Self-care isn't selfish or optional. Make it a priority!

An A-Z Guide: M – Make Self-Care a Priority

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It’s hard work growing a business. And raising kids. Plus keeping the house clean enough to live in, and making sure everyone eats. Whew! It’s easy to get burnt out.

Today’s tip is geared at keeping you sane, so you still have energy to tackle things.

You must make time for you.

Self-care isn’t optional.

Trust me, I tried to live like it was. I stayed up late and got up super early. Then I didn’t take breaks when I should have. I kept pushing myself.

When you put yourself on the back burner for too long, sometimes everything seems to go up in flames.  I was an angry mess, who was constantly battling colds.

But thankfully, the Lord and my husband didn’t’ give up on me. I learned an important lesson about taking care of myself.

It Doesn’t Always Require a Ton of Time

Life is busy! So it’s important to come up with a list of ways to help you feel recharged. Here are some to get you started:

  • Spend a few minutes outside.
  • Put a puzzle together with the kids, or play a quick game.
  • Take a walk.
  • Use high quality supplements. (Here are the ones I started taking a few months ago! <= not an affiliate link, but a link to my friend’s page.)
  • Drink a glass of water.
  • Touch your toes twenty times and do a few stretches.
  • Breath deeply. (I like the two-minute Relax option on my FitBit!)
  • Read a few verses in the Bible.
  • Pray.

Schedule Longer Periods

A few minutes of self-care here and there is great, but it’s not all you need! Purposefully schedule longer chunks of time to focus on you and what you enjoy. You might:

  • Put the kids to bed and enjoy a nice dinner at home with your spouse.
  • Watch a movie.
  • Go on a family drive.
  • Stop working on the weekends.
  • Unplug for an entire day (or weekend!)
  • Take a bath.
  • Bring the kids to Grandma’s house and take a nap. (Thanks Mom!)
  • Go shopping by yourself (even if it’s just window shopping.)
  • Play a video game from your childhood (we love playing Mario games on the virtual console on our Wii!)
  • Drop your work and go swimming for the afternoon.
  • Head out of town for a mini-vacation.
  • Hike up a mountain.
  • Go fishing.
  • Regularly spend time reading the Bible.

Or your list of activities you enjoy may look completely different. It doesn’t matter what you do, as long as it’s something you enjoy.

Make it a point right now to schedule yourself some downtime. Put it on the calendar. And make sure you stick to it!

Prioritize Rest

It’s really not healthy to burn the candle at both ends all the time. I know projects come up and occasional late nighters are needed. But, if you don’t want to end up an angry mess, you must prioritize rest.

I said rest instead of sleep for a reason! My son Owen has Angelman Syndrome, and pretty severe sleep issues as a result. I haven’t consistently slept well in 11 years, even though he’s on two sleep meds. Yikes!

But, if I can rest at night (even if I can’t sleep deeply), it helps. This means:

  • Not playing on my smartphone when I should be sleeping (which for some reason I’ve started doing again lately…I need to just shut it off before I go to sleep!)
  • Keeping the lights off or dimmed.
  • Ensuring I get plenty of movement during the day so I’m actually tired.
  • Building sleep routines.
  • Keeping pillows and blankets near the couch (where I almost always end up with the baby and Owen).

Stay Hydrated

How much water do you drink each day? Until recently, I was always dehydrated. I just didn’t know it. People need a lot of water!

So go fill up a glass right now and drink. I’ll wait. 😀

Here are some common symptoms of dehydration:

  • Headaches
  • Fuzzy thinking
  • Moodiness
  • Dizziness
  • Dry mouth
  • Feeling tired or sluggish

How much work are you honestly going to get done when you feel like that? Well, honestly you’ll probably still get quite a bit done, but you won’t be working at your full capacity.


Sitting in front of a computer all day isn’t healthy! Get up and move frequently. Kids are a huge benefit in this area. They won’t let us sit too long, because they’ll be:

  • Hungry
  • Tired
  • Wet
  • Bored
  • Hurt

So many reasons for us to get up throughout the day. While you’re up, take a walking loop around the house. Do jumping jacks with your kids (preschoolers and jumping jacks crack me up!). Make a quick obstacle course.

Get in the habit of moving. Then you can add in some more serious exercise. I like to walk and hike. What do you enjoy?

Self-care isn't optional when you're working at home with kids!

What Are Your Self-Care Tips?

Please share how you take care of you in the comments. Let’s encourage each other to take care of ourselves. Because if we don’t do that, we can’t take care of anyone else well!

Tomorrow, let’s talk about noise!

N is the next letter of the alphabet, and tomorrow we’ll be talking all about noise! Come back then if your house with kids is noisy! 😀

Please share!

I’d love for you to share this post with others who are building a business while raising kids. Everyone can benefit from some self-care!



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Mompreneur - Freelance Writer & VA, Blogger at Lisa Tanner Writing

Lisa Tanner loves helping busy moms find time to grow their own business. As a homeschooling mom to nine, she knows a thing or two about balancing diapers and deadlines.