When I was still pregnant, I talked with one of my co-workers who just had a baby about “Me Time.” I do remember telling her that the best way you can take care of a baby is by taking care of yourself first. After all, a happy woman does make a happy baby (and marriage, and family).
I should be taking my own advice now, but I should have known it is so much easier said than done.
I guess as moms and wives, we instinctively attend to everything else and put ourselves last on the list. That’s why it takes more effort to take time and make it a point to take care of ourselves FIRST. But there are simple everyday things we can do to make ourselves feel like we’re attending to our own needs, too.
- Shower everyday. Making sure you keep your good hygiene habits is a good start. Feeling clean, with nice shampooed hair and fresh underwear does help you to feel good.
- Brush your teeth (this goes with #1). Don’t laugh – some new moms are too tired to brush and floss, which I think is a big mistake. Don’t neglect your dental health. Besides, would you want your baby to associate you with bad breath and decayed teeth?
- Clip your nails. You don’t have to be all perfectly manicured, but at least take 5 minutes during the day every week to have nice, trimmed, baby-friendly nails.
- Pluck your eyebrows. Groomed eyebrows open up your eyes and make you look fresh and wide awake, even if you hardly had any sleep.
- Wear makeup. Who has time to put on makeup, you ask. You barely have time to comb your hair, much less wear makeup, right? Well, I’m not talking about adding full-on makeup to your daily routine, but feeling pretty with makeup once in a while can boost your energy and self esteem. The next time you go on your errands, like simply grocery shopping, wear the quick no-make-up make-up look which takes only 5 minutes: curled lashes, mascara, some blush and a nice shade of lipstick.
- Wear clothes that fit. Don’t force yourself to fit into your pre-pregnancy clothes that most probably fit weirdly on you. With your new body, it’s easy to feel un-pretty and un-sexy because none of your old clothes fit anymore. But that is PERFECTLY normal (this I tell myself everyday). Our bodies did take almost a year to stretch, why are we trying to shrink it back in a few months (unless you’re Heidi Klum or Christina Aguilera who need to look good for a living)? Buy nice outfits that fit while you’re in transition to shrinking back to your old size.
- Get yourself a new pair of jeans. See #6. New shoes and earrings are nice, too. I had to give up wearing my necklaces because my baby rubs his face on my chest a lot, so wearing a necklace is not a good idea. Neither is wearing dangling earrings – he grabs it sometimes. So go get some lovely stud earrings or rings if you’re into accessories.
- Do ONE thing you like doing at least ONCE a week (if once a day is too much to ask), even if it takes a couple hours. In other words, take a break. Whether it’s by reading a magazine, baking, watching TV, or even sleeping, finding time for something you LIKE to do because you like doing it, not because you have to do it. For me, it’s writing – since I don’t work anymore, and because I was used to doing this 8 hours a day for the last 8 years of my working life. Hence, this blog.
- Give in to one guilty pleasure. Do you love cookies? Chips? Ice cream? Chocolate? Junk food is fine every once in a while and in moderation. If you like chocolate, try to go dark instead – it’s better for you with all its monounsaturated fatty acids and antioxidants. Then you won’t have to feel guilty!
- YOUR IDEA HERE. Sorry, I ran out already. But I thought this list needed a #10. So whatever your idea of “me time” is, let’s include it here.
I have to admit, I don’t follow all of these faithfully, but I do try. As I said, it does take effort to not feel guilty about loving myself first. But see, this blog is proof – I’m loving me!