How often do you take some time to relax and take care of yourself? How often do you spark your inner creativity? Self care and creativity are connected, and when you’re a mom or a creative entrepreneur – or BOTH – it can be hard to find the time to take care of oneself. So, how do you practice self-care when you’re a mompreneur or a creative hustler?
I get bursts of creativity, and they don’t often happen in front of a computer screen when I actually need them the most. Nope, my creativity comes out when I’m far from my office, and I’m out in nature or moving my body. A quick 5-minute walk can set my mind in motion, and usually turns into a 20-minute walk – and the funny thing is that before I go for that walk, I tell myself that I don’t have time for it.
I actually talk myself out of going for a walk, because TIME. But guess what? That 20-minutes or 30-minutes away from work isn’t going to make me work less or slower – nope! In the end it helps me work better and faster, because I’m more motivated and have that extra spark going!
How many times have you stared at your computer screen today, not knowing what to do next? Checking out social media and wasting time on pinterest? If you work from home, do you get easily distracted by a messy house or a load of laundry begging for your attention? Me too! And it’s totally okay to have breaks, get housework done, or blow off some steam on twitter – but NONE of this is actually practicing self-care.
What is Self Care?
Self care is care provided FOR you and BY you. It’s about identifying your own true needs, and taking steps to meet them. It is taking the time to do activities that nurture you. Self care is all about taking proper care of yourself, and treating yourself as good as you treat those around you.
Your needs will be different than my needs, but we all need to take care of ourselves the best way we can. Women spend so much of their time caring for the needs of others, that we almost always put ourselves last. Think about it! Okay, I’ll tell you just two things that often happen in my life:
- I drive my kids to exercise classes because I know it’s good for them (yoga, trampoline, biking, swimming) but I don’t make time to exercise myself
- I make delicious healthy lunches and breakfasts for my kids and sometimes my husband while I grab a latte and call it a day
But don’t I NEED exercise and healthy, nutritious foods? Why of course! So why do I make the time for those around me and not myself? Why do I rush, rush, rush, and gloss over my own needs as if they don’t matter? At the end of the day, I need to nourish my own needs just as much as my families and my businesses.
99 Ways to Practice Self-Care
- Make a tea. And then sip it slowly.
- Diffuse essential oils based on your mood.
- Take a long lunch. Make it nutritious.
- Make a music playlist just for you.
- Buy a dress you love and wear it on any day. Even a casual day.
- Use the pretty plates.
- Change your computer background to something you LOVE.
- Rub your feet. Or better yet, get someone else to do it.
- Light the pretty candle.
- Find a motivational quote or mantra and put it up somewhere.
- Try a new fruit.
- Read a book.
- Schedule a weekly date with yourself.
- Take a walk, even in the rain.
- Do a sun salutation.
- Call your mom.
- Take a nice warm bath or shower.
- Write down positive thoughts.
- Plant a garden, big or tiny.
- Sit outside and listen.
- Breathe deeply.
- Let it go.
- Hug someone you love for 6 seconds.
- Practice good posture.
- Watch your favourite movie from childhood.
- Talk to a stranger.
- Make a cup of coffee and savour it.
- Get fitted for a new bra and feel difference.
- Write in your journal.
- Start each day with hot water and a lemon wedge.
- Turn off your phone notifications.
- Learn something new, like knitting or pottery.
- Really listen to what people are saying.
- Take photos that inspire you and don’t post them online.
- Run as fast as you can. For as long as you can. Even 30 seconds.
- Read poetry.
- Write poetry.
- Schedule your meals for tomorrow. Trust me, you’ll feel better.
- Allow yourself to feel pain. It will teach you what works and what needs to change in your life.
- Literally smell the roses. Or any flower.
- Have a long and thoughtful conversation with someone, face-to-face.
- Declutter your desk, your night table, or your room.
- Choose your (yoga) power move and hold it for at least a minute.
- Get a massage.
- Hold someone’s hand.
- Focus on something good in your life.
- Get rid of clothes that don’t fit you.
- Turn off the news.
- Play on the playground.
- Go to bed early.
- Wake up early.
- Go to your doctor with a medical concern, trust your instinct.
- Cuddle someone or something.
- Get rid of your scale.
- Be yourself.
- Get out your crayons and colour.
- Try a new exercise class.
- Create an inspiration board.
- Take care of your relationships, they are a part of you.
- Take a cold shower.
- Mentor someone.
- Practice gratitude.
- Be present.
- Eat a fermented food daily.
- Go watch clouds.
- Jump as high as you can.
- Take your vitamins.
- Use a dry body brush before your shower each day.
- Don’t be afraid to say NO to people, extra work, or unnecessary obligations.
- Don’t be afraid to say YES to opportunities, fun, or new adventures.
- Create a relaxing bedtime routine.
- Take a break.
- Cut yourself some slack. You’re doing the best you can.
- Put some nice lotion on.
- Make your favourite meal.
- Dip your toes in the ocean or the lake.
- Be gentle, patient and kind with yourself.
- Trust your instincts.
- Do a small act of kindness for others.
- Write down 3 positive things about yourself.
- Find your favourite book from childhood and read it.
- Look at beautiful things.
- Do a 10-minute de-clutter.
- Tell yourself, “It is what it is”, and move on.
- Contribute positivity.
- Figure out what kind of eggs you really like.
- Block off an evening for yourself to do whatever you want to do. Even if it’s nothing.
- Discuss ideas (not people or things).
- Accept and embrace change.
- Tell your family and friends that you love them.
- Ask for help, not matter how scary it might be.
- Honour your inner child.
- Begin and end each day with gratitude.
Self care is a process, it’s not a one-and-done type of situation. It’s an ongoing, everyday thing. It’s listening to your true heart, your body, and your mind and giving yourself what you actually need. And remind yourself that self care isn’t selfish – it’s necessary. Only when you take care of you are you able to take care of others.
As a mom and business owner, there’s SO many times where I think I would feel better by crossing off my to-do list instead of taking care of myself – guess what? I don’t feel better. I would’ve felt better if I had taken a nap, or practiced yoga, or played with my kids.
There are days that are overly busy, jam-packed with deadlines, and there are days with moments of calm. Take those moments, as many as you can, and take care of yourself.
Does this list seem overwhelming? Start small. Do something each day that will take care of you. Have your tea every morning, take a shower each day, focus on getting at least 7 hours of sleep (or whatever your magical sleep number might be!). See how you’re feeling a week – check in with yourself!