Ditching Negative Self-Talk: A Mama’s Guide To Affirmations And Other Self-Care Tools


Ditching Negative Self-Talk: A Mama's Guide To Affirmations And Other Self-Care ToolsAs moms, I am certain we have all had that moment where our children are being wild, we lose our temper and immediately are flooded with guilt and shame. More often than not,  this brings us into a downward spiral of negative self-talk. As much as I wouldn’t like to admit it, with two toddlers running around, I have had plenty of these moments. Furthermore, what I have noticed is that it takes me quite a while to exit that downward spiral of negative self-talk unless I intentionally make efforts to shift my mindset.

In this post, I will be sharing some of my favorite practices that have not only helped me be more positive and less self-critical, but also helped me teach my children to kick negative self-talk to the curb! 

1. Affirmations

Affirmations are huge in our house! We use affirmations during our morning routines, at bedtime, during meltdowns, on chaotic grocery store runs, in the car, at the park when my children are refusing to leave, etc. Affirmations are just what they sound like: phrases used to affirm who we are, what we value, and to encourage us to live into those truths.

Some affirmations I use for myself are: 

    • I am a good mom.
    • My children love me (even when they say otherwise in the heat of a tantrum).
    • I am capable of being patient; I do not have to rush my children. 
    • Happiness is my choice.
    • My family loves me unconditionally. 
    • I love my family unconditionally.
    • I am learning to be better every day. 
    • I am more than enough.
    • I lead my children well.
    • I am loved and safe. 

Just by hearing these, my mindset shifts completely. It’s like my brain shifts from being in fight or flight (a place most of us moms live in constantly) to a place where I feel safe, loved, and empowered to do and be better because I want to and not because I feel pressured to. When I first started doing affirmations, it was hard to get into the habit of telling myself these things, but I found little ways to remind myself of these little phrases that are now ingrained in my mind. I post sticky notes on my bathroom and bedroom mirror so I can read them while I get ready every morning. I’ve also set affirmations as my morning alarm so the first thing I see in the morning is positive. And I even give my husband these phrases as tools to help ground me when I get anxious. A powerful first step might even be writing down any negative self-talk you have during the day and at the end of the day, write a correlating affirmation. For example, if you tell yourself “I will never get a break, someone always needs me” you can replace it with “I am their safe space, the time I invest in my little one(s) matters, I choose to be present, my break will come in due time.” 

These affirmations have also worked wonders with my kiddos. Their phrases are a little simpler, but with the same idea of affirming who they are and their truths. Some affirmations we use daily with our kiddos are: 

  • I am kind. 
  • I am gentle. 
  • I am silly. (This one usually comes with tickles or silly faces which pull them out of a bad mood in a pinch!)
  • I am smart. 
  • I am courageous.
  • I can do hard things.
  • I am good at listening. (Here, we can pretend to fix listening ears if we have had a hard time listening, which works as a good reset for our littles.)
  • I am loved by… (Here, we prompt our kiddos to name family members and friends to help them feel valued and supported.)

Doing these affirmations with my babies at first was super emotional, so don’t be afraid to be vulnerable with your kiddos. I found that this practice didn’t only change my mindset, but also helped heal my inner child. My hope is that my children take these affirmations as a strong foundation through their childhood and into adulthood. 

2. Get outside, go for a walk, or open a window

I’ve found that if I am being negative, it is usually because I am overwhelmed! Getting outside, going for a walk, or at the very least opening a door or a window to get some fresh air usually helps me (and my children) reset and destress! This article by Harvard’s School of Public Health suggests that “the ability to recover from stress is better in natural settings because that’s where we are meant to be. Just the idea of getting out, being in nature, looking at a tree—the theory is that this helps you to recover from stress, improves your mental health, and improves cognition. It’s just a direct pathway.” Another study by McLean Hospital found that even just five minutes in a green space, outdoors, in nature, has the power to improve self-esteem and mood regardless of health status. 

3. Explore a new hobby

A lot of my frustration in motherhood has come from feeling like I had lost the ability to be my own person complete with hobbies, goals, and desires. Finding a hobby that was mine to enjoy (or something even like hiking, that my children could occasionally participate in and enjoy that I still chose to do) has made all the difference in the world! It is a huge self-esteem builder to feel like you are accomplishing something outside of motherhood and to feel the ability to be multifaceted without needing to sacrifice every nook and cranny of your life to your family. This practice shifted my negative self-talk from “I never get a break, my needs don’t matter” to “I am choosing to prioritize my needs, being my own person equips me to be a better mom and wife because it makes me happy.” 

4. Some more self-care ideas

  • Take a social media break: As wonderful and helpful as social media can be, it is good to practice being present and not constantly exposed to how others live so that you can take inventory of what best serves you.
  • Take a long bath: I know this one feels cliché, but it truly can be so wonderful if you romanticize the heck out of it! Use candles, dim lights, wine (or your favorite mocktail), and your favorite movie/show/book. It is ok to slow down and take space!
  • Replace night-time doom scrolling with instrumental music and reading: This practice might not be possible for every night, especially for those of us who nurse or have super little kiddos, but when I can, it helps me sleep like a baby!
  • Consider therapy: It is okay to need help! 
  • Spend some time with other mamas: It can be so refreshing to get connected and find other mom friends who can validate your struggles, but also encourage and empower you. Let this be my official invitation; if you are searching for mom friends and don’t know where to start, the Knoxville Moms page is a great place to start! I have found wonderful inspiration and friendship from this exceptional group of mamas and am sure you can too!

You are doing great mama, you are loved and you are enough!

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Gloria Camacho
Hola Hola! My name is Gloria and I am a wife and mama to two little beans ages (almost) 2 and 4. We are a super outdoorsy family and will take any chance we get to go on a hike or for a relaxing float in the Townsend Wye! I am currently pursuing a degree in healthcare administration, a recently certified birth and postpartum doula, an in-home daycare owner, and homeschool mom! On the very rare occasion that I have some free time I will spend it reading, doing macrame, cooking (I make some mean tamales), or planning crafts to do with my littles! I cannot wait to share my adventures with you here on Knoxville Moms!


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