Why is it hard for us moms to take care of ourselves?
In our house, I think it’s our kids.
Last night I tried to take a bath. I had my bath salts and was looking forward to twenty minutes alone.
I made a rookie mistake. I forgot to lock the door.
"Mom, netflix isn't working."
"Mom, what are you doing?"
Followed my personal favorite, "Yay! A bath! I want one," and before I could blink, my toddler began stripping down and stole both my bathwater and my alone time.
Like I said, kids are innately wired to interfere with self-care.
I have a solution.
Next time, I'm going to clue my husband in on my plan. Instead of saying, "I'm going to take a bath," I'm going to say, "I need thirty minutes. I'll be in the tub, keep the boys busy."
It isn't selfish to do something for YOU, so let that idea go. Even in the bible, we are specifically told to take time to rest. We can't be expected to care for others when we are mentally or physically exhausted ourselves. Stress management is vital to living a fulfilled life.
When our bodies are under stress, we are living in a constant state of fight or flight. This creates excessive amounts of cortisol to build up in our body. Physical signs of stress could be poor sleep, weight gain, depression, crabbiness, low libido, irregular cycles and increased frequency of illness.
Don't worry, there are things we can do to combat the stress!
I've never been one to keep a journal, but my sister recently gifted me a book called One Minute With God, and I've really been enjoying it. Starting my day with His word sets such a positive tone for my entire day. It has plenty of room to write my hopes or reflections.
Exercise is another way to do something for yourself (and this is an area that I need to work on!). The healthier you feel, the better you will be able to care for everyone around you. Not to mention you will look and feel great AND having more energy! I recommend having an exercise partner or an accountability group to help keep you motivated.
Have you heard of facial rolling? I want to get a roller like this one. Gently massaging your face is supposed to release toxins, diminish fine lines and rejuvenate your skin. Try keeping it in the freezer to decrease puffiness. It only takes a few minutes! My aging skin could use all of the help it can get!
As I mentioned above, I love to take baths. Sometimes I take a book with me, other times I listen to a podcast. Every once in a while, it's just nice enjoy the silence.
This summer I re-discovered epsom salts and now I try to soak at least two times a week. I also have the kids take epsom salt baths at night. When they sleep better, I sleep better. Winning.
The epsom 'salt' is actually magnesium sulfate, which is absorbed through the skin. It can reduce inflammation, promote relaxation and support a restful nights sleep.
If you are not a DIY person, I like Dr. Teals (unscented: never, ever use artificial fragrances) or Nectar Republic's Bath Soak Test Tubes. Personally, I make my own.
Here's my recipe:
DIY Bath Salt
+ 2 Cups Unscented Epsom Salt
+ 1 tablespoon baking soda
+ 1 tablespoon Himalayan salt
+ 1 tablespoon sea salt
+ 2-4 drops of essential oils
Essential oils are also great for decreasing stress and promoting relaxation. Always choose high quality, pure oils. To see the oils that my family uses, click here. How fast do oils work? Within 22 seconds, the oils have reached your brain. In two minutes they are found in the bloodstream and in twenty minutes they are in every cell of the body!
Essential oils work with the body to support our wellness. Every oil has a specific pathway that it targets. For example, Lavender is used to support sleep.
Oils that trigger relaxation include Orange, Peace & Calming, Valor, Citrus Fresh, Bergamot, Joy, Harmony, Vetiver, Nutmeg, Ylang Ylang, Frankincense, Rose, Grapefruit, Tangerine and Lavender (plus many others).
Here are a few essential oil combinations I like for Bath Salts or in the diffuser:
2 drops Lavender + 1 drop Peace & Calming or Chamomile
2 drops Panaway + 1 drop Frankincense
2 drops Valor + 1 drop Frankincense
2 drops Citrus Fresh + 1 drop Peace & Calming
2 drops Grapefruit + 1 drop lemongrass
2 drops rose + 2 drops sandalwood
2 drops peppermint + 1 drop tea tree
Experiment with the combinations and find the one that works for you.
But most importantly,
don't forget to lock the door.
++photo credit nectarrepublic.com and amazon.com++