Mothers. Their importance and the impact they can make in our lives is practically indescribable. With Mother’s Day around the corner, we want to honor all the incredible things that our mothers—be they birth mothers, friends, aunts or mentors—do for us by acknowledging that they need time to care for themselves too.
We tapped into the self-care knowledge of some of the top W.E.L.L. Summit wellness and healthy living experts to ask them: How do you mother yourself?
“My mom passed away when I was 23, I miss her every day. Over time, I’ve learned that I can connect to my mother anytime I choose to, just by closing my eyes, talking to her, or feeling her presence. It took a long time, but I do this almost daily now. I miss many things about her, most of all her cooking. To mother myself, I will often ask her to come into the kitchen when I cook, particularly when I’m making her chicken soup. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true, she made a mean chicken soup. You’ll find me making chicken soup any time of year, for no reason at all.” —Jeannie Jarnot, Founder, Beauty Heroes®
“The word ‘mothering’ conjures up a mixture of nurture, encouragement, touch, love, craziness, and dysfunction all rolled into one. When I think about mothering myself, though, the first image that comes to mind is of being held and touched because as soon as my children were born, the midwife lay them on my chest with the cord still attached. Three were born at home, so we could take our time without anyone rushing us. In those precious moments after birth, we formed a symbiotic and loving bond that affirmed my baby’s existence as an interconnected yet separate being.
Giving and receiving human touch reignites the life-affirming messaging that is embodied by a mother and is more vital than could ever be imagined. I believe that touch is the quintessential ingredient to living a healthy and satisfying life. The way I mother myself, then, translates as bringing more touch into my life. That can take different forms like asking for massages from my husband or my mom (especially when I was a little girl) or making time to get a pedicure or to get a full massage or facial.
Mothering myself includes using delectable body oils and lovingly annointing myself with them when nobody else is around. In turn, giving the gift to myself allows me to be more nurturing and mothering of others. I love to offer an unexpected loving touch or caress as my children or husband pass by or when we are sitting side by side reading a book. When they feel good, I feel good too.” —Sarita Coren, holistic mom and blogger at Edible Facial
“I mother myself in a few ways. I have a hot tub outside, so I jump into it at least every other day with a giant glass of sparkling water with lemon or lime–without my cell phone! I look out at the bright waxing and waning moon or the sun rising and allow myself to think and rest for at least 20 minutes. It’s amazing the stuff that bubbles up! I also love to connect with my awesome boyfriend who lives in California on a daily basis and fly to see him on a monthly basis. He helps me stay grounded. I run for 30 minutes 5 out of 7 days a week as well.” —Gwendolyn Gardner, Founder, Simply Chickie Clothing
“Mothering myself became a priority when I realized that working, mothering, and my happiness were on the line. In my 13 years of being a mother I have learned a lot; what to do and what not to do. My absolute-to-do’s include: negotiating a life where I work from my home office, educating my kids on how I prioritize my down time, and enrolling my husband on the importance of me filling up my cup in order to show up fully for everyone. Mothering myself has been in huge part a journey of knowing that I adore days of just watching movies on my couch; that I thrive when I schedule myself to go on retreat once a year; and that being compassionate to myself are a must. And when things get really full and I am not able to have my zen life, my simple go-to is my 5 minute (after a candle-lit shower) ayurvedic self-massage.” —Asha Ramakrishna, Founder, Soul + Business Mentor/Coach
“For the sake of my own peace and sanity, I’ve had to learn that mothering myself is just as important as taking care of the ones I love. I used to think that having ‘me’ time was impossible with everything on my plate. But I’ve learned to schedule in that time (from five minutes to a couple hours a week) to renew and recharge mentally and physically. I turn on my favorite songs and dance dance dance, meditate, go thrift shopping, get a massage (a guilty pleasure) or eat alone at a fancy restaurant. Or I create a sacred beauty ritual of getting a manicure or pedicure, taking a long shower, or getting outside and connecting with the earth and sea via a long walk (and soaking up vitamin D!). Unplugging is also way I take care of myself—I go MIA for 30 minutes to an hour to get a mental break.” —Barbara Jacques, Founder, Jacq’s Organics