Dear Cassey: How can I take better care of myself?

Dear Cassey,
I’m struggling with giving myself “me” time. I lost my son late in pregnancy 2 years ago, and last year was blessed to have a healthy daughter. I take care of her all day as a stay at home mama, and I have found I haven’t been giving myself the amount of care that I should. We’re talking forgetting to shower and sometimes even forgetting to eat. I recently started working out at 5 am every day, which has been working for me.
I guess my question is, What are some other ways that I can “take care of myself” aside from just working out and eating healthy? I am doing both of those and feel better but I still feel like I’m missing something.
Thank you,
Just a mama needing a little extra guidance and support.

cat relaxing in a grey blanket

Hey Just A Mama,

I’m so incredibly sorry to hear about the loss of your son. That alone is so much for a momma to go through…I can’t even imagine.

Although I’m not a mom myself, I have friends that have gone through an experience similar to yours and just know… you’re not alone in this. My heart is with you. Self-care is EXTREMELY important, so I’m glad you’re reaching out for support!

Exercising and eating healthy are great places to start. Doing both will help you manage stress, feel more energetic, and think more clearly. All TOTALLY necessary with a toddler at home, right?! So keep those things up for sure! I have some other ideas for things you can slowly work into your routine to help with self-care too.

The Basics – Your toddler probably does better on a routine, so try the same for yourself! Commit to that shower before your daughter wakes up, or while she’s taking a nap. Make sure you’re grabbing something to eat when your daughter eats! It’s way too easy to forget about your own needs when you’re taking care of someone else, so making it part of your routine will help make it happen without having to think about it.

Sleep –  Stay up and get things done, or get some quality shut-eye? Choose sleep!!! Prioritizing sleep is one of the BEST things you can do for your mental AND physical health. I always feel like a completely different person when I get a good night’s sleep.

Socialize – This is another one that falls to the wayside for a lot of mommas. I know it’s hard to physically hang out with friends right now, but finding a way to get in some adult conversation will help SOO MUCH. Commit to picking up the phone and call or Facetime a friend or family member. When you can, meet another momma to go on a walk. It’s amazing how rejuvenating a good laugh and conversation with your tribe can be.

Journal – I loooove journaling. It’s a good way to let everything out and reflect on what’s going on in your life. You can journal in the morning to start your day in a better mindset, or you can try jotting down your thoughts before bed to unwind and empty your brain. If writing isn’t your thing, you could also grab an adult coloring book, meditate or do a crossword puzzle to unwind.

Treat Yo’ Self – When was the last time you treated yourself to something new? Anything you’re into! New workout clothes, new shoes, a new book, some flowers to brighten up your home?! You deserve it.

Unplug – It’s way too easy to mindlessly scroll the minute we have some free time. But escaping from social media for a little bit is actually really refreshing. There’s a lot of negativity and opportunity for comparison on social media. Take a break and use that time to do something for yourself!

Plan Ahead – Plan something that you can look forward to! It could be a trip, or something super small like planning to eat or order takeout from your favorite spot. Even having little things to look forward to can really change your mindset.

Try a Podcast – Need a little inspiration? Entertainment? A really good laugh? Wanna learn something new? There’s a podcast for everything.

Breathe – Anytime you’re feeling overwhelmed, find a quiet spot and breathe.

Hopefully, these ideas help! Whatever you decide to do, try one thing at a time (don’t overwhelm yourself!) and DON’T feel selfish for prioritizing “me” time. You can’t pour from an empty cup, and taking care of yourself is going to benefit your daughter just as much as it benefits you!

You’re doing an AMAZING job, mama.

PS – If you have a burning question you want to ask me, I’m taking questions via text at 510-692-4556. Currently this only works for US and Canada. If you’re outside of those countries, you can leave a question below.

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