5 Ways to Practice Self-Care

February 8, 2018


The Importance of Taking Time For Yourself - M Loves M @marmar

Stress is one of the worst things for our body and it’s something I want to keep at a minimum if I can help it. I feel like more often than not, we get caught up in the busyness of everyday life that we become more overwhelmed than we need to be. Yesterday was a hard day and it made me think about how important it is to practice self-care. Not just for myself, but also for my family and friends. I’m going to tell you a little bit about my real life day yesterday {tears were shed}, along with 5 Ways to Practice Self-Care. I feel like this is a post I really needed to write so I can remind myself how crucial it is for my personal wellbeing. I hope you find it helpful too, no matter what you’re going through.

a feminine floral dress to wear this springobsessed with this pretty navy and pink floral dress from Eliza J! Such a cute party dress for spring!


Ok so about yesterday:

Ugh it was rough. Rough in the new mom sense of “Hey, I’m still trying to figure this whole motherhood thing out!” I was constantly wishing the day away, basically counting down the hours where I could just sit by myself and not have a little person hanging onto my legs, pulling my hair, throwing food everywhere, and squawking very loudly in my ear. I felt stressed, tired, and it seemed like all of a sudden I’ve been thrown in the toddler tantrum world, completely unprepared. Let’s just say I was really looking forward to bedtime, for both of us!

One thing that’s been on my mind though is that I need to get my gel manicure off {I have such a love/hate relationship with them- love that they last 2-3 weeks but hate how damaging they are}. I’ve been constantly picking at my nails this week {hi, stress!} and I didn’t want to damage them any further so I knew I needed to get them properly removed. I found a salon open late that could take off the gel. I was sitting there at 8pm, barely able to keep my eyes open, spilled food on my dress, scratch marks on my arms, and the most unbrushed/uncared for sad sort of a ponytail. It was an unglamorous, real mom moment. I was feeling guilty for being there when I should be home, making dinner, doing work, cleaning the house, etc., etc., etc., and all of a sudden the tears started coming. So ridiculous right?! I know there are people going through much much harder times than I am {I was getting a manicure for gosh sake!}, and I debated even sharing this, but I’m sure many of you have been there too. You reach a point where you just feel unbelievably overwhelmed and totally beat down by life and obligations. All I wanted to do was get out of that salon and bury my head under the covers of my bed and wake up to a clean house, a happy baby, an empty inbox, and a well-rested self. I couldn’t wait to get out of there.

Funny enough though, I left the nail salon feeling a little lighter. Life can be hard sometimes and while toughing it out can seem like the best or “strongest” option, sometimes you just have to take a step back and take some time for you. You don’t have to tough it out. I honestly think that this 30-minute break was just what I needed. I did something for myself – a manicure as opposed to picked off gel that would damage my nails, and I got outside of my normal day to day element. Usually, when I put Augustine to sleep, I’ll go and make dinner and then get straight on my computer. Last night I got a manicure, picked up take-out, because why not, and then came back home. I even took a bath- complete with special salts! It was honestly just what I needed and it really helped me turn the day around. Sometimes you just need a deep breath and a little space.

Today I thought I’d share with you a few reasons why it’s so important to take time away from our busy daily schedules and some self-care tips that have really worked for me. You might guess a few of them!

a feminine outfit for spring from LA and OC fashion blogger M Loves M @marmar adding a pop of red into your wardrobe! Love this cute and super affordable bag! flowy bell sleeve floral dress from Nordstrom -  M Loves M @marmar


dress . heels . bag . earrings . cufflipstick in Blast Off .

5 Ways to Practice Self-Care

Taking time to do some self-care really is so vital and important. Here are a few reasons why self-care is important and some ways I take time to stop and reflect.

Keep a Gratitude Journal: Daily reminders of gratitude has been linked to being physically and emotionally beneficial. I keep a gratitude journal to remind me of all the little things I love and appreciate, especially when it comes to Augustine. Can you believe I’ve been using this journal with Augustine since Day 1? I think it would make such a thoughtful gift for a new mom! This book + flowers/a home-cooked meal would mean a lot in the early days!  But back to the gratitude journal! I think spending five minutes in the morning to quickly write out a few thoughts sets your day in the right direction. I often don’t get that chance until Augustine’s first nap, but I try to do it when I can because it really makes such a difference in my outlook.

Take a Break: I like to think of this as the adult time out. Take five minutes, or more if you can! Go for a walk outside, take an afternoon coffee break, spend time with a good book, or my favorite… take a long hot bath. Find something that relaxes and reenergizes you, free from the daily distractions in life. You’ll come back refreshed and ready to take on the remainder of the day or at least have a good night sleep.

Learning to Say No: This is something I always struggle with because I really wish I could do it all. Unfortunately, I can’t but that’s OK! Learning to say no has helped me prioritize my week and my times of rest. Normally I’d find an empty spot in my schedule and fill it up with a project instead of using that time to take a break for myself. This year I’m really trying to prioritize my health, and that means learning when to say no and accepting those times of peace.

