Taking good care of yourself is one of the most important things you can do to ensure that you are the best version of yourself for you and your kids. Despite its importance, it can be so difficult to carve out time to do things that are good for you. Specifically, as a single mom, you may find it hard to dedicate money for yourself when you have other obligations to attend to. Here are some ways you can prioritize self-care that won’t break the bank and leave you more stressed.
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1. Make Exercise a Priority
Exercise is beneficial in so many ways. Not only does it reduce stress, but it also helps maintain a healthy weight. As a mom, you need to make sure that your physical well-being is at its best so you can be able to take care of your babies without any issues. Taking the time to exercise for 30 mins to an hour each day can really make a difference in your health and overall well-being.
Here are a few ways you can prioritize exercise:
Workout at the gym
I love working out at the gym. I enjoy the music, ambiance, and seeing others working out motivates me to work out harder. Gyms also have a lot of great equipment you can use and different amenities that make it so relaxing to be there!
Most gyms, like 24 hr fitness, offer daycare services for 2 hrs at $20 per child. (Prices and offers may vary, please check your local facility for up to date information). This makes it so easy to attain your goals even when you don’t have babysitting.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to go to the gym as much as I used to! With two kids, two jobs, YouTube, and now blogging, it’s hard to find the time to go and spend a decent time there. That’s why I like this other option.
Workout from Home
If you are strapped on cash and can’t afford a gym membership or are unable to make it to the gym every day, you can work out from home or take advantage of your apartments’ gym.
There are so many different workouts online that you can watch and still get a pretty good workout in right from your living room!
All you need is a yoga mat and some weights if you want to do strength exercises. You may choose to just workout without these items and still burn a lot of calories! The best thing is you can work out at any time for any length!
Here are some of my favorite workout channels:
- POPSUGAR Fitness: https://www.youtube.com/user/popsugartvfit
- Live Lean TV: https://www.youtube.com/user/bradgouthrofitness
- Les Mills: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pGF6YZ3zAIA
If you are considering working out from home as an alternative to going to the gym, I would recommend you add the workout time to your schedule and list whatever workout program you will do so you can avoid any distractions when its time to work out.
2. Meal Prep for a Healthier You
Meal prepping is such a beneficial practice for new and single moms! You won’t really appreciate it until you have screaming babies, haven’t eaten all day, the house is a mess, and you still have a lot more to do! I have found myself in these situations way too much and so I try to make it a discipline to meal prep in order to avoid these moments.
I have found that I tend to be more impulsive when hungry and will reach for junk food for comfort. However, when I have my meals prepared, it promotes discipline and reduces the chances of eating junk. It’s also so much easier to grab and warm up food than to start cooking from fresh when you are already pressed for time.
I usually meal prep on Sunday and it takes me 4hrs to meal prep for the next two weeks. I like to meal prep my lunch and dinner only and then freeze them. I don’t prepare my breakfast because I like to make that in the morning.
In addition to meal prepping my meals, I will also meal prep my snacks and smoothies. This makes it easy to eat healthy snacks and I can have some on the go as well.
I have a video sharing how I meal prep my snacks and smoothies. Check it out:
If you are considering meal prepping, select a day when you know you have enough time to dedicate to this task. Plan out your meals and decide how many meals you will make. Sundays are a great day if you will be working all week.
Once you have listed your meals and know how long it will take to prepare, head to the grocery store and grab the items you need then go home and start your meal prep. I usually place all my food in the freezer immediately after cooking to maintain freshness and then defrost the morning of.
3. Pamper Yourself at Home
Oh, what I would give to be in a massage parlor right now getting my tired body massaged! Or just a simple nail job at the salon! Unfortunately, these are not luxuries I can afford right now as a single mom on a tight budget.
On the contrary, there are ways to create a spa-like feel at home and pamper yourself without overspending. For instance, you can purchase a few candles, bath bombs, and a nice rob and take plenty of relaxing baths in your bathroom.
Even more, if you like facials, you can purchase inexpensive products and take care of your skin from home. I like to do face masks 2-3 times a week and I have seen an improvement in my skin.
Additionally, you can do your own nails to save some coin. Nail products can be found at the dollar store for cheap making it easy for your nails to still look good.
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4. Create a Morning and Evening Skin Care routine
Create a daily skincare routine. Look for products that work with your skin and make it a habit to wash your face in the morning and evening. If you struggle with acne or other skin care issues, invest in procedures that can help you combat those problems.
In addition to moisturizing every day, you can incorporate other products into your routine. Using a toner can be beneficial to your skin by removing any toxins or residue. You can also use serums to revitalize your skin. Research the best products for your skin type and incorporate these into your routine.
