Nov 6, 2017

HOMESCHOOL | 100 SELF-CARE IDEAS FOR HOMESCHOOL MOMS

100 Self Care Ideas for Homeschool Moms


Okay, before you read this post I want you to stop! Stop what you are doing, turn off  the distraction, tell the two-year-old to watch one more episode of Paw Patrol and walk away from everyone. Get your favorite pen and notepad, um the envelope from the power bill will do too. ;) Settle down somewhere, preferably where you can meditate on what I am about to share.

WHY IS THE POST DIRECTED TOWARDS HOMESCHOOL MOMS

This post, as you can tell by the title and a quick Pinterest search, has been done and redone a hundred dozen times but I wanted to make this post, this list of self-care ideas to have a direct impact on you, yes you... the burnt out, overwhelmed, extra loved and slightly over-caffeinated homeschool mama. 

Why? Because I'm right there with you. I'm a mama to five heavenly sent children, whom I know were sent directly to me so I could raise and rear the way God intends and directs. However, lately, I have felt drained. Call it the mid-year blahs. You know what I'm talking about, right? The almost Christmas, we can take a break for awhile, I'm so ready so let's just skip this subject blahs. 


Well if you're anything like me you start the school year off strong. You have high hopes that this year is going to be different. This is going to be the year you stick to the grind, stay on track and do everything you planned in your cute planner. Then reality hits, your house floods, your kids get sick, you hit a wall with your kids and you feel one thing...discouraged. And then you ultimately ask your self, I'm I doing what is best for my children? Should I give up homeschooling? 

I may have only been homeschooling for three years but I've been a mama for almost eleven and when I feel discouraged and drained it's often because I'm lacking one thing, self-care!!! 

WHAT IS SELF-CARE

Self-care is pretty self-explanatory but Google defines it as any necessary human regulatory function which is under individual control, deliberate and self-initiated.  Okay Google let's break this down into three main facts (that I believe)..

# 1 SELF-CARE IS NECESSARY

It is as necessary to survival as breathing, eating, and social interaction are. In fact two of those three things could be defined as self-care. Eating right and making healthy decisions is in fact a form of self-care. Socializing is another way to deliberately take care of your self. Whether your eating literal food or feeding creativity it's all self-care. Finding what you body, mind, and soul need to be happy and content, to be full, is what self-care is in a whole. 

#2 SELF-CARE IS A RESPONSIBILITY

We as moms know all about responsibility, right? We know what it takes for our children to be responsible, for our spouses, but what about us, what is our responsibility to our selves for our selves? I tell my children all the time, you can't make someone else happy until your happy. I tell them you can't love anyone until you love yourself. Self-care to me is all about doing what makes me feel like me. Not everyone enjoys the same things but for me it's simple; spending time with God, friends, having alone time, buying things I like, eating good food, and being creative brings me joy. It's my responsibility to make my self happy just as  it's my responsibility to let God do His will in my life, I can't push this responsibility on anyone else. It's my job to take care of myself. To brush my teeth, hair, shave my legs, read my Bible, fuel both my body and soul. 

# 3 SELF-CARE IS NOT A REWARD

Now, I know I'm not the only one that pushes through the day minute by minute with some sort of reward in mind. Something I'm going to allow myself to do if I can accomplish all of my tasks. But you know what ends up happening? I end up even more discouraged, even more disappointed. Why? Because I fail at completing all my task, because I put to much on myself, and then I withhold my reward for failing. Sure, I get those seldom, "I killed it, today" mom moments but for the most part the struggle is real! There's always something to do. Something to clean. Make. Clean. Teach. Clean. Pay. Clean. Before I know it I'm sitting in bed falling asleep regretting not taking time for myself, wishing I could harvest enough energy to open my devotional and do some bible journaling. But I'm pooped. I waited for my reward. My prize at the end of my race. The payment at the end of my shift but it never came. It didn't quite work out the way I wanted it to. My type A personality couldn't keep things clean enough. My children needed me too much. School dragged forever. Dinner was at 10pm. I gave up what I needed for the happiness of others. I'm left a little more empty than before. Sound selfish? Maybe. But taking care of your self should NEVER EVER BE A REWARD. It should in my (hypocritical) opinion be first and foremost because as the saying goes... YOU CAN'T POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP! 

So, to recap and add to what Google defined, self-care shouldn't be something we neglect for the sake of others or seen as a reward we grant our selves for a job well done it should be and is a necessary responsibility that we should do daily, continually, and pass on to our children as a God-given, and Christ like right and need! 

Did you catch that? Yes, even Christ demonstrated self-care. When he was tried he slept. When he was hungry he ate. When he was heartbroken he wept. Jesus also withdraws from the people to pray, spend time alone, rest, and to spend time with his closest friends. EVEN JESUS NEEDED TO TAKE CARE OF HIMSELF!!! 

WHY IS SELF-CARE SO IMPORTANT FOR A HOMESCHOOL MAMA

Remember when I said, "you can't pour from an empty cup?" Well, it's true. You can try and try but if the cup is empty you just can't get anything out. You could turn it upside and bang it a couple of times, which is often how I feel (shaken and shoved around) during any specific day, but nothing will come out. If you run a car to empty you won't make it far. How can we, as mamas, expect to fuel our children if we are running on fumes or worse... totally empty? 

