Looking for some self-care ideas so you can avoid overwhelm, exhaustion and burnout? These ways are well-researched to improve your overall well-being. Be sure to download the free checklist!
I used to think self-care was for sissies. I remember when a friend in college told me she got nine hours of sleep every night and I scoffed. Any self-respecting person, especially someone claiming to be a Christian, wouldn’t indulge in such luxuries. We’ve got limited hours in a day, so let’s fill them to the brim right?
I know not everyone shares my perfectionist, workaholic personality type. (I’m maturing, so please be graceful.)
Even if you’re not as driven as I am, many of us hit a sort of wall when we hit motherhood. All of a sudden, these merciless little humans who really don’t care about your “needs” suck up whatever time and energy you may have had.
And while it’s tempting to wear burnout and exhaustion like badges of honor, the unfortunate thing is that being burned out and exhausted doesn’t really make us the best moms. Or wives. Or people in general.
One of the most frequent desires expressed by my readers is to find “balance” in motherhood. That’s a broad term and there are a lot of ways to approach it, but I think self-care is a big part of it.
You’re a daughter of God, my friend. And while it might feel selfish to take time to care for yourself, think about what you want for to be for your own children: well-rested, content and overflowing with joy so that you can give them your best.
Related post: Should Christian Moms Prioritize “Me Time”?
I’ve done a lot of research on self-care, including certification in stress management coaching. A lot of people get mixed up about self-care and define it as doing things that they like, like getting their nails done or going out with their friends. While there’s nothing wrong with those things, that understanding is not entirely accurate.
I like to differentiate between self-care and escape. True self-care—or biblical rest, as I like to define it—recharges you physically, mentally and spiritually.
11 Daily Self-Care Ideas for the Body, Mind & Soul
Habits are powerful. Much of what we do everyday is on autopilot, meaning we don’t think about it. Once you’ve built a habit, it will be natural to practice it.
So it only makes sense to develop daily habits in self-care.
One caveat, however. Please don’t look at this list and then proceed to feel all mopey about all the things you’re doing wrong, or overwhelmed at the thought of what you’re missing. Rather, look at this list as target to shoot for, as well as a gauge to measure where you’re at.
You’re not going to hit the target every day (I don’t!). But if your life feels out of balance, here are some adjustments you can start working on.
- Get 8+ hours of sleep a night
To most moms I know, this sounds like a lofty goal. And for some of us, especially those with babies, it really is impossible. However, I think the point here is to prioritize this need as much as you can. When you miss sleep, your cognitive ability suffers, which pretty affects every area of your life from emotional control to your ability to focus.
- Do daily exercise
Again, this might be a lofty goal, and you probably know you need to do it. But I can’t emphasize enough how much it not only helps you maintain a healthy weight, but also improves your mood and energy levels substantially.
- Track your water intake
Did you know that being fatigued is a sign that you’re dehydrated? Your body has to work harder to pump blood and perform essential functions, which makes it try to conserve more of its energy. This is an easy one to fix! Get at least ½ an ounce per pound of body weight per day.
- Eat sit-down meals
I’m bad at this one sometimes. It’s so tempting to eat while standing in the kitchen multitasking or while on the go. Sitting down and enjoying a meal helps you be more mindful about your eating habits. Try to eat at least one meal a day together as a family is also a great time to connect emotionally (overlapping with the next section).
- Turn off your screens
We are constantly being bombarded with information and visual stimulation because of screens, and research indicates that this is detrimental to mental health. To take care of yourself, I highly recommend you be disciplined about the time you spend on your phone. Take time throughout the day to “unplug” so your mind can be at rest, think deeply and process the information it’s taking in. You should especially avoid screens before bed.
Related post: Social Media Addiction: 20 Strategies To Break It
- Journal, read or create
Fill the time you have during screens off with something you love! Taking time to learn or create something stimulates your brain in a good way, helps you mature and releases endorphins. While long periods are ideal for deeper concentration, even just a few minutes a day is better than none.
- Connect with your spouse
If you’re married, one of the best things you can do for your family is to prioritize your marriage. Give your husband your full attention and affection at least once a day.
- Connect with God
Personal connection with God each day is spiritual food (Matthew 4:4). You wouldn’t willfully skip a whole day of food, so why would you skip time with God? Make time for what you need. There are a lot of ways to approach this, so find the one that works for you.
- Express gratitude
Keeping a gratitude journal is one of the most effective ways to change your mood as well as your outlook on life. Something about the physical act of writing it down helps your brain process it more effectively—I believe for the benefit of your spirit.
This is something kids do naturally and yet adults can quickly forget. I believe that pure humor (not mean-spirited or mocking), is one of God’s greatest gifts and truly does restore the soul. It reminds us not to take ourselves to seriously.
- Practice deep breathing
This is a habit that also overlaps with mental and physical self-care. I like to practice deep breathing while in prayer, which helps my mind and my spirit focus on God. Being in practice helps me to remain calm when under stress during other parts of my day.
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To sum it all up, many women want “balance” in motherhood but don’t really know how to work towards that. While there is much more I could say about that topic, I hope these self-care ideas point you in the right direction.
Be sure to check out my next post about weekly self-care! And if you want to dig deep, check out my online course on self-care called Choose Rest.
Share your thoughts: which of these daily self-care ideas do you think you could start working on first?