self care valentines day

Valentine's Day is often focused on showing love to everyone around us—our friends, family, partners and children. While that's important, the holiday is also the perfect excuse to treat ourselves to some love and self-care. And, we're not just talking face masks and bath bombs (but those work, too, and we even included some below!).

So take some time to step away from work, cleaning, cooking, and all of the mental load on your to-do list. Nurture your body. Tend to your health—both mental and physical. Set big goals to achieve. Do something you really love to do. Because you deserve it.

Here are some ideas to get you started:

1. Write out 10 things you love about yourself.

2. Schedule a night out with your best friends.

3. Create a space or corner in your home just for you and fill it with your favorite things.

4. Take yourself on a date and use that time to check in with how you're really feeling, away from the chaos.

5. Put on your favorite outfit just because.

6. Pencil in quiet time in your calendar each week or day—even 5 minutes. No exceptions.

7. Meditate on what makes you happy in this season.

8. Set boundaries for yourself this year.

9. Read that book you keep putting off.

10. Spend time connecting with someone you love, but don't necessarily get to talk to often.

11. Take a workout class you've always wanted to do.

12. Write down goals you want to accomplish this year—however crazy they may seem. Let yourself dream.

13. Put on your favorite playlist and have a dance party. Or a crying session. (Whichever works best for you in that moment.)

14. Sleep in. Like, really sleep in. Have your partner do something fun with the kids—away from you in your bed.

15. Purchase something that will make life simpler (new coffee machine that makes it automatically, a blender to make smoothies at home).

16. Cut two things from you weekly calendar and don't feel guilty about it.

17. Take time to intentionally fill your cup: Call someone you love, read your devotional uninterrupted, take time to enjoy that cup of coffee.

18. Take a day to detox from social media. Give yourself a break.

19. Purchase your favorite flowers and put them all over the house.

20. Practice minimalism in one room that you can't seem to feel calm in—if I don't use it or it doesn't benefit me, get rid of it. (Or do a full on decluttering burst!)

21. Take a nap.

22. Schedule a massage, facial, acupuncture appointment, or therapy session.

23. Delegate two things that you hate doing (hire a professional cleaner once a month, send off laundry).

24. Wear a face mask. The scarier-looking, the better. ?

25. Eat clean, and make sure you're drinking enough water for the day. Take time to nurture your body.

26. Indulge in your favorite chocolate and wine and really savor the taste. (Tip: Wait until after bedtime so you don't have to share the sweets!)

27. Do a social media cleanse. Unfollow those who don't inspire your or who bring you down.

28. Take time to forgive yourself for things in the past. Write yourself a letter to help let go of something you've been holding onto.

29. Read five articles that inspire you.

30. Take a long, hot bath.

31. Remind yourself 'I am enough' anytime you start to doubt yourself.

32. Take time to be with your partner—no phones, TV, or computers.

33. Write out all of your thoughts in a journal to get them out of your head and give yourself a fresh start.

34. Have a stretch session.

35. Be still for 10 minutes (or five, whatever feels right).

36. Compliment yourself just as you would your daughter.

37. Reignite a passion you used to have. A hobby or class.

38. Prioritize your daily to-do list. Are dishes worth your sanity each evening? Probably not.

39. Ask for help. From a friend, a therapist, or someone from your church.

40. Watch that terrible movie or TV show you secretly love...alone.

41. Purchase something for yourself.

42. Remind yourself that you're beautiful. Pick out a photo or quote you can hang up where you'll see it daily. ?

43. Plan a vacation for just you and your partner or best friend.

44. Have sex with your partner.

45. Frame artwork from your kids and put it somewhere you'll see it often.

46. Go to bed crazy early and recharge yourself.

47. Schedule those important appointments you've put off. Dentist, mammogram, gynecologist. Take care of your health.

48. Take a long walk in your favorite place and reflect on your year so far.

49. Get a blowout at a local salon.

50. Visit your favorite spot in the city you love in and just enjoy it.

51. Plan a 'do nothing' weekend to have some alone time or spend it with your partner, taking a break from the kids.

10 must-have registry items that will change your life, mama

The baby gear heavy hitters that should be top of your list

Calling all mamas-to-be! It's a fundamental truth of (impending) motherhood that your prepping-for-baby To Do list can feel a mile long, but really the best way to feel organized is to sort out the most important item at the top of your list: your registry. Sure the items you choose to include will end up running the gamut from nice-to-haves to absolutely essential game-changers, but mamas in the know quickly learn one thing: Not all baby gear is created equal.

So while you can and should pepper your registry with adorable inclusions that aren't necessarily can't-live-withouts (go ahead, add 'em!), you should make sure you're ticking the boxes on those pieces of baby gear that can be absolute life savers once you're in full-blown mama mode. From car seats to bouncers and playmats, your play and travel gear will be some of the most obvious important items on your list, but so can unexpected things, like a super comfy baby carrier and a snooze-inducing white noise machine. So to help you sort through the must-have options, we turned to the holy grail of motherhood that is buybuy BABY and handpicked 10 of the very best essential pieces that will change your life, we promise.

Keep reading Show less
Our Partners

Every week, we stock the Motherly Shop with innovative and fresh products from brands we feel good about. We want to be certain you don't miss anything, so to keep you in the loop, we're providing a cheat sheet.

So, what's new this week?

Earth Mama: Effective, natural herbal care for mamas and babies

Founded and grown in her own garage in 2002, Earth Mama started as an operation of one, creating salves, tinctures, teas and soaps with homegrown herbs. With a deep desire to bring the healing powers of nature that have been relied on for thousands of years to as many mamas as possible, Melinda Olson's formulas quickly grew into Earth Mama Organics. Since then, the brand has remained committed to manufacturing clean, safe and effective herbal solutions for the entire journey of motherhood, including pregnancy, breastfeeding and baby care, and even the loss of a baby.

Bravado Designs: Soothing sounds for a good night's sleep

With 28 years of serving pregnant and postpartum mamas under their belt, Bravado Designs is a true authority on the needs of changing bodies. It's true that we have them to thank for rescuing us from the uncomfortable and frumpy designs our own moms had to live with. Launched in Canada by two young mamas, they designed the first prototypes with extra leopard print fabric certain that a better bra was possible. Throughout the years they've maintained their commitment to ethical manufacturing while creating long-lasting products that truly work.

The Sill: Instagram-ready potted plants

We've long admired this female-founded brand and the brilliant mind behind it, Eliza Blank. (She even joined Motherly co-founder Liz Tenety on and episode of The Motherly Podcast!) The mission behind the business was simple: To make the process of bringing plants into your home as easy as possible, and as wonderful as the plant themselves. With their in-house, exclusively designed minimalist planters, the end result makes plant parenthood just a few clicks away.

Not sure where to start? Here's what we're adding to our cart:

Keep reading Show less

The 6 biggest lies I believed before having kids

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves.

Just about all of us had set assumptions about raising kids before we became parents ourselves. Some of these ideas might have been based on our own ideas of how we would absolutely do things differently than everyone else. Others, we believed what everyone else told us would happen would apply to our littles, too. But, that's not always the case, mama.

Below are six of the biggest lies I believed before having kids—and the reality of what actually happened for me.

1. Put your baby down drowsy, but awake

Keep reading Show less