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Tips for Self-Care

The Whys and Hows of Self-Care

“If you are to be a light for those you love, you must find ways to
nourish yourself, to feed your fire & keep it burning.”


First things first: What parent has time to take care of themselves while also taking care of their family, especially when there is a new baby in the picture? Answer – we all do, but we have to prioritize it, which means fully appreciating how essential it is. Self-care should not be a luxury, but instead, one of our daily chores. Self-care is not selfish - it is an important part of caring for others.



Self-care is tricky to define, because it is different for all of us. Essentially, self-care is exactly what it sounds like: taking care of ourselves by fulfilling our own needs. Our needs include (but are not limited to):

Which of these needs stick out to you that you need to meet for yourself?


adapted from article on


  • I will take a hot shower or bath

  • I will eat at least one nourishing meal while sitting down at a table

  • I will keep myself well hydrated throughout the day

  • I will make sure I laugh today

    • Try calling a friend who can find humor in anything or watching a funny show or YouTube video

  • I will ground myself for a few moments (especially during a chaotic time)

    • Try out meditation, prayer, yoga, deep breathing, writing, reading, journaling, or practicing gratitude.

  • I will move my body

    • Try taking a short walk around the block or up and down the stairs, doing 10 minutes of stretching or dancing!

  • I will connect with my partner about something other than the baby

    • Try out a thoughtful text, a hug or kiss, or a glass of wine or tea after bedtime.

  • I will do something for myself that makes me feel special and ignites inner joy

    • Try getting a manicure, buying a new fun lipstick, meeting a friend for lunch, etc.

    • This one really depends on YOU! What makes you feel special and/or joyful?!

  • I will honor my body’s need for sleep

    • This might mean forgoing cleaning, laundry or cooking, and that’s okay.

  • I will say “no” to tasks or people when I cannot do more than I am doing

Author: Abby Underwood, LCSW at MU Psychological Services Clinic.


•    affection
•    appreciation
•    belonging
•    communication
•    community
•    companionship
•    love
•    stability
•    support
•    trust


•    air
•    food
•    movement/exercise
•    rest/sleep
•    sexual expression
•    safety
•    shelter
•    touch
•    water


•    choice
•    freedom
•    humor
•    independence
•    inspiration
•    joy
•    order
•    space
•    spontaneity


•    awareness
•    challenge
•    competence
•    consciousness
•    creativity
•    growth
•    purpose
•    self-expression
•    stimulation

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