Self-care comes in many forms for many people. For some, it’s a glass of wine while they watch a late-night comedy show, or for others, it’s doing absolutely nothing while they lay in bed and eat prepackaged snacks. However, not everyone has the luxury of television quiet time or snacking in bed all day. Especially when you have children and possibly a spouse that needs you to get most things done.
Luckily, you can include your children in the self-care process. You may not be able to consume as many adult beverages or have as much quiet time, but including your children in the self-care process is also a lesson for them to learn the importance of caring for oneself and another way of spending time with them. Here are the five things you can do to have a chill self-care day with the kids.
Put on your spa garb
The immediate way to get into the self-care zone is to dress down in a plush robe, slippers or flip-flops, and put your hair up in a bun or push it back in a ponytail if necessary. Robes for children aren’t easily stumbled upon, but they’re easy to find online and come in cute, whimsical designs no matter the gender. Then, comes the face mask of your choice. With kids involved, you probably don’t want to use that $30 jar of clay mask you splurged on for their skin. No worries though, because there are tons of DIY mask recipes you can make for your children out of kitchen ingredients, and you don’t have to worry about any potential allergic reactions to skincare elements. The DIY aspect also allows you to customize the face mask for more fun by mixing pigment ingredients to create mock face painting of hearts, tigers, butterflies, or a rainbow free for all.
After all that, don’t forget to break out the cucumber slices for an added relaxing effect and recline in a chair, couch, or an impromptu pillow fort with the kids. The spa can be taken a step further if you want to include a foot soak, nail painting, a bath soak if possible, and a diffuser for aromatherapy oil use. Boys are bound to find those things not so appealing, but if you can put a spin on it that gets the self-care point across while including them, kudos to you.
Have a drink
An alcoholic drink usually goes hand in hand with self-care as previously mentioned. And if you’re on a health kick or a staunch supporter of drinking water, even a cup of apple juice or soda automatically puts you into a state of euphoria. But with the kids involved, it’s a personal choice whether you want to drink in front of them. However, if you opt to pour a glass of wine or make a fruity cocktail, your kids can get a faux version in a similar glass so that they can feel included.
Grape juice in a wine glass or a strawberry lemonade concoction will make them feel like they’re taking the edge off along with mommy. But, if you go for the non-alcoholic route, creating a fruit-infused punch, flavorful slushie/smoothie, or even a large pot of hot chocolate is a guaranteed way to not only let them take the edge off after a hard day of playing dress up or superheroes, it also creates an activity to do with mom and the family. Either way, it’s a win-win.
Watch a good movie or television show
As moms and children, taking time to watch the latest family-friendly films or television shows isn’t that easy to do. Especially if there are media restrictions throughout the week that keep you and your child focused on what’s more important. Not to mention, never underestimate the power of binge-watching while snacking on popcorn and candy as a form of taking care of yourself.
It may seem wholly self-indulgent, and something you can do anytime, but genuinely watching and enjoying a movie or show as opposed to viewing something while mentally planning your next to-do list and stressing over unfinished work is a much different experience. Undivided attention to whatever you decide to watch with the kids or possibly watch separately if you really need some serious me time will definitely leave you feeling refreshed and with a quieter mind.
Plan for a take-out meal or the ultimate multicourse dinner at home
Like many people, we try to eat healthy throughout the week and cook at home to save money. But, a part of self-care when it comes to what we ingest is indulging from time to time. Advertisements promote women with their feet up after a long day in heels with a pint of ice cream and a spoon for a reason. It feels good to be satiated with a treat after dealing with the brunt of daily life, and it’s undeniable how wonderful it feels to eat something calorie-filled, greasy, or a cavity-inducing dessert without worrying about your waistline.
Your kids deserve the same luxury and it can either turn into a family involved cookout, ordering unnecessary amounts of pizza, pasta, and desserts, or even just creating a sundae bar for you and the kids to enjoy while watching the movie. Whichever route you take, it’s bound to be delicious and satisfying for the whole family.
Talk out your thoughts or try journaling
A big part of self-care is also talking about what might be bottled in throughout the weeks. As mothers, whether partnered or single, it’s hard to address and let out everything you may be feeling as a woman in this world. Sometimes it can be pressure at work, pressure from other mothers, or just pressure put on yourself by yourself to be perfect. Then, when it comes to your children, they may be feeling the same worries and stress as they get older. Grades, peer pressure, dating, and societal expectations can easily weigh on your child’s mind as they watch other kids around them.
That’s where the importance of talking about these things come in. It’s amazing how much better you may feel after spilling woes and dramas to your child, even if they don’t understand them. In fact, you might even get some child wisdom in return that changes your whole outlook on things! But if that doesn’t work out, listening to your children and easing their minds about childhood is bound to make you feel like a better parent. Plus, you get to learn more about your child and hopefully keep that communication channel open as they continue to grow into adulthood.
However, a great alternative or something to do in tandem is journaling. Journaling is scientifically shown to have many benefits on mental health, healing, therapy, and dealing with emotions. Getting yourself and your child into journaling or taking a moment for it as a part of quiet time during the self-care session can be a great eye-opening habit to build.
Overall, self-care is more than just these five things and can be what you make it out to be with the children involved. Maybe it’s staying at the mall, spending the day at the park, visiting grandparents, or doing arts and crafts at home. Whatever allows you to stop, take a break, relax, and enjoy time spent with your family, you’ve won the self-care lottery. Making it a family habit or installing it in your children from a young age can only make them better at it in the future.