Self-Care Tips for Working Moms

April 19, 2024

mom working from home with daughter nearby

As a working mom, you balance your career and family life daily. From hustling to meet deadlines or school drop-offs to family and business dinners, self-care can seem like a distant luxury rather than a necessity. Yet, self-care is one of the most pivotal things you can do to nurture yourself mentally, emotionally, and physically.

Self-care is crucial for your health and sets a positive example for your kids to value themselves and lead a balanced life. However, the guilt of taking time for yourself, the pressure of societal expectations, and the sheer scarcity of free hours can make self-care seem like an unattainable ideal rather than a realistic goal.

This is why finding feasible ways to integrate it into your life is vital. It’s about building a foundation that lets you take care of everyone else. When you start putting self-care up front, you, as a working mom, can handle all your roles with resilience and grace and, most importantly, feel good about yourself.

Know When To Take a Break

Recognizing the right moment to step back and take a break is a delicate balance crucial for working moms. However, you must listen to your body and mind, noticing signs of fatigue or stress before they escalate. Feeling irritable, overwhelmed, or exhausted are signs that it’s time for a breather.

A break can be as simple as a five-minute meditation session, a quick walk around the block, or even just stepping away from all screens to enjoy a cup of coffee in silence. These pauses act as a reset button, improving your productivity, mental clarity, and ability to care for others.

Understand How You Recharge Best

Self-care is a highly personal matter, and what works as a recharge routine will differ from one person to another. Moreover, you may not always know what kind of recharge you need. While taking a long bath or reading a favorite book helps some moms, others may feel recharged through social interactions.

To help you find your recharge mode, reflect on moments when you felt most at peace or energized. Once you know what activities best allow you to recharge, incorporate them into your routine.

For instance, if exercise gives you energy, a regular, short exercise break could be key. If quiet time refreshes you, carving out moments for meditation or journaling might serve you well. Tailoring your self-care practices to fit your needs means they’re genuinely restorative.

Make Sure Your Goals Are Achievable

Setting goals is fundamental to growth in your professional and personal life. However, unattainable or unreasonable goals can transform motivating challenges into unnecessary stress. The disparity between ambitions and reality can lead to feelings of inadequacy and burnout. To reach your goals, list them out into smaller subitems that are easier to get done one at a time.

For example, instead of setting a goal to “be the best mom and boss,” aim for more tangible targets like “dedicate uninterrupted family time each evening” or “complete specific work tasks by their deadlines.” This approach simplifies goals and paves a clearer path to achievement.

Communicate About Your Needs

Societal expectations and traditional roles that subtly dictate a woman’s place in both the home and the workplace further complicate the balancing act of a working mom.
A University of Cambridge study presents that men and women may perceive domestic tasks differently. Men often do not recognize these tasks as needing attention as women do. This discrepancy can lead to working moms shouldering a disproportionate share of household duties on top of their professional workload.

This is why asking for help is crucial to self-care. It ensures you’re able to handle the demands of work and home. It also helps start a dialogue with your partner, family, or friends, where you clearly articulate what you need support with. Start the conversation by expressing appreciation for their current contributions and then explain how specific additional support could help you manage your responsibilities better.

Allow Yourself To Spend Time on Your Appearance

For many, looking and feeling good is a tangible link that boosts confidence and self-esteem. While not everyone might value dedicating time to their appearance, it’s an essential part of self-care for some. Stress, particularly from high-pressure jobs, can leave its mark on your appearance, potentially leading to issues with your skin or hair loss.

Thankfully, tending to your appearance for self-care can vary, from basic skincare routines to more significant changes. For those considering more substantial alterations, options like mommy makeovers, breast augmentation, or facelifts can offer renewed self-confidence.

Ultimately, it’s about allowing yourself to invest in your well-being and appearance, understanding that feeling good about your looks is crucial for overall health.

Journal Regularly

One simple yet incredibly effective tool in your self-care kit is journaling. As a working mom, you navigate many of life’s complexities, often without time to decompress and reflect. Journaling offers a private space to express thoughts, emotions, and experiences, serving as a mirror and a map.

Starting a journaling habit can be as simple as dedicating a few minutes each day to write about your feelings and experiences or even listing things you’re grateful for. This regular practice can provide clarity, reduce stress, and enhance problem-solving skills.

Spend Time Outdoors

Nature is one of the most healing self-care resources available. It offers a break from daily life’s constant stimulation and stress, allowing you to decompress and recharge. Plus, spending time outdoors is known to help your mental health, calming your anxious mind and easing symptoms of depression.

For working moms who spend long hours indoors at work or managing household responsibilities, making a conscious effort to spend time outside is essential. It could be as simple as walking while having a meeting or taking your lunch break outside.

Try Out Meditation Techniques

Meditation can be challenging to get into, especially when your mind is running on all cylinders. However, it’s accessible and highly beneficial for everyone, including working moms. Meditation lets you quiet your brain, deepen your breath, and realign with your thoughts and feelings.

Fortunately, numerous techniques, from mindfulness meditation, which focuses on being present, to guided meditation, can help you navigate your thoughts. Plenty of apps offer guided sessions that can fit into even the busiest schedules. Take five minutes or block off an hour — either way, learn how to meditate and integrate it into your life.

Look for a Positive Support Group

Balancing work and family life is best done with friends. Finding a support group of like-minded individuals can provide emotional solace, practical advice, and solutions to challenges. Whether it’s a local community group, an online forum, or even a group of colleagues, a support network facilitates a sense of belonging and understanding.

With a support group, you can share experiences and tips and vent in a judgment-free zone. Connecting with folks on similar journeys can illuminate different ways to cope and thrive and remind you that you’re not alone, whether you’re struggling or succeeding.

Be Aware of the Resources Available to You

It’s all too easy to overlook the resources that might be right under your nose. Many employers, big and small, offer assistance programs for their employees. These provide resources like flexible childcare or mental health help. Likewise, plenty of government-sponsored working mom resources help you with everything from financial assistance to finding affordable childcare. Don’t be afraid to reach out as you need.

Ultimately, taking care of yourself helps ease the balancing game of motherhood and a career, giving you a more fulfilling life.

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