day 12: Date Night
We cannot stress enough the importance of having a date night with your partner. We even wrote an entire blog post called Save the Dates dedicated to it! Date night does not need to be fancy or planned out far in advance. Anytime together and ALONE (sans children) makes all the difference. Some of our best date nights have been spent on the couch drinking wine, eating takeout and watching a movie together. We look forward to going out to dinner or meeting up with friends for a group date at our favorite restaurants. Our relationship is able to grow because we continue to learn and extend our capacity to emotionally support one another and meet each other’s needs. We are better parents because of it.
Day 13: Friends
We get by with a little help from our friends. Whatever this looks like for you is perfect! As moms, it can sometimes feel like our lives have been taken over by these beautiful, tiny people we have created. It can be easy to feel like we have lost ourselves in our role as caretakers. Making time for socializing with friends can be refreshing and energizing. Even if you cannot get together physically try scheduling a Zoom or FaceTime chat to catch up. We find comfort and support in our daily texts or calls to our friends. Having a strong support system makes all the difference. We look forward to a future filled with brunches, dinners, and trips with our besties!
Day 14: TV or Movies
One of our biggest accomplishments during our maternity leaves, besides keeping our tiny humans alive, was binge watching some television shows. A great way for us to unwind after a stressful day is to just chill out and watch something mindless. There are days that we are so tired that the best form of self-care is to watch a funny show or movie. A global pandemic, a quarantined lifestyle, and generally depressing and stressful current events has us gravitating towards anything comedic or nostalgic. Our go-to shows are The Office, Schitts Creak, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and Friends! Our favorite movies include: It's Complicated, The Holiday and Pretty Woman. Binge watching something new on Netflix, Hulu or Amazon with a glass of wine is the perfect me time!
In a world full of crazy and chaos, you must find your calm. One of our favorite things about the Apple watch...the reminder to breath! Too often we are worried about caring for everyone else we forget to make ourselves a priority. Take our challenge and find something to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.
XO – Katie & Amanda