100 ways to care for yourself (even when you have a child with you)
Ok, so before you get excited you should know this is a list I compiled and as such there are items on here that I don't expect everyone to relate to. (e.g. #53 and #28). And although not everything on here is possible when you are on parent duties, you could always combine a couple to see if that works (#74 & #54 are winners).
Self care is not just about bubble baths and long walks.
Mental health is more than just stress management and looking after yourself. Sometimes we need to speak with a professional. But even in this case we KNOW the importance of self care in mental health.
Ultimately finding things each day that fill our cup and help us live a value filled and focused life is important for all of us, but it can be difficult when we are always with our baby or child.
The little things that bring joy into our lives are so important. If you are not up to the big adventurous things that is fine, hopefully, you can find a few small things that you enjoy and can start to weave them into your every day. Feel free to go off script and make up your own.
Washing your hair
Reading a book
Putting on your favourite music
Going for a drive
Listening to music on headphones (while walking your kids if necessary)
Going to the movies
Watching your favourite tv show
Call your friend
Organise a potluck dinner with some friends (on a school night even)
Take your dinner to the park (let the kids play until time for bed)
Get into bed early (and take the kids with you)
Play with the rescue kittens at vets (yes this is real. A lot of vets have kittens that are up for adoption and they won't mind if you come in and cuddle them, it socialises them which is a bonus.)
Walk your dog
Find a neighbours dog who is home in the day - offer to take them to the park/for a walk/cuddle on the couch.
Visit your friend.
Visit local aged care home -connecting with others who are lonely or volunteering to help
Sing (preferably loud and to your favourite music)
Get your hair cut/coloured
Have a wash and blow-dry at the hairdressers
Get your nails done
Take your vitamins/herbal supplement
Go shopping (in person or online)
Clothes swap with a friend. New for you is still new.
Sculpture with clay
Put the call out for a mothers helper to hold a baby/entertain a toddler for a couple of hours.
Stretches (if you are looking for something different have you seen how much is on youtube and toddlers and older kids will enjoy doing this too)
Burning a candle
Making a schedule
Ignore your schedule
Have a glass of wine
Join a mums group
Visit an art gallery
Clearing one space/room
Visit Korean Baths/ Day spa
Find a book club
Read a newspaper
Go to a cafe to pick up your favourite hot drink (for me that is coffee)
Create an inspiration board
Send a care package to relatives far away
Take a photo journey (walk, drive and document it)
Cook-up your weekly meals with friends (think you each make one dish in bulk and share it among the 7 of you)
Get a makeover at the makeup counter (might have to buy a lipstick but can possibly get some free samples)
Find your passion and work a little on it each day
Listen to a podcast
Listen to books on tape
Cuddle (partner, kids, puppy (see 29)
Unplug- turn off the phone, internet, devices and relish in the solitude
Get away! camp, cabin or any hotel.
Swap kids! (yes you have to take someone else child for a while, but you do get back what you give, so the idea is you might take your friends child for a couple of hours in the morning and they take yours for the afternoon, as an example.)
Colour and draw (great to do it together with kids)
Hire a cleaner
Join a meet-up group (if nothing you want to join in see 79)
Make a meetup group for something you enjoy doing.
Sign up for a short course (local community college)
Start online course
Join a face group you have an interest in
Work (if this is your joy)
Create a sanctuary - find a place in your home which you can organise and decorate to be a place of solace. You can visit this area when you want a mental time out. It may be just for you or it may be open to others. This is a place you can physically go to be mindful, create, meditate, light a candle or do what feels like "time out" for you.
Kiss your partner.
Lay in the garden and make cloud pictures
Make a meal plan
Clean out your “junk” drawer (you know you have one)
Have a pyjama day
Watch your home video library (kids love this too)
Order in lunch/dinner
Put on fresh bed linen
Eat your breakfast outside (park, cafe, balcony - just slow down and enjoy)
Get a massage (they come to you too!)
Get a facial
Have your eyebrows waxed/ shaped
Write down all the reasons you love being a Mum.
Plan an entire week of self-care (then you know what is coming next, plan one thing a day or a small thing twice a day)