16 self-care tips for moms this festive season

Feeling refreshed
Feeling refreshed

Being a mother comes with a bunch of responsibilities. It’s like getting a promotion for a whole new job, a full-time one, probably tougher than any job you’ve ever experienced before. 

With motherhood being a full-time job and all, it’s understandable that you feel the need to fully dedicate yourself to it.

What are some of the things you do to practice self-care? Let us know by emailing us at chatback@Parent24.com and we could publish your comments. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.

And when we say "mothers", we of course mean all parents or carers who takes on primary responsibility for children. It’s normal for parents to put their children first and have their world revolve around them.

It is, however, important that you don’t neglect the other relationships in your life such as your significant other, your family, friends and most importantly, yourself!

You should never run empty for any reason; channel some of that care you so easily give out, back into yourself.

Spending time with people you care for is crucial for building healthy, happy relationships, and spending time with yourself is no different. There's a big difference between being alone and spending time with yourself.

To strengthen your relationship with yourself, you need to set aside some “me-time”.

Around holiday time especially, it can be easy to get caught up in doing things for others and not even catch a single break for yourself. I know you’re probably thinking, “Not with my schedule”, and yes, it may be difficult but it’s not impossible. MAKE THE TIME, BE A LITTLE SELFISH. You’ll certainly have yourself to thank in the end.

When you take care of yourself, you set a good example to your kids and people in your life to do the same.

Here are some good self-care tips for moms, and dads, and grandmas, and all carers: 

1. Meditate

Millions of people around the world swear by it. Regardless of your beliefs, meditation has been shown to lower heart rate, blood pressure and adrenaline levels, and ease the symptoms of stress and anxiety. (Here's a Harvard Medical School article on the many health benefits of meditation.)

If you're unsure of how to get started, there are some amazing guided meditation apps (such as 'Headspace' and 'Calm') and YouTube videos that can be a great help.

2. Yoga

Similar to meditation, many people swear by yoga (I’m one of them). You feel so much better after a single session, not just physically, but mentally too. You can do it at home, just grab a yoga mat and follow one of thousands of videos on YouTube to get you started.

Adriene is a favourite, and CafeMom even tailor videos for moms with busy schedules too! 

3. Journal

Spend a few moments writing down your thoughts; it doesn’t have to be a strict routine, although it would be pretty great if you could do this regularly. There’s just something about putting your thoughts onto paper that’s so incredibly refreshing. Being able to reflect and see how much you’ve grown or where your head is at is so helpful. Don’t underestimate the power of journalling.

4. Pamper yourself

Self-care time! If you have the means, book yourself a spa day every now and then. If not, treat yourself to a spa day at home – it's just as amazing. Do some exfoliating, face masks, hair masks, take a bubble bath (watching you, Cape Town), have a manicure, whatever you see fit. Light some candles too.

Make self-care a habit. 

5. Read

Forget the technology for a second (unless you absolutely want to binge-watch your favourite show) and pick up a book or magazine. This may be an obvious thing that you do anyway, but it’s astonishing to see how many people neglect to do something so simple.

Reading transports you to another time and place of your choice, one where you don’t have to worry about work, the kids, or anything else that may be stressing you out.

6. Find a hobby

If you happen to have a hobby, make time for it. If you don't currently have one, why not try something new? Join jewellery, pottery or painting classes, take a short course, learn an instrument or language, start growing pot plants, learn about botanicals or trees or bird calls.

Always good to have something to be excited about every now and then and not just be excited about things happening in your children's lives.

7. Do something that makes you feel self-confident 

Whatever it may be, find something that makes you feel really good about yourself. Whether it be getting all dolled up, wearing your favourite item of clothing, going dancing, having a date night; you deserve a good confidence boost!

8. Do some light exercise (or heavy, if you wish)

Exercise equals endorphins; it’s that simple. You feel so much better about yourself and life in general afterwards.

9. Play music, dance 

If you’re not too keen on the whole exercising thing, a good way to get moving would be to play your favourite music and have a little sing and dance-along while being as silly as you like! It’s guaranteed to make anyone feel better; some real self-care right there.


We cannot stress this enough: sleep! You know how good it is. Sleeplessness leads to lower serotonin levels in the brain, which can make you teary, and eventually, depressed. We applaud you for keeping on keeping on, but now is the time to ask someone to watch the kids so you can sleep. Do it.

11. Have a laugh

Laughing is such brilliant and free therapy. It makes you feel like life isn’t all that serious and honestly, who doesn’t love a good laugh? (Especially the belly-aching kind). Watch something you find funny and get crack-a-lackin’.

12. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad about it

Self-care is by no means selfish; don’t let anyone make you feel bad for wanting to take some time for yourself. You deserve it, and more than that, need it. If your well is empty, how can you draw water for others? Wouldn't you rather be relaxed and laughing with your family, then tired, highly strung and irritable?

13. Buy yourself something nice

You don't have to break the bank here, it can be something small you’ve been wanting for a while, or even just a coffee or some flowers. It's nice to feel spoilt every now and then. 

14. Go see a movie by yourself

How many times have you had to see kiddies movies when there was something else you wanted to watch instead? 

Go see that movie you're excited about and get some popcorn too, just because you deserve some popcorn. 

15. Get someone else to take over the cleaning

If you've had a December bonus, consider splurging some of that on hiring a cleaner for a day or two. There are plenty of services in South Africa, from SweepSouth to Rent A Maid and Molly Maid. Some even have apps to make booking easier so you can trust someone else with your home's spring-cleaning while you take a well-deserved breather.  

16. Immerse yourself in nature and just observe

There's nothing more relaxing than just sitting and watching the world go by. Plus, doing it in something as big and beautiful as nature can make your problems feel so much smaller. Be mindful, look around. Be grateful. 

What are some of the things you do to practice self-care? Let us know by emailing us at chatback@Parent24.com and we could publish your comments. Do let us know if you'd like to remain anonymous.

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