When you are a stay-at-home, hands-on, first-time mom to a Velcro baby, you probably get me. Your arms ache from holding him day and night. You adjusted sleeping with a 10-kilo weight on your chest where your baby sleeps. You miss preparing and eating an actual meal with both of your hands. You know no luxury of deciding what to do on nap time — he needs to stick to you in order to sleep. When he sleeps, you can’t move. You probably have your work on your smartphone, the only thing you can manage to operate single-handedly while pinned down on bed. I’m writing this lying in bed, cradling and nursing my son.
Constant need to nurse, want to be carried, sticks like a glue, light-sleeper, demanding, highly sensitive — these will probably spread yourself too thin, to the point of breakage.
I call it melt-down. I didn’t keep tabs how many times I snapped and broke down, feeling drained. But tomorrow’s another day for motherhood.
Some nights I can’t even brush my teeth, more so to shower. So when I do get my elusive break…
…here’s how I re-center myself and elevate my me-time and make it more special.
In the morning
Ideally in the morning, I jot down my random, scattered thoughts and ideas on a piece of pretty paper and gold-inked pen. It’s an incredibly effective way to release the noise in my head, and organize my thoughts. I feel calm when I can clearly read what I need to achieve. There’s a magical, fulfilling feeling when I’m able to tick off items on my to-do list.
In the afternoon
Probably my most fancy me-time is sipping a hot cup of mother’s milk tea with a book on hand. Currently on my reading-list is The Nesting Place. It’s teaching me that “someday” is now. Creating a beautiful home now, wherever we are.
At late night
Recently my son is forming a sleeping routine. By nine, he doze off while sleep-feeding. He sleeps lightly with a few tossing and turning, before finally having a deep sleep. That’s around eleven at night. When I successfully avoided to sleep myself, I sneak out of the room and into the bathroom.
Yellow lights and warm water puts me in a calm, relaxed mood. I elevate my routine and add a skin conditioner after my body wash or body soap. I’m currently using Nivea In-Shower Skin Conditioner. It’s creamy lotion formula activates as it interacts with water. It feels luxurious for me like treating myself to a body oil and body lotion in one. I use this quiet time as a therapeutic treatment to soothe my aching body and anxious mind.
How about you ladies, what do you incorporate to elevate your daily routine and to keep sane?
On normal days, I stay at home and juggle about two things in my life: taking care of my baby and trying to get work done. Yes, this means that sometimes I even had to skip taking care of some of my basic needs (read: no shower). Recently though, since I acknowledged that self-care should be a regular part of my life, I keep my stress level in check and try to squeeze in some time in a day to attune to myself and do some self-care.
Some of the most effective for me are: 1) deep breathing— helps me to calm down and regulate my heart rate; 2) visualization or “guided imagery”— closing my eyes, picturing myself relaxing in a beach with its blue waters instantly transports me to that serene place; 3) mindful snacking— hard-boiled egg or wheat peanut butter sandwich helps me get through a stressful moment; 4) sipping a hot cup of mother’s milk tea while jotting down my thoughts or making lists— helps de-clutter my brain to regain a clearer perspective; 5) kissing my husband— helps my brain release happy hormones; 6) listening to my favorite music— especially songs about love makes me loosen up and gets me so giddy; 7) watching a funny video— there’s nothing a good laughter can’t cure; 8) playing with my #LittleAdamBryce— seeing the spark in his eyes and the way he smiles when he discovers something new is incredibly priceless!
On other days though, about twice to thrice a month, I get to go out (or at least I try to) on my mommy’s day out. Other than meeting up and chatting the day away with friends, feasting on comfort food or discovering what’s new in our neighborhood or in the metro, I opt for some r&r and do some pampering activities.
Ideally I want my monthly body massage sessions but since last year when I was pregnant and until now that my boy is ten months old, I still haven’t gone to a spa. It would take me about half a day to be done, and of course that is not feasible for now since I directly breastfeed my baby.
So my most favorite pampering activity and I suppose, the most usual amongst girls and moms like me is— manicure and pedicure.
I was scheduled for my usual pedicure session at a local salon in our town, when I got an invitation to try Nail.a.holics Nail Salon & Spa. Luckily they have a branch nationwide and the one that is closest to me is in SM Bacoor.
