One of my favorite go-to breakfasts is a hard-boiled egg and a Kencko Smoothie. I have ordered directly from Kencko, but now they are available at Walmart, making them easier to grab and go when I am in a hurry…and nothing makes health easier than a grab and go option!
Mamas, as we navigate the rewarding yet demanding journey of motherhood, I want to remind you of something crucial – taking care of yourself is as important as taking care of your little ones. I’m here, both as a Family Nurse Practitioner and a mom who’s been through these very challenges, to share a more in-depth guide on how you can integrate wellness into your daily routine.
More often than not, when I share details about health and wellness for women, a mama just like you tells me it’s impossible with their kids! I know it’s not easy…no change to a routine or schedule ever is…but there are steps that moms can take to reclaim their health while in the trenches of motherhood!
- Schedule It: Treat your ‘me time’ like any important appointment. Put it on the calendar and stick to it. Whether it’s early in the morning before the kids wake up or during their naptime, find a slot that works for you.
- Simple Pleasures: It doesn’t have to be elaborate. A warm bath, a few minutes of meditation, or just sitting quietly with a cup of your favorite tea can be incredibly rejuvenating
Nutrition – Eating Well for You and Your Family:
- Meal Planning: Take some time during the weekend to plan your meals. This can reduce stress and ensure you’re eating wholesome meals throughout the week.
- Healthy Snacking: Keep healthy snacks like fruits, nuts, or yogurt handy. They’re great for you and your kids when hunger strikes unexpectedly.
- Involve Your Kids: Cooking with your children can be a fun and educational activity. It’s a chance to teach them about nutrition and healthy eating habits.
- Incorporating Exercise into Your Routine:
- Family Activities: Make exercise a family activity. Go for a walk, have a dance session, or play a sport together. It’s about movement, not necessarily a structured workout.
- At-Home Workouts: There are numerous online resources for quick at-home workouts that can be squeezed into your day. Even 10-15 minutes can make a difference.
Building a Supportive Community:
- Connect Digitally: Join online forums or social media groups where you can share experiences and get advice from other moms.
- Local Mom Groups: If possible, join a local mom’s group. It’s a great way to make friends who are in the same stage of life and understand your challenges.
- Asking for and Accepting Help:
- Delegate: Don’t hesitate to delegate tasks to your partner, family, or friends. It’s okay to share the load.
- Professional Help: If things get overwhelming, consider seeking help from a counselor or therapist. Mental health is a crucial part of your overall well-being.
Sleep Strategies for Moms:
Embrace Sleep when Baby Sleeps: It’s a common piece of advice because it works. Try to rest or take a nap when your little one does. This might mean letting some household chores wait, but your sleep is a priority.
Create a Calming Bedtime Routine for Your Kids: A consistent bedtime routine for your children can help them settle down quicker, allowing you more time to relax and prepare for your own sleep.
Seek Help for Nighttime Duties: If possible, alternate nighttime duties with your partner or ask for help from family. Sharing nighttime feedings or comforting can give you a longer stretch of uninterrupted sleep.
Limit Caffeine and Stay Hydrated: Especially in the afternoon and evening, limit caffeine and drink plenty of water. Proper hydration can improve your energy levels and overall health.
Prepare for Efficient Nighttime Feeds: If you’re nursing, have everything you need for nighttime feeds close at hand to make these disruptions as brief and calm as possible.
Use Relaxation Techniques: If you have trouble falling back to sleep after tending to your child, try relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, gentle stretching, or listening to soothing music.
Remember, mama, prioritizing your wellness isn’t just beneficial for you, but for your entire family. By taking care of yourself, you’re teaching your children the importance of self-care and setting them up for a healthy life. Embrace this journey with kindness towards yourself. You’re doing an incredible job, and taking care of yourself is a key part of that.
- If you are ready to make these changes but don’t think you can do it alone, get the support you need in my Facebook Community, Prioritize Yourself: Helping Women Find Balance in Mind, Body, and Spirit. If you’re ready to take the guided steps needed to create a holistic wellness foundation, join me in the Unlock Healing Library for support, education, group coaching and guest experts! Restoring your energy and reclaiming your wellness are NOT easy tasks…but they are so much easier with the right support!
Who has time for that?
I’ll sleep when I’m dead.
I wish I could, but I am so busy at work.
Does this sound like you? Do you spend your entire life playing catch-up? Are you always trying to accomplish a never-ending to-do list, only to collapse into bed feeling further behind? Are you existing on drive-through coffee and anxiety meds to keep up with the world’s demands? You’re exhausted and overwhelmed, and life keeps demanding more of you.
Caffeine and Chaos
Life is utterly overwhelming with commitments, schedules, activities, and obligations. You are in that season of life where you figure you’ll meet your needs later. The kids need baths, tomorrow you are snack mom, and three work projects need to be done this week. Self-care is a shower with your favorite bath gel and some late-night phone time. I’m guessing you wake up around 3 a.m. every night. Coffee is the only way to jumpstart your exhausted body out of bed, and the kids know not to speak until that precious cup has been consumed. A glass of wine at night is the only way to calm your finely shredded nerves.
Who Am I, Really?
This level of overwhelm is normalized. We believe this is how we should live: throwing pop tarts in our mouths in the car and wiping the crumbs off as we rush into work. Dinner is made out of a box between school pickup and baseball practice. Communication with our partner…the love of our life…is only expectations and logistics during the weekdays. You feel guilty for snapping at your daughter for not knowing where her backpack is and annoyed with your boss for texting an urgent message as you walked out of the office. The weekend is the only time you can completely zone out. Or catch up on laundry. We feel so overwhelmed, overburdened, and overconnected that we no longer know what we enjoy.
Live in Alignment
Make time for yourself. Make yourself a priority. The solution sounds so simple. It’s almost laughable. But it’s so important. It’s the most important thing you can do for your own well-being. It is the only way to overcome this overwhelm. And it is the thing I have found after speaking to hundreds of women that we need the most support to do.
The activities we generally associate with self-care and self-love are fun and definitely have a place in life (I’m never going to turn down a pedicure!), but, self-care is a bit more nuanced than that. Self-care is living in alignment with the life you want within the value and belief system you draw from. Respect for your mental, physical, and emotional well-being and setting boundaries and routines are the only ways to find the balance your mind and body so desperately need.
The Best Version of You
Prioritizing yourself does not mean you stop caring for others or abandon all your obligations. It does mean that you begin to adjust your time. Aligning your focus on your life’s vision lets you let things go that no longer serve you. Your happiness, not the fear of someone else’s disappointment, drives you. And in the end, you have a better version of yourself to offer everyone else.
End the Chaos
The truth is, this cycle of chaotic existence can be changed…it really can. You must be your own biggest fan! Making the choice to become your priority…to truly consider what the life you want to live looks like… creates a balance in your time and connection with the life and the health that you want and need. Only when we can find this balance can we conquer the overwhelm…and the resulting illness…that stems from it!
This process takes time. It takes baby steps and requires progress without the expectation of perfection. You must become comfortable with being uncomfortable, but the result is a strong foundation for any goal you set for yourself. You know how to adjust your life for what truly matters, and you are prepared to see your goals through…because you know that you have committed to yourself. Once you are committed to balance in your life, your schedule will allow for these goals to be pursued! Ensuring that there is balance in mind, body, and spirit is the new health model we should strive for. The absence of disease is no longer enough to be considered healthy!
Our world is not slowing down (barring another global pandemic!), so we must learn to find the stillness in our lives that brings us peace.
We must claim it.
We must do the work to ensure that we keep it.
We must make ourselves our own priority.
We must overcome overwhelm.
Our health depends on it.