I have to admit, I’ve been running a bit on empty and my nerves are beginning to show it. Stress is rising here and I need some relief! I have a short fuse with my husband, my temper has been rearing its ugly head with my toddler, and I am embarrassed to admit last night I yelled so loud at him because he stuck his fingers in his milk (seriously).
I am ashamed of myself. I am the big girl in the scene here, but so often I act like a moron dresssed up like a mom. I stopped the whole dinner show so I could apologize and make things right, but the damage was already done. I mess up too ladies.
We are all in this together and I need grace just like you. Just like the other mom who is at her wits end. I need it more some days than others. It is funny, even after I finished reading this great devotional for moms, got pumped up with my worth as a mom, it doesn’t take long for real life to pummel me.
The past few days of low quality parenting on my behalf have led me to re-examine how I am caring for my needs. I need some time for mama! I see a direct correlation between placing everyone else’s needs above some of my needs each day when I begin to break apart.
Today I am sharing my tips and ideas on how to implement some simple ways to keep yourself nourished so that you can be the mom your kids need and even the wife your husband desires. This list is as much a reminder for me as it is sharing with you. I hope it ignites some self-care habits!
The fall is here and it can be getting a bit nippy in some areas of the country, which means we tend to stay indoors more. Try to make it a habit to get outside at least once during the day, either alone or with your kids.
Pick your favorite. It doesn’t mean you have to run 5 miles a day. You can do stretching, yoga, pilates, walking – the point is to get your body moving. My favorite exercise now is running (since I am participating in a half-marathon next month in San Diego!), but also this video by Jillian Michaels – 6-Week Six Pack Ab workout, only 35 minutes. It’s free!
Take a Bath
This is my one pleasure I started several months ago and have not done in several weeks. I can tell my body needs it. Getting a bath is great, but to have it do double duty, use some homemade bath salts and some quality essential oils for added detox and relaxation. I love adding Lavender and Rosemary. This Redmond salt blend is another one of my recent finds that I like. I also like to light a few candles.
Take a Nap
This is another great idea that I implemented for awhile and have now pushed to the wayside. Even resting my body on the couch for 15 minutes can make a difference in my perception of the day and how much energy I have until bedtime!
Try a New Recipe
Sometimes there are things on your to-do list that are just not critical to the life of your family. Your needs come above laundry, phone calls that are endless with needy friends, or making it to the store to get the latest deal on laundry soap to save $.50 with the coupon. Give yourself the permission to focus on what’s really important. Eliminating the unessential responsibilities off your list will not only create some extra time and space, it will also lighten the burden you’re feeling to keep up with it. Feeling overwhelmed will quickly put any mom into orbit.
This is certainly not new wisdom, but it’s often avoided! Sleep is essential to you staying healthy and being able to be at your best.
Do something that engages your creative side. I made this fun 4th of July wreath which really was a fun way to engage myself, but haven’t been doing much lately. Discover what ignites your soul! It can be crafting, cooking, writing, gardening, sewing…it is endless. Find some time to fit in a hobby that you enjoy!
Listen to Your Favorite Music
Pandora is my go-to station to find different music that is what my soul craves. I love that our car has a jack where I can plug my phone in and play it there as well – we were able to get rid of Sirius! A budget saver! What music do you need through the day? Worship music, some beach music, classic guitar? Fit it in!
Break your self-care habits into smaller tasks and do one each day. I love this suggestion I read on another blog, cannot recall where. I do this and didn’t even think about it being a way to conquer self-care needs. If you are like me and color your own hair (oops, I let that one out!), don’t do your own pedicures and manicures if it can feel like too big of a task to keep up. Instead take bits of those larger tasks and break them down. One day color your hair, the next day remove polish and cut toe nails, the following day soak and care for your feet, and the next day polish them. This work great for me!
Friendships are important and when our busy schedules get overloaded, those times of chatting or having coffee with friends dwindle. Isolation can quickly creep in which is not where God wants us to be. Make sure you are purposeful in engaging and relationship building. I struggle in this area greatly ladies, which I constantly have to battle.
Write a Daily Gratitude List
A daily gratitude list is really helpful to shift your focus and help you appreciate any situation. It doesn’t have to be long, a few sentences will do or just a list. If you keep a gratitude journal, you can also look back on your previous entries whenever you need a little boost of happiness and motivation. I have done this at different times and it has helped.
Use Essential Oils in the Shower
Grab a sponge and give yourself a little drop of love in the shower with a bit of Lavender oil to relax, or a little Peppermint to wake you up. Grapefruit is another refresher which will really start my day off well. Or make a nourishing homemade body wash!
Limit Your Media Consumption
Yep, cut it out. I am the worst at this, but the more time I am on the computer, phone, or iPad, the less patience I have. I need to “cut it out”. We do a good job of limiting the TV being on, which is also a big energy drain.
Have Time Alone
Make sure to get at least 30 minutes of alone time each day. This time could be during your lunch break, before bed, or in the morning before everyone else gets up.
Make Healthier Choices
Make better choices about the food you consume – less sugar, more fresh fruits and vegetables, and ditch the soda. Your body will reward you when you take the time to make good choices rather than making decisions out of convenience or time restraints.
Meditate on Scripture
Each week pick a Scripture to focus on – you don’t necessarily need to memorize it, but write it out on a 3 X 5 card and place it in a place you will surely see several times during the day.
Read for Pleasure
A good story is so refreshing. I love reading books on motherhood and parenting, but I truly enjoy when I can sit back and read a fiction story. I have a few waiting for me on my Kindle, so I better start setting some time aside.
Needless to say, this probably should be at the top of the list. We often get ourselves in dilemmas and try to get ourselves out of them rather than going to the ONE who can perform miracles. Make it a practice to pray throughout your day, not just at certain times.
What would you add to this list?