In order to be a good mom, spouse, friend, sister, co-worker, teammate (and the list goes on) to other people, you will need to take care of yourself first. You won’t be able to help others if you are tired, depressed, and run down. There is a reason that airlines tell you to put on your own oxygen mask first, before helping others in an event of an emergency. I’m going to go over some ways that you can take care of yourself both mentally and physically every day.
You will need to get enough sleep and rest to be productive both mentally and physically. As moms, it’s easy to try to make cuts here and there in order to get it all in everyday. Sleep is often the first thing to get cut. It can start as rising half an hour before your body is ready to rise, to going to bed an hour late. Soon your mental and physical health will suffer.
How much sleep you get has a direct correlation to your mood and function of your most basic body parts. A lack of sleep can even slow your metabolism down and make you gain weight which will in turn make you feel even more sluggish. When you lack in sleep, you also may grab for that sugary snack more often as a way to get some quick energy. Listen and listen up close. You need your rest. Time your rest if you need to and make yourself go to bed earlier or add in naps if that’s what it takes to get your daily dose of at least 8 hours of rest in.
Your body will perform better when you are fit as opposed to being unfit. It’s important to devote time to your health and physical fitness every single day. Exercise is also a natural stress reducer. Movement will release endorphins that will help you think clearer and feel better. The hardest step is often the first one out the door or the first pedal of the stationary bicycle. Make yourself take that first step or first pedal every day, and you will reap great rewards even if it doesn’t always feel like it.
If getting away from your little ones makes you feel like it’s impossible to exercise, then don’t get away. Include them or workout with them nearby. Try an exercise video, or go to the park where you can do little circles running or walking around them as they play. The important thing is to just get out there and do it. You deserve to live in a well cared for body. It feels good and will make you feel stronger both mentally and physically to exercise on a daily basis.
What you put in your body has a direct correlation to how you will feel both mentally and physically. Make sure to eat adequate protein, and take in plenty of fruits and vegetables each day in addition to drinking plenty of water. Try to cut back on caffeine if you are taking in too much. The first thing your body needs in the morning is water, not a caffeinated drink. Because caffeine is highly addictive, cutting back will not be easy, but if you can just cut a little here and there from your daily routine, you will have more energy in the long run.
Have Fun and Indulge A Little
Life can be boring and dull without a little fun in it. Make sure to take time out today to do things that you consider fun. If you love eating ice cream, then take your kids or spouse out for ice cream. Or make banana splits at home. Plan a time out to do some things that you love to do. It’s going to help your sanity level by taking some time off and having fun.
A big mistake that mothers can make, is to stop pursuing interests and hobbies when they become moms. But it is very important for your mental and physical health to continue to pursue both old and new interests. Maybe you like to knit, but when it the last time you knitted? Make a mental or written list of things that you are interested in and then ask yourself when was the last time your pursued those interests.
You may be able to involve your kids in those interests too. Last month was very busy on our farm, but it paid off for me to take a night off and go to a painting class with my daughter for Valentine’s Day. I could tell the cares of the world were melting away with each stroke of the paint brush. I felt like a renewed individual on the drive home with our treasured paintings that are now hanging on our wall as a daily reminder to me, to keep pursuing my own interests.
As moms, we were built to take on everyone else’s burdens. I mean seriously think about it, how could your family survive without you? But if you are wise, you will take out some time for just you, to rejuvenate, rest, and revive yourself. I’ve given some ideas of how to do this. It starts with getting adequate sleep each night, exercising on a daily basis, eating right, having fun, indulging, and pursuing interests. By doing these things, you will become a better version of you. Those around you might not thank you, but they will notice the difference. And more importantly, you will notice a difference in both your physical and mental state. That is what truly matters. So today take some time for you, and don’t apologize.
Mariann Foster is a content writer for OurStart.com. OurStart is a lifestyle blog that focuses on pregnancy, parenting, marriage, and weddings. When she is not writing, Mariann enjoys homeschooling her daughter and running her alpaca farm.