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Guest Editor: Amber Trueblood, Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist

Ever just need a moment to yourself? You’re a mom (or soon-to-be one), so of course you have. Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Amber Trueblood, author, speaker, therapist and mother of four, shares her top 10 tips for practicing self-love. These simple tips give you permission to take a moment for yourself to reset, practice self-care, and find joy and happiness every day.

Breathe More Deeply.

Close your eyes, drop your shoulders, relax the muscles in your jaw and face. Then, breathe in and out slowly through your nose. Bonus points if you use your belly and allow it to expand as big as possible, then totally empty it to zero. Slow, deep breathing is literally the cheapest, simplest, and most effective way you can show your body and mind some love today!

Find Your Smile.

What makes you smile? A hilarious old friend? A favorite sitcom? A certain podcast? Expose yourself to content today that puts a smile on your face. Bonus points if you find something that makes you laugh so hard - you cry. Using smiles and laughter to release oxytocin and endorphins in your body is a simple and fun way to show yourself some love today!

Take a Nap.

Today you’re gonna leave the laundry dirty and let the dishes stack up (yes, even more than normal!). Instead, you’re gonna grab a cozy blanket, turn on the white-noise, and tell the family: momma really needs a nap and would be so happy and grateful for their help in making that happen. Even if you cannot actually sleep, any time “off-duty” is time for you to refuel yourself emotionally, mentally, and physically. And that my friend, is self-love!

Take a Shower.

Yes, even if you just had a shower this morning, take another one! (Tell your family you accidentally peed on yourself if necessary.) There’s nothing like a hot midday shower to ground yourself, slow down your nervous system, and emotionally recharge for the remainder of your day. If you find your mind racing during the shower, just repeat this mantra, “I am in this moment. I am in THIS moment.” This mindfulness hack allows your brain to rest in a way that can be as powerful as REM sleep. Show yourself some shower-love today!

Take a Sip.

Drink up, baby! I mean water… Listen, I love a great margarita as much as the next person. But, water is vital and most of us don’t drink nearly as much as our bodies and brains need to function well every day. Goodness knows we need every advantage while juggling pregnancy and/or little ones! Cold with lemon, hot with chamomile tea, or just tap water in your favorite mug - set yourself up in a way that makes it easy for you to drink water throughout your day. Show yourself some H2O love today!

Take a Walk.

Even if it’s cold outside, a nice walk in some fresh air can do your body and soul a ton of good. Movement and conscious breathing can revitalize a tired body and focus a fuzzy mind. Throw on some shoes, grab the stroller, put the dog on a leash and head outside for a bit. Love yourself by giving your body and brain the oxygen it needs to serve YOU more fully today.

Ask for Help.

Are you hopeful those around you will magically know what you need and how to help you best? Don’t wait. Your loved ones truly DO want you to be happier and less stressed. Do yourself a favor by clearly and lovingly asking for exactly what you need today. Need a nap? Need a chat with a friend? Need a break from doing bedtime routine tonight? Need a nice long quiet bath by yourself? Need a long cuddle with your partner? Ask. Just ask. Love yourself today by asking loved ones for exactly what you need today.

Connect with a Friend.

Love yourself in a BIG way today by reaching out to someone you miss dearly. Avoiding Vampires (friends who leave you feeling emotionally drained) and Zombies (disturbing content that just eats at you the rest of the day) today. Instead, reach out to someone in your life who fills you with joy, with laughter, with inspiration, and with love.

Share a Truth.

As mothers, we do A LOT. Many tasks we do out of obligation, despite dreading doing them. It’s important to understand that your loved ones may assume that you actually enjoy it - either because you do it consistently or because you’re good at it. There’s HUGE value in letting your partner know that you don’t enjoy it and would very much appreciate some help or even just some more acknowledgment. Who knows, they might even offer to take it off your plate! Love yourself today by sharing a truth with your partner.

Fill Your Ears.

Music can stir us and refuel us in deep ways. It’s a simple, and often overlooked, tool we can use to energize us and lift our spirits. What were some of your favorite tunes from age 15 to 25? Set yourself a playlist on a platform you’re most likely to actually use. What songs bring a smile to your face? Show yourself some love today by filling your ears with music that makes you want to shake your booty.

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