When I hear the words “self-care,” I think of a long, relaxing bubble bath, dozens of candles, maybe a book and a glass of wine. And then, I laugh to myself and think, do women actually get to do this? Sure, if you’re single and worry-free, then something like a weekly bath, nightly book reading or even a binge of your favorite show on Netflix is no big deal. But I’ll bet that most moms barely have enough time to go to the bathroom by themselves, let alone devote 30 minutes or more to a lengthy self-care routine. Add in the chaos and stress of the holiday season and self-care seems pretty near impossible, right? Wrong! Whether you have 10 minutes or 4 hours, there are plenty of ways you can allow yourself to unwind during what can be the most hectic time of the year. Here, a peek into my realistic self-care routine that helps me relax, unwind—and, ultimately, be a better mom and wife during the holidays.
-Consistency is key
The only way to develop a good routine for yourself is to create a solid routine for your family. My son has the same nighttime routine every night (check it out here) and is usually in bed by 8pm. And on Sundays and (some) Wednesdays, anything after 8pm is my time—the computer is off, I stop checking my emails and social media and allow myself to take care of me.
-Take it all off
Obviously, removing your makeup, changing into comfy clothes, or, in my case, a ridiculously comfy robe, instantly tells your brain that it’s time to slow down and kick back for a little bit. I sometimes put on music as I take off my makeup, brush my hair and access my skincare needs before hopping into a scorching-hot shower when I wash and deep condition my hair, exfoliate with the best-smelling scrub, shave, etc.
Once I dry off, I apply Alba Botanica Very Emollient Body Lotion or Jergens Natural Glow + Firming Body Lotion f I’m looking a little pale. (Honestly, NOTHING makes me feel better than fresh, tanned skin—sans the sun’s harmful rays, of course!).
-Nourish your skin
While I prioritize skin care on daily basis (post on my daily skincare routine coming soon!), I allow myself to take a little bit longer on my skin and use masks (on Sundays) or an exfoliator (on Wednesdays) in addition to my regular serums, moisturizer and eye cream. I have a box of sheet masks waiting to be used, or, I’ll use the Kate Sommerville ExfoliKate Intensive Exfoliating Treatment (in addition to the Kate Sommerville ExfoliKate Daily Cleanser) to polish the skin and restore its smooth, youthful glow. (Tip! If you’re eager to try a high-end skincare brand but don’t want to drop serious $$$, opt for the travel-size versions instead! This travel-size ExfoliKate has lasted me 4 months already and it’s a quarter of the price of the standard size.)
-Give yourself a mani/pedi
Although I’ve always been an avid nail salon goer, I found that between having limited free time and limited funds as a SAHM, I’d rather not pay for a mani/pedi every two weeks if I don’t have to. And while it’s not the most enjoyable use of my time, I do like to give myself a manicure and pedicure once a week (soak, push back the cuticles, shape, buff and polish the nail, etc.).
The holidays may be about giving, but it’s also about gifting yourself with something special, whether that’s a blow-out, a new bag or even a cup of piping hot cocoa with extra whipped cream. Us mamas spend way too much time stressing over everyone else—tis the season to let yourself indulge just a little bit!
-Nourish your mind
I spend about 80 percent of my time trying to either take care of my little guy, take care of the house, take care of my husband or do some work. So before I can even attempt to relax, I plan out my week, from meals to deadlines to appointments. Once I do that, I’m ready to check out, so ideally I like to read the Bible or an uplifting book or watch TV. By this time, I’m usually so exhausted that I pass out within the hour, feeling revived, rejuvenated and ready to tackle the week ahead!
What is your self-care routine? Share below!