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When you are a mom, it can feel like you are constantly juggling life, with a whole host of responsibilities. It could be work, home life, chores, kids’ recitals, drop-offs, etc. And that is all before you have even thought about taking some time for yourself. There is always something you need to do, which leaves very little room for you to focus on your own needs. As a result, self-care can be something that quickly falls by the wayside because the daily grind can consume you since there is always something that needs to be done.
I get that your to-do list is never-ending, which makes it quite simple to just dismiss your own needs. But if you keep doing this, then it can mean that you have an overall adverse impact on your health overall. When you neglect yourself, it can make you irritable, tired and exhausted, as well as stress, and much more susceptible to having a breakdown.
So if you are looking to take care of your health, and your sanity, then it is a good idea to make time for some self-care. Not only will it help you to take care of yourself better, but it will also mean that you will be in a much better place to take care of your family. If momma ain’t happy, no one is happy, right? But it can feel like self-care is a bit of a buzzword at the moment lately, so you might not know where to begin. So with all of that in mind, here are some simple self-care strategies that you can start following right away.
Sneak exercise into your day
Keeping a regular workout routine can be pretty challenging for moms. For starters, you might just be too exhausted to do it before the kids get up, and then too exhausted to do it once they are all in bed. Plus finding time in the day can be difficult. There are so many reasons to put it off, but it is a good idea to make an effort to get more exercise into your daily routine.
To make it easier, start with activities that you could do with your kids. For example, start with some outdoor activities like swimming, walking, playing at the park, going on a nature hike, or a bike ride through the neighborhood. These are all things that you can do as a family. Another option is to sign up for something like mommy & me dance lessons or tumbling class. Or if you are lucky enough to have a time when your spouse is not working, sign up for a group exercise class and invite some other moms to join you.
Some type of daily physical activity is what’s most important and recommended by healthcare professionals for staying healthy. But if a formal exercise class is hard to fit in, just make sure that you are more active as you go about your day. Walk as much as you can and keep moving, rather than sitting for long periods.
Take advantage of early mornings
If you are looking to get in some “me time” each day, and preferably before you are too tired-out, then one of the best times of the day is in the morning before the kids are awake. When your kids are early risers then maybe you can designate this as quiet activity time for everyone in the family.
In the event that you can fit it in, how about something like going for a jog, practicing some yoga or meditation, take up a new hobby, or even just read a book. There are even some apps that you could use like Headspace and 365 Gratitude.
Some time alone to start your day off in a calm way can help you in all aspects of your day. For instance, the chaos of morning routines is reduced if you get your day started before your kids’ wakeup. This is because recharging yourself first helps you to be more present and less stressed in helping them get ready for their day.
In a previous post, I talked about how getting enough quality sleep is a basic need that can often be overlooked but should be part of your self-care routine. There are health reasons why getting enough sleep is a must, as it can help with things like stress relief, improving cardiovascular health, boosting memory, and even strengthening the immune system. But if you regularly skimp on sleep then it can impair how you think and your cognitive function, plus it puts you at some risk for health conditions like diabetes and heart disease.
To help you get some more sleep you should start by switching things like mobile phones off. The blue light from the screens can mean that you will find it harder to sleep, and it can be such a time-waster and distraction. So if wasting time on your phone stops you from sleeping, then it is time to switch it off.
If you are nursing a baby, then maybe take into consideration doing a mixed feeding from time to time. You could breastfeed baby before bed and then have your spouse give the baby a bottle when they wake in the middle of the night. You gotta do what you gotta do! If it helps you get extra sleep and your spouse gets more bonding time with the baby, then it’s a win-win situation. Of course, make sure that your milk supply is well established before skipping a nursing session.
So the bottom line is, don’t cut back on sleep. It can be tempting to stay up late to get more chores done, or just watch some TV. However, you need to fit quality sleep into your self-care routine and keep it a priority.
Invest time in your health
Think about it and be honest; when was the last time you had a wellness check-up with your doctor? When you take charge of your health, it can help you to be the best mom that you can be. Some steps you can take to ensure you are in good health are to have an annual medical exam, get your flu shot, and have your teeth and eyes checked yearly. Also, don’t forget to schedule your routine well-woman check with your gynecologist.
You should consider what kind of foods you eat because you are only as healthy as your diet. So make sure that you are loading up on things like whole grain, nuts, lean meats, and fresh fruits & veggies. Drink plenty of water, cut down on caffeine & sugar intake, and cook from scratch as often as you can so you are avoiding processed foods as much as possible.
What kind of self-care have you worked into your routine? I’d love to know how you make self-care a priority in your life, so please share in the comments