Self-care. Such a simple concept, but for me so, SO hard to commit time to. It became especially difficult once kids came into the picture. These days I consider myself well-cared-for if I have brushed my teeth, combed my hair, and slapped on some deodorant before 10 a.m. Doing this mom thing is tough work–we deserve a good pampering every now and then!
If bi-weekly salon visits and monthly massages aren’t in the budget (*raises hand*), there are still plenty of things we moms can do at home to make ourselves feel special. Here are a few ideas.
1. Set the Mood
First things first: set the mood! I feel the most relaxed and at-ease when my home feels cozy. There are a few things I always do when I’m craving cozy vibes and pampering. I know it seems counter-intuitive, but I usually start with tidying up my home. When things aren’t a total mess, then I feel like can truly relax. Then, I add some aroma and ambiance. I’m obsessed with candles and wax warmers, and have recently started using an essential oil diffuser. Hot tea is usually next–I especially like Tension Tamer! Finally, music; and the genre will depend on my mood!
I love doing at-home manis and pedis! For my manicure, I pretty much follow the same routine as the nail salon–soak fingertips in a bowl of warm water, get nails and nail beds looking pretty and clean, and then polish them up! For pedicures, I use a plastic dish-washing tub full of warm water with a fragranced bath salt. After a good soaking, feet get scrubbed and exfoliated, nails get trimmed, and then I polish. You can find lots of fun soaps, scrubs, and lotions anywhere from Walgreens to Target, and even at Dollar Tree. My daughter and I love doing pedicure pampering parties while little brother is napping!
3. Bubble Bath
This one typically has to wait until either the kids are in bed, or I have reinforcement. Who doesn’t love soaking in a hot, soapy tub? I like bubble baths, and occasionally treat myself to a Lush bath bomb too. My husband made me a totally awesome over-the-tub bath tray, which conveniently holds my iPad and a mug of hot tea. I can catch up on the latest episode of Grey’s Anatomy while soaking and sipping–talk about bliss!
My daughter loves to join in the fun on this one! I found some elastic terrycloth headbands at the dollar store years ago, so I use one of those to hold my hair back. I wet a washcloth in nice hot water to wipe down and soak my face–this alone feels amazing, and my daughter loves it as much as I do! Then I use a mild exfoliating scrub to get things feeling baby-soft. After scrubbing, I sometimes use a clay mask. Finally, I use a gentle facial cleanser and finish with moisturizer.
5. Foam Roll/Stretch
I would love to get into yoga or meditation, but it’s something I just haven’t been able to commit the time to yet. For now, foam rolling and stretching feel like a treat when my body is carrying all the tension and stress that mom-life brings. If you’ve never used a foam roller, it’s basically a big Styrofoam roll that you can use to “roll out” different muscle groups. Foam rolling helps to loosen tight muscle fibers and is a great pre- and post-workout tool. The rollers come in different densities and styles, so if you are new to foam rolling, I’d suggest a softer, lighter-density roller. Aside from rolling out, both static and dynamic stretching accompanied by some deep breathing exercises can work wonders to relax the body and mind.