When you look good, you feel good. So pick time and lavish yourself with attention. Here are some indulgent ideas to try.
As a busy mom, the last thing you need is pressure to meet some endlessly changing, plastic-fantastic standard of beauty. After all, you've got stuff to do. But we all know that when we look good, we feel good — and now that you have a little one, feeling good about yourself is more important than ever!
So make sure your new beauty routine is all about taking time to make sure you're taking care of you. Here are five great tips for looking and feeling your best:
Ditch the guilt, because it's officially okay to take off that SuperMom cape and focus on yourself. Personal time is important, especially when you need a break from all the demands of motherhood. You're not a robot, and even if you were, you'd probably need some tune-ups and oil changes and...well, whatever robots need. The point is, you need care and attention too.
Taking even a small mental vacation can help you de-stress and get refocused. Sure, a REAL vacation (say for instance to a nice tropical island where people bring you drinks with paper umbrellas in them) would be nice, but taking the time to nurture yourself - with a magazine, a bubble bath, a brisk walk - frees you, even if it's just for a few blissful minutes, from your responsibilities, to-do lists and that massive pile of laundry.
Give yourself permission to relax; ultimately you'll get recharged and have more energy for your busy life. After all, the laundry isn't going anywhere (unfortunately).
Water: it's not just for quenching thirst! Water is vital for a healthy body, as any cartoon character stranded in the desert could tell you. It adds natural moisture to your skin, helps your body flush out waste, and helps rev up your metabolism (you get to burn extra calories without even stepping foot in a gym - how great is that?).
Dehydration can cause headaches and affect your ability to concentrate. Not only that, when you're dehydrated, your blood volume is lowered, which makes your heart work harder to supply your body with oxygen. Translation: fatigue. All the double-tall skinny vanilla half-caf mochas Starbucks has to offer can't fix this problem — you need agua!
It's especially important for nursing moms to stay hydrated, but everyone needs to drink eight glasses of water a day. Try carrying a water bottle around with you to make this easier, or add some sugar-free flavoring packets and put an umbrella in your glass. You could also make a water-drinking game based around your kids - is someone whining? DRINK. Did someone hit their brother with a plastic truck? CHUG. And so on.
Bottom line: keep up with those eight glasses at minimum, the benefits are definitely worth it.
As mentioned in Tip #1, it's good to have some time alone to rejuvenate, but sometimes you just need to get out the door - fast. A streamlined getting-ready routine can simplify your prep time while still helping you feel good about the way you look. Here's one mom's unique take on tips for keeping that morning beauty routine on track:
Running low on beauty supplies? If you don't have time to make a run for the drugstore, think outside the box. Specifically, think inside your baby's drawers and cabinets.
Sunscreen: Everyone knows to shun the sun these days, so don't leave the house without slathering on some sunscreen. If you're out, try some of the kids' heavy duty sunblock on sun-sensitive areas like your face.
Baby wipes: Raccoon eyes from last night's mascara? Use a baby wipe to gently remove the stains. Baby wipes come in handy for cleaning up stains from your clothing, too.
Lotion: Baby lotion — fast-absorbing, rich, and lightly scented — works great on hands and other body parts. Try the shea butter kind for an extra treat for you and your babe.
Powder: If you find yourself without time for a shower and your hair is succumbing to a look you can only describe as "both limp AND oily," try rubbing a small amount of baby powder through your roots and brushing it out. The powder should absorb the oil and provide you with a dry shampoo effect. Warning: your hair will have that irresistible new baby smell; you may find total strangers sniffing your head.
Tired...cranky...fussy...approaching a core meltdown. Does this sound more like you than your baby? Wake up, Mama, you need more sleep!
Sleep can help your skin stay fresh and relaxed — without enough sleep your skin can look tired and dull. But it's not just a skin-deep concern, sleep restores your entire body. Think of sleep like a giant "refresh" button for your whole system.
If you're not getting enough sleep (and let's be honest, what mom is?), try cutting back on the caffeine, even though it may seem counter-productive. Avoid sugar right before bed. Enlist some help from others in your household - maybe someone else can take night duty with the baby for a while.
You probably give your baby relaxing, predictable nighttime routines. So why not do the same for yourself? A warm bath, a book, some comfy pajamas...your body can benefit from this treatment, too.
Here's one more reason to get your sleep: according to the National Center on Sleep Disorders, six hours or less of sleep per day can make you less productive and increase your risk of a car accident. So get those zzzzs when you can to stay fabulous and safe.
Stay healthy and take care of yourself, because a happy, self-confident mom is more beautiful than any magazine cover. Treat yourself well, because you - and your baby - deserve it!
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