Too often, moms have a bad habit of putting our needs on the back burner. We care for everybody in our lives except ourselves – and ladies, this needs to stop!
Healthy, happy moms make better, more productive moms, so let’s help each other, encourage one another and lift each other up. I know life can seem overwhelming, and I sometimes want to throw in the towel too. But I’ve realize when I’m feeling stressed and incapable, it’s because I’ve neglected myself and I’m drained.
So in an effort to get back on track and to help other women who go through these dark mommy valleys, I’ve got five tips I strive to stick to rain or shine. And when I do, I feel invincible, energetic and ready to conquer the world (or career/motherhood/marriage/toddler tantrum/whatever the day brings). Here they are:
#1: Pencil yourself in
Prioritize yourself. I’ve found that if it’s not on the schedule, it’s probably not going to happen. I try to occasionally carve out 45 minutes for a coffee, lunch, manicure, or even phone chat with girlfriends. As we know, sharing and laughing with girlfriends makes hard things bearable and, yes, pampering yourself can be very revitalizing! I cannot remember the last time I took time for a massage, but writing this reminds me to do it! Short of that, ask your partner to cover for you so you can have a 30-minute bubble bath behind a closed door…so soothing! Put yourself on the schedule and keep that date!
If I’ve only got a few minutes, I run the stairs close to my office a couple times when I have a few minutes throughout the day. Also, keep resistance bands in your car. When I’m stuck in traffic or if I’m early for an assignment or interview, I can do a quick workout while I wait. I always feel better after I’ve gotten my blood pumping. Also, something as simple as stretching and contracting muscles for a few minutes before I get out of bed seems to put my day in a “ready to go” mode and takes very little time.
#3: De-stress (breathe, sleep, sex!)
Whenever I feel my blood pressure rising, I stop, BREATHE (slowly and deeply), refocus and regroup. I do what I can do and then I let the rest of it go. Adequate sleep is a must, and please don’t laugh at this last tip (or do!) but sex can work wonders to alleviate stress! Your husband/partner will thank me too.
#4: Prepare healthy foods and lunch ahead of time
Taking a few minutes on the weekend (with my husband) to think what meals we might like during the work week helps make those meals happen. I’m honestly too tired at the end of a work day to want to think about planning meals. A weekend grocery run is helpful, and prepping food for the week to come goes a long way to quicken and simplify meals. I also cut up veggies (celery, bell peppers, etc.) and fruit in advance, put in individual Ziploc bags in the fridge so I can grab an easy, healthy snack when I’m on the go.
#5: Cut down on the guilt
Eliminate time-wasting activities that you don’t really enjoy or value. Fill that saved time, instead, with the family and friends you do enjoy and value.
Give yourself a break – you’re not perfect, I’m not perfect. We can’t do it all. Let’s just treasure the life we live and the people we love.