Self-Care & The Working Mom
We had the opportunity to connect with Kristen Hurrell, a Clinical Psychologist with an almost three year old daughter who is balancing the act of completing her doctorate, while juggling the adjustment of parenting. She recently opened up a private practice in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan where she's choosing to focus her clinical work on maternal adjustment, perinatal and postpartum mental health, and other women's health issues. She's been an amazing resource for our community, and wanted to offer her advice on Self-Care for working moms out there.
The balance act of a working mother can be a stressful and daunting time. Family needs always seem to be prioritized over a mother's much-needed personal time. It is important for women to take some time for themselves, as taking adequately care of others is not possible if you cannot sufficiently take care of yourself. The following are some helpful suggestions on how mothers can engage in self-care.
Put in on the calendar!
Prioritizing self-care is JUST as important as any other “to-do” on your list. Early mornings or late at night after your child or children go to bed sometimes can be the best ways to schedule that time in for yourself. Putting it on your calendar makes it real and one thing you can “check off” for yourself.
Use Self-Care Apps
Our tech-savvy society allows mothers to access helpful self-care strategies at the touch of our fingertips. Mindfulness apps like Headspace, Calm, and Insight Timer are free meditation and mindfulness apps that can help one cultivate relaxation wherever you are and at any time.
Make fitness fun
Did you know exercise is one of the most effective ways of reducing overall stress? In fact, the endorphins that are released when we exercise have been shown to promote overall mental health in a way that is comparable to some anti-depressants. Many fitness studios and gyms offer introductory offers or special rates to try out their studio for a brief period of time. This is a great way to look in your area by work or home to convenient ways to get your sweat on in before or after work or near your home. You could also meet up with a fellow mom to create accountability in your workouts and enjoy some social time as well! Releasing endorphins has been shown to help alleviate stress and tension, allowing you to be more centered, focused, and relaxed at work and at home.
Simplify your beauty routine
Fan of massages? Check out Groupon for deals within your area!
Love a fresh coat of nail polish but can’t find the time to schedule an appointment? Buy a nice nail polish and other manicure supplies from a beauty supply store and do them at home during nap time.
Check out a beauty mask to allow yourself time to decompress after a long day. They’re fairly inexpensive and a nice way to take a moment and relax.
Take advantage of early mornings
Sometimes setting your alarm an extra fifteen minutes (or more) before the rest of your family is set to awaken can make a huge difference. Enjoying a hot cup of coffee or eating breakfast alone while watching the news or catching up on your email can get your recharged and ready for the day. Stealing some small pockets of time to yourself when you can add up in a big way.
About the author: Dr. Kristen Hurrell, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist who specializes in individual therapy. She has chosen to specialize in areas that include (but are not limited to) prenatal and postpartum mental health, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, relationship difficulties, family conflict, parenting issues, loss and grief, self-esteem, and adjustment. She is currently accepting patients for her private practice in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. For any additional questions or concerns, please contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.