We’ve all heard that taking care of yourself as a mom—aka self-care—is important. You can’t pour from an empty cup…you have to put your oxygen mask on first…etc., etc. The thing is, this is so much easier said than done. It’s almost as if when you give birth and first hold that beautiful, dependent being, your ability to prioritize yourself—even when doing so will help you help others—is permanently impaired. Or, maybe you were able to take some “me” time (side note — anyone else hate this term?) when your babies were small, but now that they’re school age/tweens/teens, bigger kids means bigger problems (and less time for you). The thing is, experts across the board say that a happier mom really is a better mom. But if the idea of spending time sitting in a pedicure chair or on a massage table seems more like a chore to you (or a great way to worry about your to do list…), know that self-care doesn’t have to happen in a spa or salon. It can be anything that makes you take a breath, think about something other than those relying on you, makes you healthier, encourages you to smile or laugh, or gives you peace of mind. Need some inspiration? We turned to a few of the moms from The Local Moms Network to see how they practice self-care:
I’m a big fan of Pure Barre so you can find me there most mornings. Also, planning ahead for date nights with your spouse – we aim for a night every other month and it’s a time to connect and reset away from the kids! — Liz Barrett, South Wake Raleigh Moms
I try to have a sitter come 1-2 times a week for 3-4 hours so I can have a little “me time”. Sometimes I’ll get a mani/ pedi or take the time to have coffee alone and catch up on some work. I know it sounds weird, but I love what I do and being able to have adult conversations and concentrate on emails is very relaxing and even fun for me (total nerd alert!). — Melissa DeSanti, Mendham Moms
Aerial Fitness is a fun one (when I’m not pregnant). It’s a great workout and it’s actually fun! Think, learning to fly! — Stefanie Tiso, Stamford Moms
Beach time ALONE. One hour, grab an iced coffee and head down with girlfriends or a good book and park your beach chair from the crowd for a little respite from the chaos. – Dani Nylen, South Shore Moms
As a busy mom of 3 young boys, I think being a fit and healthy leader is important! On Sundays I plan out our family activities and schedule. I also plan my doctors’ appointments, workouts, dates with friends and me time. Planning ahead of time and actually making the time is so helpful and important. — Megan Sullivan, Greenwich Moms
This story originally appeared on The Local Moms Network.