Essential self-care is a lot easier to achieve than you may think. You can build it into your routine daily! But first, let’s define self-care and self-maintenance.
What is Essential Self-Care?
Essential self-care is the self-care you do every single day. Let me be clear, however. All self-care is essential but there is sort of a base layer of self-care that is needed also. This is essential self-care.
For moms, this is broken down into: self-maintenance, self-preservation, and out of the house self-care.
In this post, I’m going to show you what I do for essential self-care – the self-care I do every single to keep myself afloat.
First, let’s learn the difference between the 3 types of self-care.
What is self-maintenance?
Self-maintenance is the things you do every day to stay functional. These are the basic human needs such as showering, eating, taking meds, making routine doctor appointments, etc. They are necessary and are not luxuries.
What is self-preservation?
Self-preservation is the things you do for yourself during the day when you’re responsible for the kids, that is above and beyond self-maintenance. These things are necessary to keep yourself sane. For example, reading a book while the kids are watching TV, listening to a podcast while you’re making dinner and the kids are outside, scheduling a play date with a friend and their kids.
What is out-of-the-house self-care?
Out-of-the-house self-care is just that – ways you take care of yourself out of the house. There are 3 parts to this: you are out of the house, not responsible for the kids and you’re not doing something for the family. So this does NOT include grocery shopping, clothes shopping for the family, running errands with the “easy” kid. (IYKYK).
Why do moms need essential self-care?
“Why can’t we have it” is the question you should be asking yourself. Self care is a complete necessity for everyone and especially moms. Somewhere along the way, we’ve been taught that we have to give ourselves up to everyone else to be a good mom and this is just not the case. We absolutely have to take care of ourselves before others, as often as we can.
Daily Essential Self-Care for moms
suck at am really working on creating habits. But, since I’ve learned the importance of taking care of myself first, I have a handful of things I do every single day to make sure that’s getting taken care of.
- Taking my meds – Real talk: I couldn’t function without my meds so they’re definitely a part of my essential self-care.
- Showering – This is a basic human need and I try my darndest to get it done every single day.
- Eating 3 meals a day – gone are the days of priding ourselves on eating our kids’ leftovers for lunch and shoveling Kraft mac and cheese in our mouths from the pot. Plan those yummy lunches for yourself and sit down at the table with your kids!
- Sleeping – I have a strict bedtime of 10 pm for myself. Well, strict is a loose term…I like to aim for 10 pm.
- Therapy – I have a therapy session about once a month. Highly recommend!
- Drink water – Maybe it’s all in my head but I can seriously tell a difference in my attitude and patience when I haven’t had enough water.
- Stretch – I’m old. Stretching helps my body function much better.
- Waking up before my kids – This has become such a part of me that I literally cannot remember my life before and I am not sure how some people function without it. Every morning, I wake up with my husband at 4:45 am. I am out of my bed by 5 am and on the couch with my hot coffee and a book. Feet start hitting the floor in my house around 6 am.
- Sneaking in more reading during my kids’ screen time – there is no shame in this!
- Texting/messaging with friends – I use the Marco Polo app to send video messages daily to good friends. I also send text messages to have conversations and relationships with other mom friends who are super busy. Keeps me feeling connected.
How do I get started with a daily essential self-care routine?
Download my 6 part self-care assessment freebie! It will walk you through the 6 parts to essential self-care and will get you started on how to take care of yourself daily in the self-preservation section.
You can also hop over to your favorite podcast player and start listening to my short podcast episodes.