Whether your idea of self-care is reading a favorite book, taking a yoga class or a long soak in the tub, it can be much easier to dream about your plans than make them a reality. I talked with Stacey Johnson, LPC, and mom of eight to get her top tips in making self-care a priority in 2021, plus how to get the whole family involved!
Every Sunday think about your week ahead, look at your calendar and schedule time for self-care. You don’t have to fill the week; just pick one thing you can schedule at the same day and time every week. Remember that self-care can just take 10 to 15 minutes. Stacey loves to get in a little cardio while listening to her favorite podcast or try out a new face mask. I enjoy going for a run, reading a novel or cooking a favorite meal. You’ll be surprised how little time it takes to improve your whole mood.
Engage in self-care as a family.
Find activities you can invite your kids into. Stacey’s family uses the Calm app to meditate together for 20 minutes (even her husband loves it!). Together they listen to peaceful, calming words and her kids learn that it’s important to make time to be still and listen to their bodies. My family loves taking walks or hiking together to enjoy the fresh air and get our blood pumping.
Include conversation in your self-care time.
When you share self-care activities together, talk about how it’s benefiting you. If you’re meditating, talk about how your mind and body are growing and learning. If you’re cooking, talk about how the ingredients you’re using are good for your body. Discuss why it’s important to make time for self-care together and individually (bonus: kids will better understand why mom needs time for herself each week!).
Listen for more of Stacey Johnson’s advice in a recently-released episode of Raising OKC Kids where we talk about self-care ideas, managing mom guilt, the top threats to moms’ mental health, the importance of affirming ourselves as moms and the number one things moms can do in the new year to strengthen their families’ mental health at metrofamilymagazine.com/
Stacey Johnson is a licensed professional counselor in private practice at The Purple Couch where she leads individual and group counseling and co-leads couples counseling with her husband. She holds a master’s degree in marriage and family therapy and certification in experiential therapy and the Daring Way curriculum to help women develop shame resilience and transformative courage. She is founder of Single Space, a community of encouragement for single women that meets across chapters in three cities every year, a speaker and leader of whole health women’s mastermind groups and host of The Girly Bliss podcast. Her greatest joy and accomplishment are her eight children. Follow her on Instagram @staceyjlife or her website staceyjohnson.life.
This column is the seventh in a year-long series on family mental wellness, written by local experts on topics pertinent to parents and children. Columnists include Johnson, Dr. Erica Faulconer, pediatrician at Northwest Pediatrics and mom of three; Thai-An Truong, LPC, LADC, in private practice as a postpartum therapist and mom of two; Jeanae Neal, registered behavior therapist and mom of one; and Dr. Lisa Marotta, a psychologist, writer, speaker and mom in private practice in Edmond.