Listen up, mamas. Self-care isn’t self-ish. It’s putting the oxygen mask on yourself first, so you can think clearly and act decisively to care for your family.

Sure, it can be indulgent — a spa day, complete with girlfriends and champagne. A total escape from the moment-to-moment decisions and needs of everyday life. There are plenty of marketing professionals peddling that idea. 

And while there’s nothing wrong with it, for many of us, self-care might look more like taking 5 minutes to shower, 10 minutes to read or 45 seconds to tidy the mudroom. 

Scroll down for dozens of great ideas on how to take care of ourselves from smart moms across the vast City Mom Collective network. 

But first… 

self-care

A Quick History Lesson

Self-care is nothing new. Throughout history, humans were responsible for their own health and that of their families and community. In Western countries, modern medicine had advanced enough by the 1960s that self-care temporarily was discouraged. “Leave it to the experts,” they said. 

Since that time, there has been a resurgence in self-care. It started with the idea of patients using exercising or healthy eating to manage or prevent illnesses. These days, it includes almost anything that reduces stress and improves health. 

Running. Massage. Bubble baths. Yoga.

There is even a day (July 24) and a foundation dedicated to it. The International Self-Care Foundation highlights seven pillars of self-care

  • Health literacy 
  • Mental Wellbeing 
  • Physical activity 
  • Healthy eating 
  • Risk avoidance or mitigation 
  • Good hygiene
  • Rational and responsible use of products, services, diagnostics and medicines

Importantly, in a time when many are struggling to pay for health care, self-care can be the most effective, least expensive way to boost health and prevent chronic disease. 

Check out Cleveland Clinic’s article promoting five healthy habits that prevent chronic disease. It discusses how unhealthy lifestyles can lead to things like cancer, cardiovascular disease, diabetes, COPD and stroke. More importantly, it discusses how small changes can make a big difference in your long-term health. 

Self-Care Ideas from Fellow Moms

We know self-care is good for us. 

So, what do we do and how, exactly, do we do it? Dozens of moms from across our sprawling network have shared their tips and tricks. Read on for some of the best. 

Then, take some action. Take care of yourself. It’s the very best thing you can do for your family because as my grandma used to say, “If mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”

Getting Into the Self-Care Mindset

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Tips, Tricks & How-Tos

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Overcoming Obstacles

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Challenges

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