Meditate/Work Out: Sometimes the best way to relieve stress is to quiet your mind. It can also be the hardest! Taking a few moments to quiet your thoughts can actually help relieve stress.  Other benefits can include emotional stability and help with your immune system. Taking time to be mindful and in the present moment is a daily gift you can give yourself- and it’s free! I just downloaded the Calm App which I hear is a really great way to bring meditation into your daily life. I’ll let you all know what I think once I start using it!

Eating Healthily and Mindfully: One of the best things we can do for our bodies (and souls) is fuel it with good quality food. So often we’re running from place to place and attempting to multitask eating on the road. I love spending time in the kitchen, creating new recipes to try {like this one} and gathering my family around the table for some quality time.  That to me is the best self-care we can ask for.

Would love to know if you have any self-care tips + tricks that have worked for you. I’d love to hear! And here’s another post that I really needed to re-read today: Ways to be the Best You! #4 has been on my mind a lot these days.

Hope you all have a great Thursday and thanks so much for stopping by!


Some Items to Help to Get You in the Mood for Self-Care

loungewear cardigan . blanket . robe .  pajama pants . water bottle . leggings. candle . aromatherapy mist  . bath salts . gratitude journal .

  • Sandra Manley

    This is so timely! Chicago has been gloomy and cold, and it’s taken a toll on how I generally function! I just scheduled my first manicure in several months, and I can’t wait to feel just a little more polished on the outside, even if I don’t feel polished on the inside. These days I’ve been listening to more classical/ jazz music. I feel like it forces me to slow down. That and Otis Redding!

    Great post, Mara, and that dress is just stunning! Perfect for your complexion!

    • aw that will be so nice for you Sandra!! I totally agree that manicures can make the world of difference! And I love that you love jazz and classical music too! Whenever I listen it always makes me feel so much more peace. Heart you Sandra!!

  • Diana

    Someone once told me that if it matters to me, it matters—whether the problem seems trite or little in comparison to others’ problems. I have also come across a quote that goes something along the lines of “telling someone they shouldn’t be sad (or upset) because others have it worse is no different than telling someone they shouldn’t be happy because others have it better.” I try to keep those two ideas in the back of my mind when I’m having a day because it’s easy to feel guilty if I take time to de-stress, but you’re so right when you say it’s important not only for me, but for the people I care about. All this to say, I love and respect your transparency and authenticity in this post. I don’t have kids yet, but I know so many moms who can relate to your day, and in my (very inexperienced with motherhood) opinion, there’s no shame in it. You aren’t just a mother, you’re a human and all of us humans need a break sometimes. No one runs on autopilot, even if sometimes we’d all like to. I’m glad you were able to break away for a little while to refresh yourself. You deserve it! Thank you for your sincere approach to this post and for the tips! I’ve been wanting to start a gratitude journal for a while and this reminded me of that. Some things I do for self-care include face masks, taking a long shower to wash off the day, and just sitting in silence listening to the sounds around me. Even watering my flowers/plants helps me to unwind. It might seem insignificant, but taking the few minutes to tend to something I’ve helped grow gives me a sense of pride and bonus — they’re so nice to look at!

    • Diana, thank you SO much for this comment! Honestly it means so much that you would share these words with me because they’re just what I needed to hear. I couldn’t agree more with all these things you said. I know that every human needs a break and it’s so easy for anyone (mom or not) to get overwhelmed with the busy busyness of life. Thank you Diana! Appreciate you and your support so so much!

  • I so relate to this post! Since being preggo I have been going and going most of the time and, one a couple of occasions, have just broken down with the weight of built up emotions. When I wrote a post on this I too spoke about not wanting to focus on the negative, but also wanted to be honest with myself and others. A good friend made a comment and reminded me “Talking about the bad doesn’t take away from the good, it magnifies it.” You’re doing a great job mama! http://www.chasingbelle.com

    • aw Jessie I know those emotions all too well! Pregnancy can do a number on your hormones but those feelings are still real and worth being validated. And I love the quote your friend shared. It’s so inspiring. Thanks Jessie!! Thinking about you!!

  • Carla

    This is so real and absolutely truthful! Been there done that….and will probably continue to do that! I guess God continues to remind me that if I had it all figured out, I wouldn’t need Him. So, I’m continuing to learn that I have to be ok with dirty dishes, lots of unfolded laundry, not so good days, and times when I just need to be alone with Him :)…Keep pressing and pushing! I’m sure you’re doing WAY better than you may even think with mommyhood! Continue to enjoy the journey….it’s the best hard work we’ll ever do! xoxo, Carla http://www.glamourandglue.com.

    • aw thank you so so much Carla! This message really speaks to me. I know God is with us, through our imperfections. I need to remind myself of that. Thank you so so much for sharing!

  • Paige Cassandra Flamm

    That dress is gorgeous! I’m obsessed!


    • thanks Paige! I loove the sleeves! It’s so pretty!!

