(Written for MindBodyGreen.com)
If you’re a mom, your world most likely revolves around your children. And although being a mom brings incredible joy, it also brings sleep deprivation, stress and a constant stream of worry. There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t worry about my kids!
As the mom of a four-year-old and a six-year-old, I sometimes feel overwhelmed. My kids are the most important things in my life, but I sometimes get so caught up in trying to be the best mom possible that I forget to take care of myself in the process. That self-neglect can make me feel worn out, stressed and unhealthy.
It took me years to realize that ignoring my needs wasn’t actually helping me take care of my kids’ needs. In fact, the less I focused on my needs, the less vibrant and healthy I felt and the more difficult it became to deliver on my kids wants and needs. When I did finally take the time to take care of myself, I not only had more energy, which translated into better interaction with my kids, but I felt so much happier. A healthy mom is a happy mom and a happy mom is a better mom!
So how do you stay healthy—and happy—when you’re struggling to manage it all and be the best mom possible? Following these 7 simple tips can help:
1. Find Some “Me Time”. You deserve a break. Carve out some alone time, walk around your local farmer’s market, cuddle up somewhere quiet and read a book or your favorite magazine. Give yourself a facial or simply take a long hot bath. Focusing on just you—even if only for a short period of time—can really help you stay calm during an otherwise hectic life.
2. Exercise. Don’t let your workout get pushed off. Schedule your exercise just like you would an important work meeting or a parent teacher conference. Also, schedule your exercise first thing in the morning. It’s been shown that people who exercise in the morning are more likely to stick to a regular routine.
3. Have a Night Out. Whether it’s a date with your husband (or significant other) or a girls’ get-together, make reconnecting with loved ones and friends a priority. A night out without kids can really be a relationship booster. In fact, a study released by the National Marriage Project reported the couples who spent time together at least once a week were three times more likely to report being “very happy” in their marriages. And women who participate in a weekly or monthly girls’ night out often say that the time with their girlfriends makes them a better wife, mom and person.
4. Get Enough Sleep. Getting adequate sleep it not only important to your health, but it has also been shown to boost your mood, improve creativity, reduce stress and make it easier to lose weight. If you have to get up early for work or to get the kids off to school, try going to bed just 30 minutes earlier—that 30 minutes could make a huge difference in your day and your happiness!
5. One-on-One time. Children want to feel special. If you have more than one child, try to set aside to spend one-on-one time with each of them. Not only will your child love the attention and cherish the time you spend with them, but it will also give you tremendous joy. Whether you have one child or 5, make sure you have special “mommy and me” time with your kids.
6. Eat Right. Providing your body and mind with the nourishment it needs can increase your energy, improve your mood, help you sleep better and reduce stress and anxiety. Steer clear from highly processed foods and excess sugar and focus on a diet that is fresh and wholesome. Increase your consumption of fruits, vegetables and whole grains and, if possible, eat organic.
7. Be Positive. Sadly, we are often the ones who sabotage our own happiness without even realizing it. Negativity can bleed into many other aspects of our life, preventing us from reaching our full potential and hindering our overall happiness. Change your thinking from negative to positive and you can change your life!
If you’re a mom, how do you stay healthy and happy?