OUR CHILDREN NEED US TO BE HAPPY

Did you know that happiness is contagious? Laughter is contagious? Ever watch the Chewbacca Mask Lady? If that don't make you smile than your dead...seriously, check your pulse. If we start each day, okay each homeschool day, with a starved heart, mind or body, how can we expect to have the energy to fill our children with love and happiness? We can't! We need to take care of  our needs before we take care of our children. It's hard! Sometimes I realize about five or six pm that I haven't even put a bite of food in mouth. Or changed my clothes. How many of us are guilty of that one? I'm all about homeschooling in pjs but seriously how good do you feel if you haven't brushed your teeth or hair. Taking time for our self, if only five minutes, can make the difference between and good day and bad one. 

The majority of our bad days tend to happen when I haven't showered. It's the truth! If I feel gross I feel bad. The days that I make it a point to get up, get ready, and even put a little makeup on I find that I'm nicer and more patient with the kids. Am I alone? 

Point is...take care of yourself before everyone else!!! They'll thank you for it. 

HOW CAN WE PRACTICE SELF-CARE WHEN WE'RE SO BUSY

Okay so now that we know what self-care is and why we need it, let's talk about how we can practice self-care as busy homeschool moms.

I've compiled a list below of 100 SELF-CARE IDEAS FOR A HOMESHOOL MOM


I've also included links for some additional resources and great articles that will help you further your self-care practises.

1. Pray
This should be our first act of self-care even before we roll out of bed each morning. Asking God to grant us the strength, compassion, and understanding for the things that the day may bring. I pray for my self, children, and spouse. For others that have requested it. This time praying brings me peace and joy! 

2. Look in the Mirror, Name 3 Things You Love About Yourself
Everyone loves affirmation. Self-affirmation may sound weird to some but if you verbally address things you like about your self it increases your serotonin and puts a pep in your step. 

3. Get Dressed
You'll be amazed at what putting on a bra and cute comfy top will do for your homeschool day! Just trust me.

4. Brush Your Teeth
This is honestly one of the top three things that can make or break my day. If my teeth feel yucky, watch out world. Hell have no fury like a woman who's mouth feels gross. 

5. Curl Your Hair (or at least brush it)
This one is a biggie for me too. I can't stand the mom bun. Honestly because I've never been able to rock the cute messy bun look. I just look like a greasy headed man girl. No really. 

6. Get up Before the Kids
I know, I know this may be hard for some but trust me if you can manage even 30 minutes of quiet time you'll be in such a better more relaxed mood for the day. Develop a mom's power hour - read more on that here!

7. Make Your Coffee a Little Sweeter
Whether you like black, light or a little coffee with your sugar prepping some gourmet coffee or trying out a new creamer can add an extra little something to your mood as well.

8. Serve it in a Pretty Mug
I have a pretty mug addiction, Thanks too #mugshot on Instagram I'm addicted to cute trendy mugs. And don't even get me started on Christmas mugs. Choosing my mug for the day often sets the tone for the rest of the day.

9. Sit Outside While you Sip Your Morning Brew
It is scientifically proven that breathing in fresh air increases brain function and if you sit in the sun you can increase your energy levels by in taking a boost of Vitamin D.

10. Take a Walk
Or run but this girl don't run unless somethings chasing her. Adding a 10 minute walk to the first part of the day can increase your energy, help promote weight loss, and decrease anxiety.


11. Take Your Vitamins
Speaking of energy and vitamins. I've been taking a B super complex vitamin daily and I can definitely tell a difference in energy, mood, and overall health. 

12. Eat some Oatmeal
Okay so it doesn't have to be oatmeal but try to eat something good and filling for breakfast. I tend to put this one on the back burner a lot because I've never been a breakfast person but I love oatmeal, peanut butter, and bananas. Plus if I don't eat by the time we get into our lessons for the day I am one HANGRY mother! 

13. Make a To Do List for the Day
By braindumping your to do list on paper allows us to visualize our task and empty our heads. Allowing us to ponder on more meaningful things.

14. Plan out Your Homeschool Days
Okay this one is something I really think is important. Even though homeschooling gives us flexibility, having a plan helps keep us on track which ultimately decreases my anxiety and reduces confusion in our day. I'm an advocate for The Happy Planner. Check out my customized homeschool planner!

15. Knock Out the Chores
Getting the house cleaned and straightened up before school is a huge deal for me. I can't be the mom or teacher I want to be if I'm surrounded by mess. Again this lowers my anxiety, so for me this definitely self-care. If your the type that can let it go than by all means go for it! Whatever floats your boat. 

16. Start your Homeschool Day with Thanksgiving.
Have each person name something they are thankful for about the person to the right of them. Or tell each child a different reason you are thankful for them. Have them each do the same for you. This will make your mama heart happy!

17. As you Teach Your Kids be Mindful of Your Surroundings
As your day progresses pause for a few seconds to be mindful of your surroundings. What do you hear? What do you see? Taste? Feel? Smell? Name these things a loud or record them on a sticky note. Perhaps you'll see something you've been missing the whole time.