A foot spa, manicure and pedicure just right on schedule is an offer I wouldn’t pass up on, so off we go to the salon!
Consider this the best excuse to give yourself that much-needed day of pampering.
Mark October 17, Monday on your calendars — because from 10 AM to 12 noon, you can head over to any Nailaholics branch nationwide and get a relaxing manicure and hand massage for FREE.
For many, a trip to the nail salon is a rare indulgence. All too often, work and the daily grind of busy schedules keep them from getting the necessary “me-time” that everyone craves and needs. But as Nailaholics celebrates and takes part in the country’s first ever #NationalPamperingDay, the brand hopes to remind everyone that it’s OK to take some time for yourself and indulge.
Perhaps no other nail salon in the country is better known for having perfected the art of a quick, urban pampering the way Nailaholics has. Their interiors are inviting, their service is efficient, and the promise of getting whisked away from realities of looming deadlines, to-do lists, traffic, and whatever else awaits outside the doors of this quaint Hamptons-themed escape, becomes possible— even if it’s only for a few hours.
“We get that,” says Arvin Amaro, Marketing Head. “And it’s exactly why we we’re celebrating National Pampering Day. We want to give people who need a break a quick escape where they won’t have anything to worry about. So be sure that you head over to your nearest Nailaholics branch to get pampered for free.”
1.) the quality or state of being conscious or aware of something.
2.) a mental state achieved by focusing one’s awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one’s feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations, used as a therapeutic technique.
The demands of being a mom, in my case a first time mom of a now 10-month old baby, can be overwhelming, especially if you encounter things for the first time and find yourself wondering how to handle each new concern. Sometimes you feel you have little control over a situation, or you have missed to make the right decision, or simply handling your thinning patience. If the stress of rearing a child is left unchecked, it can take a toll on your health, relationships, and state of mind —eventually leading to burnout.
When you’re burned out, it’s tough to do anything, let alone look after someone else —our husbands and our children. That’s why taking care of yourself isn’t a luxury —it’s a necessity.
Taking care of yourself isn’t a luxury — it’s a necessity.
If you don’t get the physical and emotional support you need, the stress of rearing a child leaves you vulnerable to a wide range of problems, including depression, anxiety, and burnout. And when you get to that point, both you and your child you’re caring for suffer. That’s why managing the stress levels in your life is just as important as making sure your family gets the caring they need.
In my case, I took the time out and took the first step into my self-care journey.
I joined other moms who seek to pause, reflect and be in the present moment by attending Mindful Mom Retreat by Mommy Mundo.
Self-care is a call for Mindfulness.
It is to Be instead of to Do.
It is pausing, reflecting and being present in the moment.
It is a treat and responsibility to the self.
“Taking care of yourself is part of taking care of your kids.”
“To be beautiful means to be Yourself. You don’t need to be accepted by others. You need to accept Yourself.”
~ Thich Nhat Hanh
Here are my take-away during this important event in my mommy’s day out.
Why self-care is important?
Moms are multi-taskers
Moms wear many hats
Moms are the nurturers & the family’s emotional anchor
Self-care allows us to…
recharge our body
declutter our thoughts
tune in to our needs and emotions
make the spirit catch up with the body
Practical Mindful Self-Care
BE present in the moment
Cease to OVERTHINK
OFFLINE CONNECTIONS are more important
Do not COMPARE
Choose your INFLUENCES
DECLUTTER your thoughts and emotions
Set your BOUNDARIES. Learn when to say NO
PACE each task, one day at a time
Identify matters you can LET GO of
Honor WHO YOU ARE
Self-care leads to…
…being a more loving mom and wife
…seeing life with a better disposition; clearer thoughts
…feeling “fairly treated”
…less risk of feeling “maxed out”
…being a mindful mom and living by our #mommanifesto
“When stress, tasks and life’s demands increase, so must be our mindful self-care.”
Essentially, the more you pay attention to your emotions and how you work, the better you’ll understand why you do the things you do. The more you know about your own habits, the easier it is to improve on those habits.
Thank you again to these mommies who organized this event! I’m looking forward to the next one!