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Episode 70 // Self care makes you a better mom: Boost your family’s emotional wellness (and reduce that mom anger) with 15 minutes a day

What are we talking about today?

What do you think about when I say… “self care.” Do you think it’s something selfish? That you’d never have time for it? Is it a buzzword that you’re not really even sure what it means?

It is my goal with this podcast and blog that you will love your people well… and a big part of that is loving YOURSELF well. Partly because you matter! But also, let’s be honest, because loving ourselves helps us love others. We can give to our kids when we have the emotional energy to give. We can show patience, kindness, and compassion when we’ve first been filled up ourselves. 

And a big part of that is self care. 

So that’s what we’re talking about today, friend. What is “self care” and why does it matter? How does it help you AND your family? Is it realistic for a busy mom? Is it appropriate for a Christian woman?

Good questions. Let’s dive in.

Listen to Episode 70:

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Snag your resources here!

If today’s topic is meaningful to you, you’ll also want to check out these earlier podcast episodes that connect with this same topic:

  • Episode 5 // Listen up, friend. You matter!! Why self care and mental health matter for the Christian woman. 
  • Episode 6 // Are you too busy for self care? Here are 3 practical, realistic action steps to love yourself well.
  • Episode 27 // How To Grab Some Quick ‘Me Time’ In Your Daily Schedule… Without Dealing With Mom Guilt About Your Self Care!

Let me also offer a FREE resource that I know will be helpful:

When you find a spare 15 minutes, don’t get stuck wondering what to do for “good self care.” Just pull out my free 51 Self Care Ideas listand try something out! This simple list will get you started and spark your creativity.

[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.] 

Today's Episode Highlights

Let’s start with the simple truth: self care matters. It has a huge impact not only on your own personal mental health and that never fun struggle with mom anger, it actually blesses and strengthens your entire family. 

That’s right, mama. Your time spent caring for yourself boosts your entire family’s emotional wellness. 

Wondering why that’s true? Or how to actually find time and engage in good self care?

Why self care is important

There are two simple truths that we need to start with. 

You matter. Yes, your kids matter. Your marriage matters. The volunteer activities you do at church matter. Your friends matter. But, please don’t forget, you matter too. 

The other truth to remember is that you will burn out if you don’t take care of yourself. Just last week we talked about the daily sacrifices we make as moms and how difficult that can be (listen here). If you give give give and don’t take a pause to refresh yourself, you won’t make it! You won’t enjoy motherhood. You won’t keep your tempter in the hard moments. You will emotionally burn out.

My definition of self care

This is a buzzword right now, and people sometimes talk about self care in a way that isn’t actually very biblical, healthy, or even realistic. So let me take a moment and define what I mean by self care. 

I believe that good self care must include 4 things:

  1. It is an activity that FILLS YOU UP. Not social media, and probably not binging a TV show, if only because they are too passive and tend to increase anxiety and loneliness.
  2. Self care must be something that MAKES YOU FEEL GOOD. Not in a selfish or unholy way – in a God-honoring, enjoying the good gifts He’s given you way. 
  3. It is something that ENERGIZES YOU OR REFRESHES YOU. It must fuel you to get back up and continue on with your busy, possibly stressful, sometimes discouraging, definitely hectic mom life.
  4. It is an activity that you DO INTENTIONALLY. You might enjoy various parts of your day – I hope that you do! But “self care” should include intentionality. It should be purposefully planned into your day and routine.

How your self care impacts your whole family

One of the biggest excuses that we make for avoiding self care is that we feel selfish. We think we are stealing time from our family. It’s not true! (Well, it can be true… if you aren’t really doing good self care.)

The reality is, the old cliche is true – “if mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.” Think about it. Your kids notice if you are in a bad mood. Your husband can tell when you’re faking a smile. And without some good self care time, as you get more and more exhausted, you won’t be happy about it. 

But also, self care improves your mental health (less anxiety and more peace; less anger and more calm) while also refreshing you so that you have more energy to give to your family. And you can give it willingly! Happily!

Finally, please remember that your self care is modeling for your kids what healthy, intentional living looks like. They will see what you are doing and the impact it has. 

Excuses that we make

Before we wrap up, let me speak for a moment to the voices in your head. You know the ones I’m talking about: the excuses you make for not engaging in self care right now. These are common barriers to good self care, but we want to stop them in their tracks. 

  • We feel selfish. Except, as we’ve already talked about… self care actually helps you love your family even better.
  • Our schedule is too busy. But in reality, self care does not need to take a lot of time. And if you really can’t find 10 minutes on a regular basis, you are too busy. Something needs to change.
  • Everyone needs us. Well, yes, plenty of people need you. But they need a healthy you. A joyful you. A happy you. And at the end of the day, you are not responsible for everything and everyone.
  • We don’t know what to do or think we don’t have money for self care. It does not need to be expensive or time-consuming! Grab my free 51 Self Care Ideas List to get started.
  • We waste time on mindless things that we THINK are self care. Ouch. It hurts to realize that we did take time away from our family, without actually being refreshed by it. Yes, you are probably spending time in wasteful ways – but good self care isn’t that.
  • We idolize “productivity” and “effectiveness” and, I would argue, misunderstand the Proverbs 31 woman. Frankly, this is a problem in our entire culture and even within the church. God did not create you to be “productive,” and you are only “effective” as you lean into him and care for things the way He desires… including yourself!

Practical tips to get you started

I’m confident that at lease one of those excuses has held you back in the past. But no more, my friend! As you seek to allow yourself time and space for self care, here are two tips to get you started.

First, don’t worry about the amount of time. Fifteen minutes might be a good starting point, not because of science or research or anything else, but because it’s enough and it’s realistic. You may find it most realistic to simply add 5-10 minutes onto the end of a regular routine in your day and use that time (before going to the next thing) for self care. Just finished getting your toddlers dressed for the day? Pause. Do some self care. Now continue on to clean the kitchen. 

Second, put your self care plan into your planner! Personally, I love The Hope Planner (check it out here) because it is simple and elegant and helps me keep my priorities straight. But whatever planner you use, or whiteboard calendar, or digital app, add this into your schedule or set up a reminder for yourself. It will help!

Friday Faith Follow-up

As we talk about self care this week, let me address a common pushback that I hear in the church. Some people believe that “self care” is not appropriate for Christians.

I disagree. And in this quick bonus episode, I want to encourage you with the biblical reasons I see for investing in self care (good, healthy, and genuine self care!) and ideas for how to live it out in the best possible way – for God’s glory and your family’s good.

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A reminder of the Disclaimers & Disclosures Policy: I am an affiliate with many of the resources I recommend, which means I may receive a small commission if you make a purchase through my provided links. I never recommend products I don’t love! Also, I am a licensed therapist but this podcast is not therapy. It is not professional or personal advice to your specific situation. Get info about professional counseling here.