5 Ways Working Moms Can Practice Self-Care
Mom, your day-to-day life can be a little, let's say, "demanding." This is particularly true if you're one of the growing numbers of moms who also work outside the home.
Taking care of the kids. Completing housework. Completing "work work." Until some genius invents a way to add a couple dozen more hours to the day, it makes sense that your responsibilities might stress you out a bit.
That's less likely to happen if you know how to take care of yourself. Sure, moms sometimes feel guilty when they stop to address their own needs, but you definitely shouldn't. How can you be Supermom if you're too burnt out to stay sane?
Finding time for self-care can seem like a challenge, but it's much simpler when you keep these tips in mind.
Know You're Setting a Good Example
Here's a simple way to stop feeling guilty about self-care: remind yourself you want to be a good role model for your kids. Taking care of yourself is key to your wellbeing. It's key to EVERYONE'S wellbeing. If you feel like you're neglecting your mom duties by giving yourself permission to actually relax from time to time, just remember you're not the only one who benefits. Again, you can't balance all of your responsibilities if you're feeling stressed, exhausted, or burnt out.
Use Time Wisely, Even While at Work
Finding time to practice self-care seems challenging because time isn't exactly something that busy working moms have in abundance. But if you get creative, it's still possible to create time for self-care activities.
If you work during the day, consider using part of your lunch break to meditate, go for a walk, or call a friend who re-energizes you, rather than just eating at your desk..
While you might not be able to dedicate an entire day to yourself, you can combine multiple self-care activities to get the most out of them in the least amount of time.
Sneaking in an early solo run or a workout in your home gym is great (and convenient), but getting in some adult-socialization time at the gym can be a game-changer - especially if you work alone or spend all day with your kids. Treat yourself to a fitness center membership or find a nearby yoga studio and try a few classes until you find one you love. Finding a group you like to workout with can help you expand your social circle - peer pressure is also a great form of accountability that will help ensure you don't skip workouts!
Don't Overlook the Benefits of Working with Other People
Whether you work from home or the office, don't underestimate the power of a little people time.
It's easy to get stuck behind your screen and find that you've spent the whole day by yourself, especially if you work from home.
If you work from an office, make sure you give yourself designated to get up and connect with coworkers outside of meetings - ask them to grab a coffee or go for a walk.
If you work from home, consider joining a coworking space that has community activities, or at least work from a cafe from time to time to get out of the house and give yourself a change of scenery and some much needed human interaction!
Ask for Flexibility
Don't assume your boss knows what your needs are. The fact that they don't provide you with the flexibility you want doesn't always mean they never will. It simply means they might not be aware of your needs.
It's worth asking if you could spend one day a week working flexibly. That might mean working from home, taking half the day off, or adjusting your hours so you can spend more time with your family.
Need help persuading your boss? Show them this Deloitte study.
Get the Kids Involved
On those days when you can't get away from your responsibilities as a mom (a.k.a, every single day"), you can still practice self-care. You just need to involve the kids as well. Get them to help you prep your favorite healthy and simple vegetarian meal, or find a quick workout routine both you and your kids can participate in.
Get Enough Sleep
This is key. Sacrificing sleep in order to take on more responsibilities will actually make you less productive at work, at home, and in general. When you get enough sleep, you'll be so efficient and productive that finding time for everything (including self-care) will be much easier.
Don't forget how important this is! As Mom, you want the best for just about everyone in your life. That should include wanting the best for yourself. The happier you are, the happier you can make your family and boss.
This edition of our career spotlight series features Caitlin Flint, Group Design Manager at Intuit.
Caitlin's career began at the Advancement Project, a civil rights nonprofit focused on large-scale systemic change to remedy inequity. There, she had the opportunity to work on mapping software for California's first-ever open redistricting process, which ignited her passion for improving people's lives at scale. This made her a natural fit for a role on Intuit's design team, where she has worked for the past six years. Caitlin earned her B.A. in Design from the University of California in Davis, where she specialized in Visual Communications.
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