Since becoming a mom, I have realized that I often was so concerned about my daughter’s health and wellness that I didn’t have extra energy for my own. I would prioritize making her a healthy breakfast and snacks and research that she was getting everything she needed while I was eating her leftovers and grabbing something quick on the go. I wanted to make sure she was being read to and mentally stimulated, but I was spending my extra time mindlessly scrolling on my phone.
How could I care so intently and thoroughly for my children, but not show myself that same love and care? Unfortunately, it took me getting irritable and frustrated to realize that what I was doing was not sustainable. I could not continue pouring out onto my children in the way I wanted to if I was not first caring for my well-being and health.
Here are five things that you can do today so that you can better show up for yourself and your family.
Create non-negotiable me time. Whether this is taking a walk or reading or journaling, set aside time each and every day for something that encourages and inspires you mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. If you have childcare, this might look like a few minutes out of the house or if that isn’t an option, setting a few minutes aside after bedtime will be helpful.
Nourish your body. Try eating more whole foods that are filled with nutrients your body can easily use. If you are always scrambling around meal time, try prepping some nourishing foods in bulk ahead of time like ground meat, cooked vegetables, and rice. You can then use these ingredients in a wide variety of lunches and dinners throughout the week without much additional prep time.
Another helpful tip is packing snacks in a cooler while you are out and about running errands. This will give you a nutritious option when you find yourself hungry and save you money from having to buy something on the go.
Move your body. Incorporating some type of exercise into your day can help to improve your mental health, decrease stress, and help you sleep better at night. If you can’t get to a gym, try walking to the park, doing bodyweight squats during a TV show, or running around the backyard with your kids.
Stay hydrated. There were some days when I would make it to dinner time and realize I hadn’t had any water all day long. I’d have a headache, be short-tempered, and feel like I was starving even though I had just eaten—all things having a little water would have helped.
Some easy ways I stay hydrated throughout the day are carrying a refillable water bottle with me from room to room while I am getting stuff done, using some natural water flavoring like berries or fresh fruit, and aiming to drink a glass of water with every meal.
Practice stress management. Caring for a family is amazing work, but I would be lying to say it isn’t stressful. It is important to incorporate regular habits into your life that help you to minimize and prevent the inevitable times of high stress. Some ideas might be journaling, prayer, exercise, meditation or breath work, or seeking out a professional to talk to. When moments of stress are heightened, this may also be when you need to ask for help from your community.
At the end of the day, we have the incredible privilege and gift as mothers to care for and influence our children. But in order to make sure we are influencing them from a place of sound wisdom and peace, we have to intentionally care for our own well-being first!