Maximizing Your Self-Care as a Busy Mother

November 2, 2023

Vanessa Leveille

Lifestyle
Matrescence
wellness
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I'm a therapist-mom who writes in hopes of helping moms of color navigate the matrescence journey and create a more harmonious and fulfilling life.

Motherhood
Mental Health
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Hi, I'm vanessa

When the Messages Aren’t Quite Right

As mothers, we’re bombarded with messages about wellness and self-care. Social media is filled with influencers and gurus who promote practices like daily yoga, meditation, and green smoothies. Most wellness messages and influencers don’t take into account the realities of motherhood. As mothers, we don’t always have the luxury of hours-long yoga retreats or extended meditation sessions. While these practices are certainly beneficial, they don’t always take into account the unique challenges that come with motherhood.

For mothers, who are navigating matrescence, have tiny humans to care for, businesses to run or work to do, and households to manage it can be difficult to find the time and energy to focus on wellness. While we know it’s important to prioritize our wellness, we need to do so in a way that is realistic and sustainable for our lives.

For example, I remember feeling guilty when I couldn’t keep up with the daily body movement practice recommended by my favorite wellness influencer. I tried to squeeze in a few simple workout routines during my baby’s nap time, and if you stick around long enough, you’ll learn that my baby’s naps were always short-lived leaving me anxious that he was going to wake before I even started…. So these workout sessions always left me feeling more stressed than relaxed. Yea, it got done sometimes, but if it’s just another thing to check off my list, chances are I’m not enjoying it.

Redefining Wellness on my Terms

It wasn’t until I realized that I needed to find practices that fit my life, rather than trying to fit my life around someone else’s suggestions, that I was able to prioritize my wellness in a way that felt authentic and nourishing. It’s not that we don’t want to prioritize our wellness and self-care, but these suggestions, from well-meaning gurus, can actually cause more stress, guilt, and burnout if we try to follow them as prescribed.

This is where the wellness scale I created comes in. It’s a simple but powerful tool that can help you prioritize your well-being in a way that actually works for your life. The scale is designed to help busy mothers practice wellness rituals and self-care practices that can be broken down into two categories of energy (low and high) and two categories of effort (low and high). By using this scale, mothers can determine their level of energy and the level of effort they have at the moment to engage in meaningful practice.

How to Use the Scale

Let’s say you wake up feeling tired and drained, but you know you still want to incorporate some daily body movement. Instead of trying to force yourself to do a high-energy, high-effort workout, you can choose a low-energy, low-effort practice like stretching or taking a leisurely walk with your child. Alternatively, if you wake up with a little more energy and really need to release some stress, you can choose a high-energy, high-effort practice like a kickboxing class or a run.

The same goes for other dimensions of wellness, like emotional, mental, and spiritual. If you’re feeling emotionally drained, you can choose a low-energy, minimal-effort practice like journaling or taking a relaxing bath. If you’re feeling mentally overwhelmed, you can choose a low-energy, low-effort practice like reading or doing a puzzle. And if you’re feeling spiritually disconnected, you can choose a high-energy, high-effort practice like attending a meditation class.

Benefits of Redefining Wellness Using the Scale

Three benefits of the wellness scale:

  1. Tailored to your unique needs: The wellness scale I created takes into account your energy level and the level of effort for the practice, allowing you to choose a wellness activity that is tailored to your unique needs. Whether you have a few spare minutes or a full hour, there’s a wellness practice that will work for you.
  1. Reduces guilt and stress: By using this scale, you can let go of the guilt and stress that comes with trying to follow wellness trends that don’t fit your life. You can feel confident that you’re doing what’s right for you and your family, without sacrificing your own well-being.
  1. Validates your experiences: Matrescence is a complex and often isolating experience. When we use this wellness scale, we’re able to name and validate our experiences, which can be incredibly empowering. We can take ownership of our wellness and recognize that it’s not selfish to prioritize ourselves – in fact, it’s necessary for us to be the best mothers, business owners, employer, and individuals we can be.

Do What Works for You

Motherhood is a beautiful and rewarding journey, but it can also be incredibly challenging and exhausting. As mothers, we are constantly juggling the demands of raising our children, managing our businesses, tending to our jobs, taking care of the home, and trying to take care of ourselves. And when it comes to self-care and wellness, it can feel like we are being flooded with advice that just doesn’t fit our lives. 

By using this wellness scale, we can choose practices that work for our unique circumstances and reduce the stress and guilt that comes with trying to follow trends that don’t fit. Remember that each individual’s energy and effort levels may differ depending on various factors, and it’s important to listen to your body and do what feels right for you.

The scale is simply a tool to help you identify practices that align with your current energy levels and desired effort. By prioritizing our own well-being, we’re able to show up as the best version of ourselves for our families, businesses, and communities. 

Click this link to download the wellness scale and start creating an impact in your wellness today. And leave me a note below if you used it and found it helpful.

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this blog post. What resonated with you most? What questions do you have? Share your insights and experiences in the comments section below.

If you’re ready to work with a therapist, who is a mother herself in her journey of Matrescence who just gets you, book your free 20-minute consultation here.

Together, we can create a supportive community for moms of color, sharing our journeys, encouraging each other, and finding strength in our shared experiences.

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