Valentine’s Day is all about celebrating love. As moms, we likely do countless things every day to show love for our families, but how much do we do for ourselves?
Being a mom shouldn’t have to require total selflessness. Self-love is just as important: It gives us the much-needed rest and rejuvenation to handle all our responsibilities. While February 14 might be just another day of driving the kids to school and doing endless loads of laundry, we can use it as a reminder to practice the self-love we deserve.
Practicing self-love is essential for our overall health and emotional wellbeing and helping us be the best version of ourselves, benefiting our body, our relationships, and our personal growth.
Self-love starts with acceptance—realizing where you are and what your body needs, from your physical to your emotional self. Being a mom doesn’t have to mean sacrificing your needs or wants for the benefit of your child(ren). You can take care of both.
Loving yourself looks different for everyone. From extroverts who become energized by spending time with friends to introverts who recharge from time spent alone, try making your needs and wants a priority this Valentine’s Day. Finding the appropriate balance may take some work, but it’s worth it. Here are some ways to start practicing self-love.
1. Send Yourself Flowers
Showing yourself love can be as simple as sending yourself flowers—just like Miley Cyrus sings in her new song. Flowers are a natural mood-booster you can personalize to your taste. Birth month flowers like rose and honeysuckle that represent your child’s June birthday, for example, can motivate, inspire, and remind you of your littlest love(s).
2. Recite Positive Affirmations
As a mom, you may not always get the thanks you deserve for all your hard work. While a “Thanks, Mom,” from your toddler or teenager would be nice, you should also feel empowered to give yourself praise through positive affirmations. Choose a phrase or two that resonates with you. You can say them out loud when you wake up or even write them on the bathroom mirror.
Here are a few ideas if you need inspiration:
- I love myself as I am.
- I am proud of myself for getting this far.
- I am the mother my children need.
3. Call a Friend
As a busy parent, having a social life can sometimes seem impossible, but you can try to find a few minutes in your day to make a phone call. A conversation with a friend can give you a quick mood boost and remind you that you have a loving support system outside of your home. You could even block out 10 minutes on your calendar a few times a week to connected with a friend or loved one. In fact, the New York Times extolled the benefits of an eight-minute phone call in their Seven-Day Happiness Challenge. It’s the perfect amount of time to connect without overwhelming your schedule.
4. Practice Self-Care
Yes, self-care is a common buzzword associated with trips to the spa or luxurious bubble baths at home. When you have kids to care for 24/7, you might think that kind of self-care is out of the question. But self-care can be any action that makes you feel good about yourself.
It could be putting on an outfit that makes you feel confident—or spending the day in sweatpants. You could pick up an old hobby you haven’t had time for lately or try journaling for a few minutes before bed to clear your mind. Even a small action like making your bed can give you the sense of accomplishment you need to tackle the rest of the day.
5. Put Your Phone Down
Social media can be a major source of pressure for moms. Scrolling through Instagram and seeing the “perfect” lives of influencer moms can make you feel like a failure if your kitchen isn’t spotless or your kids aren’t all in coordinating outfits. While social media can be addicting, taking breaks from it can be even more satisfying. Try creating limits for yourself, like no phone in the bedroom or setting a timer to cut yourself off from endless scrolling.