5 Ways to Care for Yourself This Mother’s Day

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There are many different kinds of mothers in the world. It doesn’t matter what you look like or what your family situation is. If you fulfill the role of mom to children of any age, you deserve love and care always—especially on Mother’s Day. And if that means showing yourself that love and care, so be it. In fact, I’ve been in that position, and I know that honoring ourselves doesn’t exactly feel like a Hallmark-style Mother’s Day. However, our acts of self-love can be the most impactful. Here are my ideas to help you celebrate your contributions as a mother by caring for yourself. It’s so important to remember that your well-being, health, and happiness matter as much as anyone else’s. 

Give Yourself Some Mental Space

There’s no best or right way to give yourself a mental break from everything you do for others. If it feels good to you, it’s good. Self-care doesn’t just happen. You need to make time for it, and sometimes even that feels like a burden. To keep it feeling light and doable, consider these ideas:

  • Think back on what you liked to do when you had free time as a child. Did you lie outside and stare at the sky and daydream? Did you transport yourself to faraway lands and adventures through reading? Reconnecting with yourself in these ways may provide the mental respite you desire.
  • Find a few minutes to just close your eyes and breathe. You don’t need a formal meditation practice or special floor pillow to experience rejuvenation from a few minutes of peace.
  • Take a short walk or hike outside to clear your head. Together, the rhythmic activity of walking combined with fresh air can give your busy brain a much-deserved break.

Create Something

Being creative in ways that you enjoy is a form of self-care. Expressing yourself through music, art, crafts, writing, dance, or other creative pursuit can provide an emotional release and boost relaxation. Give yourself permission to do what you like, without following rules or feeling pressure to do it “just right.” Or try being creative in a social setting, such as a jewelry-making class or art night. Activities like this can also improve your mood, broaden your creative horizons, and add more fun to your life. Not to mention, the resulting “work,” such as a clay pot or short story, can give you enjoyment later.

Make and Enjoy Your Favorite Snack or Meal

When we make something for ourselves, with care and intention, it feels less like a chore and more like self-care. You likely spend a lot of time nourishing others, and your nourishment is important too! I remember my mother often made her own lunch (different from what she served us), and she truly relished it. Fried potatoes with ketchup or a couple ears of fresh sweet corn with salt and pepper. As a child I wondered, how could such humble foods make her so happy? Now I get it. Remember, what you make doesn’t have to be fancy (unless you want it to be). And it could just be a snack—as long as it pleases you. (Need a little nudge to make nutritious food choices for yourself and your family while you’re shopping? Don’t forget to follow the Guiding Stars.)

Snag Some Extra Sleep

Many parents lack sleep, and that can make everything seem harder to handle. It can also take a toll on your health—often when we have low energy, we compensate by eating more. Short-changing sleep—even just a couple times a week—can negatively impact your mental and physical well-being. Do you find yourself staying up later to have some free time to yourself? It’s a common practice, but consider what you’re giving up: rest that your body and mind needs.

If getting more sleep seems impossible, consider at least setting up a regular pre-sleep routine. Perhaps shut down your electronics and screens an hour before bedtime. Then go through your teeth-brushing-and-face-wash ritual. And maybe end your day by reading for 20 minutes or listening to a pre-sleep meditation. A regular routine like this tells your body and brain that sleep is coming. And those signals can help you settle into slumber easier and more quickly.

Hang Out with Friends

There’s nothing like time spent in the company of good friends to make you feel seen, understood, and appreciated. Reach out to a friend or two who you suspect also needs some time surrounded by friend-love. Grab lunch, have a chatty walk together, or simply sit outside with a cup of coffee or tea. It matters less what you are doing and more that you are together. Supporting each other, letting each other vent, laughing together, reminiscing—or all of those things all at once! Friends don’t let friends go it alone for too long. And it’s ok to be the one who makes it happen for you and yours.

One last Mother’s Day thought: Do you need ideas for something to do for your own mom that’s not brunch? Here are some good ones!