An Amateur Super Mom knows that when she takes care of herself (body, mind and soul), she has much more to give to her family, friends and community. Self-care is not a luxury; it is essential!
Self-Care Essential #1: Rest
Rest has become a luxury for moms. We all need rest, both sleep and mental down time. It is not just about not feeling tired; our bodies and brains need rest to function. When you are overwhelmed and unrested, your body is out of balance and it directly affects your physical, mental and emotional well-being… not to mention your immune system and hormone balance.
While it might seem selfish to prioritize rest when people are counting on you, it is absolutely not. If you need to justify it, remind yourself (or your kids or your partner or friends) that you will have more to give when you are at your best. Plus think of the strain on your household if you or your family get sick. Rest is not a luxury; it is essential.
Self-Care Essential #2: Exercise
I know many people think exercise is a superficial endeavor or a chore, but it is time to break that stigma. Exercise is essential to function for everyone, but especially moms. Exercise isn’t about losing weight, although it is often the primary motivator. Exercise is about ensuring your body is functioning at its best. When you are caring for your body, you are also releasing endorphins and hormones that enable you to strengthen your immune system, combat stress, and just make you feel happy! You don’t have to devote hours a day to it; just start with some walks, hikes, gentle yoga… anything that you prefer to give your body what it needs. Plus think of the healthy example you are setting for your children. Make exercise a family necessity (without making it seem like a chore) and you will all be happier, healthier and stronger for the effort.
Self-Care Essential #3: Me Time
We all love our families… but sometimes, we just need a moment to be ourselves. And since we have already established that exercise is essential, it does not count as “me time.” Nor do I consider doctor appointments or grocery shopping alone to be “me time” (even if it can sometimes feel like a mini-vacation). I am talking about a selfish moment where you do something that you want to do: reading, seeing a movie, visiting a friend. Whether it be a quiet moment with a book or bath, moms’ night out, or a trip to the nail salon, find some time each day or each week to focus purely on YOU. You should not have to lose yourself and your interests just because you are a mother.
Self-Care Essential #4: Nourishment
Yes, making healthy food choices is a part of nourishment, but that is not all there is to it. It is true that our body functions best when we are eating a balanced diet full of fresh fruit and veggies, lean protein, lots of water and minimal processed food & alcohol. But (I bet you will like this but) we need to be nourishing ourselves fully for physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing. If a strict diet is causing you any mental or physical anguish, the stress you feel will do more harm than good.
While it is important to make healthy choices most of the time, we all need to allow ourselves indulgences now & again and be realistic with ourselves. In my experience, the occasional glass (or 3) of wine or slice of cheesecake can have a huge impact on my mood and can be a healthy life experience in itself. Just be sure to keep your overall balance in check… if your indulgences are frequent, they are no longer indulgences and become bad habits. Bottom line, the better you eat, the better you feel. Everything in moderation.
Self-Care Essential #5: Laughter & Positivity
Negativity breeds negativity… no literally, when you consistently complain or have negative thoughts, your brain is actually being rewired to be more negative, which creates stress which in turn wreaks havoc on your health. While it can be therapeutic to have a good vent session with a friend, try to avoid negative topics of conversation and frequent negative thoughts. You can literally reprogram your brain and personality through positive thoughts & gratitude to be happier.3 Crazy huh? You are not preordained to be negative and miserable all the time… so snap out of it.
They say laughter is the best medicine and the science backs it.4 Seriously! When we laugh we stimulate muscles and release endorphins which literally reduces our stress response and make us feel happier and more optimistic. In addition, laughter combats depression, builds up your immunity and can even relieve pain. So next time you feel like drowning your sorrows with alcohol and complaints, try doing something that makes you laugh instead.
What do you think? How can you see implementing these self-care essentials into your life?
Share your thoughts and your favorite ways to work self-care into your day!
- Adult brain development – https://www.livescience.com/505-adult-brain-cells-growing.html
- Effects of mental activity on health – https://www.myvmc.com/lifestyles/effects-of-mental-activity-on-health/
- The ReWired Brain: Free Yourself of Negative Behaviors and Release Your Best Self by Dr. Ski Chilton
- Laughter as medicine with Dr. Paul E. McGhee – laughterremedy.com
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