  • Tali

    So brave of you to bring this up Mara bc a lot of us feel the exact same way but don’t want to share it bc we think theres so many things we need to be greatful for. We’re human and and theres only so much we can take. Everyone’s situation is diff and ea one of us goes through diff things and what might be easy for one can be tough for another. Thanks for sharing and hope you have a great rest of your week ♥

    • Thank you so much Tali! I seriously debated deleting this text and just sharing my outfit, but I felt like I needed to write about it. I know it’s silly to be overwhelmed about these things but we all feel things and they’re worth validating. Thank you for being so sweet!

  • Thank you so much for sharing this! Life is hard, even when we have things to be grateful for! It’s easy to think we shouldn’t be overwhelmed or upset if somebody is going through worse things but at the end of the day we all go through different things that are challenging. I love the tips that you shared!

    xx Chelsea

    • You’re so right! Thank you so much Chelsea for your sweet message. It really and truly means a lot. I know everyone feels things in their own way so while this seems so small it seemed so BIG yesterday!

  • Sprinkle ofSurprise

    I love this post!! Thanks for sharing your story, i totally 100% feel you and i aint even a mom yet. But going through a stressful time with my fiance/his family/and our wedding preps. I’m trying to stay positive and not let myself go crazy – hydrating and eating right really help keep my head in the right space + no headaches during all the other emotional stress i feel on myself.
    Good for you to get that gel mani girl!! 🙂

    • ugh I’m so sorry you’re going through a stressful time! Wedding planning is soo fun but it can be such an overwhelming time. I remember that well! Definitely stay positive and remember that you have an incredible marriage to look forward to. The wedding is just a day, an amazing one, but it’s not worth the stress. Sending a big hug!!

  • Angel Swanson

    Love this honest and vulnerable post. You’re not alone, mama, and you’re doing such a beautiful job. So so important to take time out to recharge and care for yourself. Glad you got to do that. Wish I could come over today to hang and help! Love you so much!!

    • aw thanks Angel! I think it’s hard not having family and friends so close by. I wish wish WISH we lived closer so we could hang out and hug in person! Love you so much!!

  • Thanks for these great tips, Mara. I’m so, so sorry that yesterday was such a tough day, but I’m glad that you were able to make some time for you and look on the bright side.


    • thank you so much Helen! Definitely trying to! I hate feeling down and there’s really no reason. I know I have so much to be thankful for. Still sometimes these days just get you! Thanks for being so sweet!

  • Michelle Gibson

    Aw, Mara. I’m so sorry you had such a rough day. We have all been there. Some days being a mom along with everything else is just all too much. You have to cry occasionally and let it all out! I’m glad you went and spent a little time by yourself. It does wonders for your mood and attitude. I use monthly-ish manis as a time to unwind as well. And now that my daughter is in preschool 2 mornings a week I’ve been going to the gym right after dropping her off. It starts my day off right and then I go run some solo errands and it helps! It’s hard to make time for yourself but you have to! These are all great tips as well – thanks for sharing!

    • aw thank you so much Michelle! That’s definitely how I felt yesterday. It all just seemed so overwhelming sometimes. I definitely think I need to be better about taking time for myself and I agree working out helps so much and doing solo errands (the dream!!) I

  • Allegra Liu

    Good tips for us all. Self care is so important and helps you be a better nurturer for others. I’m sorry you were having such a rough day and glad you took some time for yourself. Also just because others may have “bigger” problems doesn’t diminish your own struggles. Makes you realize how important it is to be kind to people because you never know what they might be going through.

  • Sarah Rabalais

    Sorry you had a rough day yesterday. It’s hard I feel like you hate to hear other moms having a tough time but it also makes you feel better that you aren’t alone. Thank you for sharing because I feel like so many people only show and talk about the good stuff. I’ve definitely had some rough days in the last couple of months…Augustine and my little boy are around the same age. I feel like it’s a really fun age they are in but also very exhausting. You are just starting to really see their personalities come out and also see them start to explore everything. EVERYTHING. Lol…which is really neat to see but also a whole to keep up with. It’s hard because they are just too young still to understand that they shouldn’t throw food or pull hair, or what it means to be “soft” or “gentle”. He’s starting to slowly get the concept and some days he is better than others. I told my husband the other day that I hope at some point I’ll be able to wear my hair down again during the daytime. It is definitely so important to take some time for yourself. I feel like there is always something that I can be getting done or taking care of but I have to tell myself to take a break, take a nap time to just relax and do something for myself. I think it’s so true that the days are long but the weeks go by so fast. Those rough days will come and go and sometimes you just have to take a deep breath and make it through the day.

  • Louis Dupond

    Stress is never a good thing … even when people are talking about positive stress it’s more an excuse! And very important indeed is to learn to say no; one of the biggest and hardest lesson in life! On the other side your floral dress is beautiful and lovely 😉


Read previous post:
February Beauty Products- M Loves M @marmar
February Beauty Picks and Thoughts about January Products