With all due respect to Mother’s Day, there’s no real break from the job for us moms. Motherhood is a twenty-four-hour-a-day, seven-days-a-week endeavor. Even if and when the day comes that we get a break from the kids (and hubby, if we’re lucky), it’s far too easy to find yourself preoccupied with whether your little ones are safe and doing ok away from you, and thinking about getting a leg up on the next thing they’ll need.
That’s why it’s so important to remember that moms need love too (and not just on Mother’s Day!). And as nice as it is to be pampered by somebody else, it’s equally important to make sure that you’re doing your part to take care of yourself as well! Here is my go-to guide for self-care for the busy mom.
Give yourself fuel: What you eat has a tremendous impact on when and how your energy ebbs and flows during the day. And when you have a schedule like mine, taking time out to eat at all is much easier said than done. To ensure I eat healthy during the day, I pack healthy snacks that I munch on while working at my computer — fruit, veggies, hummus, nuts. It really helps me stay away from Chick-fil-a for lunch…and keeps my metabolism going!
Keep the ticker ticking: Physical and mental stamina are linked — you’re more apt to be able to focus and concentrate on tasks longer and more efficiently if you’re in good standing physically. I know finding time to workout is always easier said than done. But try this: go for a brisk walk (or run!) around the neighborhood while your kid is practicing soccer or gymnastics or basketball instead of squeezing in an errand. Others may eat lunch at their desk and then go for a walk (or run) around their company’s campus. If your company has a gym on site…don’t let that go to waste! Your natural hair will survive the workout! There is even hope for those of us with babies via mommy and me exercise classes.
Honor Your “Me Time”: Whether you have a full-time job or you’re a stay-at-home mom, the ins-and-outs of your busy schedule can take their toll on you. It’s important to square away time for yourself to decompress and get back to “you”. So make it a point to designate some time for yourself to unplug — maybe it’s binge watching your favorite show, or reading a few chapters out of your favorite book, or hanging out with your girlfriends. Personally, I have revived a piece of my life before marriage and kids: once a week, I run a bubble bath, pour myself a glass of red wine, and spend an hour in the tub relaxing and listening to my favorite songs. I also am spending more time with my girlfriends just being me. I am happier…and my husband is happier too! 🙂
Overall, the key to self-care is predicated on how well you are able to manage and delegate your “free” time. In order to keep my health (and my sanity!) in tact, I have to prioritize my self-care and maintenance. Candidly, right now I am in desperate need for a pedicure, but I did go running this week! If you find yourself in the same predicament, figure out which trade-off you are willing to make. Still, don’t be afraid to take a day totally for yourself to unwind and hammer out a routine to stick to. You’ll feel much better – and when mom is happy, everybody is happy…right?
What are your tips for self-care? Let me know in the comments!