The life of a mom can be full of stress, whether you’re in the home or outside of it. After all, taking care of your family and making sure all their needs are met can be a tall order. This leaves you with little time for yourself, and it can make you feel burnt out at the end of each day.
To ensure that you’re not expending too much of yourself, even to those whom you care about, you should learn to take care of yourself. It’s important to do so, even if you only have a few minutes to dedicate to self-care each day. Here are a few suggestions on how you can go about it:
Do Some Stretches throughout the Day
As a mom, you may find yourself hunched over a lot, like when you’re picking up your kids’ toys off the floor or sweeping the living room. If you’re a working mom with a desk job, you may be spending at least eight hours a day sitting in front of a computer.
Because of the stress these activities can put on your body, you need to get up and stretch occasionally. This will prevent you from experiencing lower back pain due to being sedentary or from being hunched over for long periods.
To start, stretch your arms up over your head. Then, do a simple back or side bend. Afterward, bend forward and reach for your toes. You can even incorporate a bit of yoga into your routine. Wearing comfortable clothes, like tights and a loose shirt, can make stretching more comfortable and enjoyable as well.
Find Time to Exercise
While a few stretches may be enough to stretch out your back and get your bones cracking, a full-blown workout will offer you even more benefits. By exercising, you can build stronger muscles to make carrying the groceries less strenuous. Additionally, improving your cardiorespiratory endurance means you won’t be gasping for breath while chasing your children across the house.
You can try lifting light weights, doing quick squats, or completing a quick five-minute dancercise. Any of these activities should be enough for your daily dose of exercise. The best part? You can squeeze these exercises into your schedule while the kids are away or asleep. Better yet, you can do them right after waking up in the morning so that you can start the day feeling more energized.
Make Sure to Nourish Yourself
As a mom, you likely want to prepare the best meals for your family. That said, you should do the same for yourself, too. This means you shouldn’t scrimp on or skip your meals. Remember: not eating at the right times can make you feel weak and cranky or even cause you to get sick.
If you’re usually running short on time due to the demands of the day, it’s best to meal prep a few days in advance. If you can, try to do this over the weekend. That way, you won’t need to spend hours cooking a single meal each time you need to eat. Instead, you can just get something from the fridge and reheat it in the microwave or oven.
Do Some Meditation
Another way to check in with yourself and how you’re doing is by meditating. If you have a lot of things on your mind, meditation exercises can help you clear your head of your stressors and anxieties. That way, you can better focus on your tasks at work and home.
Meditation is often thought to be an exercise that takes a lot of time. For beginners, it tends to be that way, with each session lasting at least five minutes in length. But the more you practice meditation, the quicker you’ll get the hang of clearing your mind of any strong emotions or distracting thoughts.
Destress through Journaling
Another way to destress is by recording your thoughts in a journal. This can be done during the slower parts of the day when everyone’s out of the house or before they go to bed. Whenever you decide to do it, use this quiet time to reflect on what happened that day.
Other writing activities that may help lighten your mood include listing the things that you’re grateful for that day. You may also want to write down the tasks you need to do for the next day. By jotting them down, you’ll be less likely to forget them, which can help decrease any anxiety you may have about forgetting important things you have to do.
Do Some Fun Child-Like Activities
If you’re not particularly fond of writing down your feelings, you can instead destress by trying other activities that involve thinking and problem-solving. Such activities include solving crossword puzzles or completing a color-by-numbers project. You can try doing either activity with your family, too, if you want to spend some quality time with them.
Look for Support Outside Your Family
Finally, don’t forget your social life. Having a good support system outside your family can help give you some perspective on how to deal with problems at home, and ultimately improve your relationship with your family members.
So, if you can, take a day off from your housework or your office work to spend time with the girls and have brunch. You can let off steam, reminisce about the good old days, or even just talk about your lives.
If your friends are busy and you really need to talk to people who understand what it’s like to be a mother, don’t worry. You aren’t alone. Try to see if there are any local mom meet-up groups in your area. If there aren’t any, you may have better luck looking for online support groups for moms.
Your work as a mother is definitely a huge responsibility. Sometimes, though, you may focus so much on caring for others that you forget to take care of yourself. While you may not realize it just yet, taking care of yourself can actually make you better equipped to help those you love. After all, you can’t pour from an empty cup.
All that said, don’t forget yourself when you’re thinking about serving the people you care about. You’re just as important as anyone else in your life.