18. Take a Lunch Break
Like a real break. Don't clean. Don't do laundry or nothing. Just sit relax and eat lunch with your kids. Talk to them. 

19. Take a Nap
Rest is essential. Especially for a busy mom. Get in the habit of having quiet time for your entire family. If the kids don't nap have them read a book. Set a timer for 20 minutes. Just enough time to catch a short nap and gather some additional energy. Here's a great post on catching up on rest.

20. Read a Book


21. Send a Funny Snapchat
I'm so thankful I have crazy friends that endure my insanity. I'm also thankful snapchats erase after a few seconds. Mood enhanced...check!

22. Stretch

23. Eat a Piece of Chocolate (or 10)
Chocolate is a natural stimulant. Enjoy a few pieces. Savor the taste. 

24. Cross of Your To do List
There is something therapeutic about marking off things from a list! I love it! 

25. Check off Completed Lessons
Same goes for lessons your kids complete. Getting through our days are often tough so I find joy in checking off completed lessons.

26. Send the Kids Outside to Play

27. De-clutter 
There's something about trashing things that gives me peace. I'm serious, try it, start with a small area like a junk drawer and just get rid of the crap you don't need! 

28. Organize
For the crap you do need. Find a home for it. Organizing is one of my favorite things to do! There is something about a well organized space that just make my heart so happy.

29. Go Watch Your Kids Play Outside

30. Swing

I've always loved to swing. It's just so darn awesome!  

31. Rake Leaves and Jump In Them

32. Go On Nature Walks

33. Go to the Library
The Library is always so quiet and peaceful. I love going to the library especially on a rainy day. If you really want to treat yourself. Go to the Library by yourself. Find a nice comfy chair and just plop down for a few hours. 

34. Take a Field Trip
Getting the kids out of the house for a field trip is a good idea when you need a break. Make a day out of it. Go to the Park, your favorite restaurant, visit family.

35. Go to the Movies
Either by yourself or with a friend. Don't forget the Popcorn!

36. Make a Playdate
Take a break from lessons and just play! 

37. Join a Co-Op
Having a great homeschool group for support is one of my biggest pieces of advice. I love our homeschool group and the relationships I have built because of it. 

38. Serve Your Community
Volunteer. Go to Church. Coach Little League.

39. Random Acts Of Kindness
Leave a thank you for those that serve us. Make a self care package for the post man ( after all the Amazon packages he delivers, he deserves a little appreciation, right?)

40. Read a Devotional
A Good Devotional is key for any Christian seeking growth. As a homeschool mom I really enjoy self help books. One of my favorites currently is The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman. 


41. Swap Kids with a Friend
Such a great idea! Read more on that here! 

42. Listen to a Podcast

43. Binge Watch Netflix 

44. Go Shopping
Or window shopping. I love shopping online, filling my cart, and then closing out the window. It really is retail therapy. ;)

45. Call and Chat with Another Homeschool Mom
Having a homeschool mom friend is ahhhhmazing! Get one now! No now!

46. Journal

47. Scrapbook

48. Take Pictures Everyday

49. Write Down One Thing Your Thankful For Everyday

50. Get Out of the House By Yourself


51. Go to Zumba

52. Dance Party

53. Tell Jokes with Your Kids

54. Karaoke

55. Try a New Craft

56. Create Something

57. Make a Vision Board - More on that here! 

58. Meal Plan

59. Meal Prep

60. Budget


61. Save Money

62. Garden

63. Go Swimming

64. Practice Deep Breathing and Meditation with your Kids

65. Star Gaze

66. Take a Bubble Bath

67. Burn a Nice Smelling Candle or Some Essential Oils

68. Make Your Favorite Meal

69. Order Pizza 

70. Paint Your Nails


71. Do a Facial Mask

72. Color

73. Write Down Goals

74. Plan for the Next Day

75. Sip Some Tea Before Bed-
My Favorite is Lemon and Honey!

76. Online Shop ( I mean Browse)

77. Get a Haircut

78. Pinterest

79. Enjoy some Social Media

80. Cuddle Your Husband


81. Hold Your Kids

82. Play with Your Dog

83. Make some Just Because Gifts

84. Go on a Spontaneous Adventure (Yes, to Target counts)

85. Watch Your Favorite Chick Flick

86. Go to Bed Early

87. Stay Hydrated

88. Watch Some Funny Videos With Your Kids

89. Go to a Coffee Shop and Order Your Favorite Drink

90. Bake Some Cookies


91. Turn Your Phone Off For a Few Hours

92. Go Out With Friends

93. Go On a Date with Your Husband

94. Send the Kids to Grandmas ;)

95. Join a Bible Study

96. Pick or Buy Some Flowers for Your Kitchen

97. Have a Girls Night In (Craft Night, Pamper Night)

98. Wear Cute Pajamas

99. Pray with Your Family Before Bed

100. Thank God Daily


I sincerely hope that some of these ideas help you better your self. Remember YOU CAN'T POUR FROM AN EMPTY CUP! FILL UP! Take care of your self and everything else will fall into place! 

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