One rule is never to sleep with makeup. Make sure you are taking off your makeup at the end of the night and applying products that rejuvenate your skin through the night.
5. Do Something You Enjoy
You used to be a human before your babies. One with hobbies and goals and ambitions and suddenly, you become a mom (a single mom) and suddenly your hobbies fade away and all you are left with is a mom focused on her kids alone.
Don’t get me wrong, your babies should be your main focus and that is why I am suggesting you prioritize you. Make time for the things you used to enjoy before you became a mom so you don’t get so lost in this role that you forget yourself.
I used to enjoy working out and I would do it almost every day, of course as I mentioned above, I don’t have that much time to exercise as I used to and I feel like I lost apart of myself because I don’t engage in that activity anymore. However, since its something that makes me happy, I want to find ways to still stimulate that side of me.
This is why I have been enjoying creating youtube videos and now blogging so much! These activities are bringing out my creative side and I love it! I also love the woman I am becoming as I dedicate myself to these hobbies. The skills I have gained and continue to gain are helping me well rounded and preparing me for other career paths.
By the way, if you aren’t subscribed to my YouTube channel, you can do so here. I post videos on motherhood, cleaning, lifestyle, and baby.
I say all these to show you that you can still make time to do activities that you enjoy and that make you happy! When you are happy and fulfilled, you are more likely to promote these in your children and also be the best version of yourself for them.
6. Invest in Yourself
Find ways to invest in your growth, whether it be for your career or personal ambitions. Investing in yourself ensures that you are taking steps towards a better version of yourself. Here are a few ways you can invest in yourself:
- Attend a conference
- Buy the course that will help you gain more skills
- Read more books related to your career
- Learn a new language
- Connect with other boss-moms
7. Budget and Save for Self-Care
If you find that you never have enough money to spend on yourself, you can budget and save specifically for self-care. Set aside a certain amount each paycheck to be spent on whatever you like. It could be makeup, a nice dress, handbag or shoes. You can also save for a conference you’ve been wanting to attend. You know this will be beneficial for you but you never seem to have the money. Plan for it and save up. The amount you choose to save is going to be based on your income and budget.
8. Dress up more often
There is something about dressing up, getting your hair done, putting makeup on, and a nice smelling perfume that really brings out a woman’s confidence. Yoga pants may be comfortable but they aren’t the only piece of clothing you should be wearing every day!
Make an effort on your appearance. Take the time to fix your hair and do your makeup. Select outfits that are flattering to your figure so that you look and feel good. Do this for you, not for any man or anyone else.
I have to admit that I spent the majority of the last two years in leggings, hair not done, not looking the best me and it played a role in me not getting on camera more. I was just getting accustomed to this role of a mother so I didn’t put much effort into my appearance and it affected how I felt about myself.
This year I am placing a greater emphasis on this to ensure that I look my best. Even though I work from home, I want to be presentable to me and to those I came across.
Do the following to ensure you always look your best:
- Find a few staple outfits that make dressing up easy.
- Take a shower and get dressed in the morning. I find that if I don’t get dressed up in the morning, the chances of me looking good the rest of the day go down significantly unless I have an event to attend later on in the day.
- Create an easy to follow morning routine that allows enough time for makeup and other things you need to do to feel like you.
- Put your clothes out at the beginning of the week and day to ensure you are not overwhelmed in the morning.
9. Take Care Of Your Emotional And Mental Health
Motherhood is stressful and overwhelming so take the time to evaluate how you are and how you feel. It’s really important that you take the time to understand how you feel. As a single mom, there are so many events that may take place in your life which can result in feelings of loneliness, disappointment, sadness, and even defeat. These feelings have to be acknowledged and dealt with instead of ignored. When you become more aware of yourself and your emotions, you are more likely to address any issues that may be contributing to those negative feelings.
You can do so by journaling your thoughts and meditating. Remove things from your life that drain you or don’t add any positive value. Set boundaries on the relationships in your life to ensure that only the proper people influence you.
10. Schedule time for you.
Have you ever felt like you wanted to just lock yourself in the bathroom where your kids won’t find you just so you can have some alone time and peace? Well you, my friend, need to schedule some “me” time ASAP!
Here are a few ways you can prioritize “me” time:
- Run a warm bath when your kids go to sleep, turn on your favorite music, book, or podcast and relax.
- Go out on an errand you enjoy.
- When the kids are asleep, enjoy a glass of wine while you watch Netflix.
- Take yourself out on a dinner or movie date.
- Go for a walk.
As shown above, there are many ways for you to prioritize self-care in your busy mom’s life without breaking the bank. This list is not extensive but I hope it gives you some ideas of how you start to put you first more so your kids can the best of you.
What are some steps you take to ensure you take care of yourself? Leave them in the comments!
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