Lets be honest, as parents we are often last on the to-do list. The key to balancing family, career, health and happiness is putting yourself first. Easier said than done, right? As a mom of 5 children, I struggle with motherhood, marriage, self-care, etc. This is apparent in my mile-long-to-do list, in which I am last or most of the time, not even on the list. The guilt creeps in when I take some time for myself. While my kids are important, I know that it is equally as important care for myself.
While simultaneously trying to juggle all the aspects of life, I was burning myself out. Mom burnout can happen to anyone who doesn’t take care of themselves. Recently I have allowed myself to indulge in self-care. Self-care is making choices, changing habits, and doing things that will help your mental health and overall wellness. Taking care of myself has allowed me to balance my life efficiently without feeling burnt out.
Here are 6 simple self-care activities that you can start right away
- Meditation/ Yoga: Meditation calms your mind and yoga relaxes your muscles. I struggle with stress and anxiety and yoga has been able to help calm my mind and reduce the anxiety. On a physical level, it has improved my flexibility and strengthened my muscles.
- Pamper Yourself: One of the best self-care practices that you can do is to pamper yourself. This could be anything from splurging on your favorite products, taking a relaxing hot bath or planning a spa day. Last week, I decided to get a facial (first one in over a year, yikes!) and it was amazing and I felt so good afterwards. I came home a completely different person. Not only did my skin look amazing but my mind was cleared and I felt renewed. I also make it a point to get a manicure and pedicure every month.
- Read the bible: Just like we need food to nourish our physical body, the word of God is needed to nourish us spiritually. Dedicating some time in the morning or evening to read the bible and saying a little prayer will renew your mind and provide you with clear directions.
- Schedule your annual checkups: With 5 children, I feel like I am on the first name basis with my children’s pediatrician. Between flu season, ear infections, broken bones, annual checkups, dental cleanings, I practically live at the doctors office. I hardly have time to see my own PCP. As parents we neglect our bodies until there is a serious health scare. Make time for your own physical health. Schedule annual checkups, pap smears, dental cleanings, and any appropriate tests.
- Sleep Sleep Sleep: Make sleep a priority. Lack of sleep can lead health issues. Nap with your baby or have someone you trust take the baby for several hours on the weekends so you can sleep. I used to feel guilty for sleeping “too much” (5 hours a day). By the end of the week, I was burned out and couldn’t function.
- Stay Connected: Most of the time, my busy schedule as a mom doesn’t allow room for anything else. Date nights are a rarity and staying connected with friends and family seems impossible. My goal this year was to connect on a regular basis. My husband and I do date night once a week (most of the time its just putting the kids to bed early and watching a movie together). This has significantly improved our love life. Scheduling dates with your friends is equally as important. Make the first Saturday of each month date night with friends, for example; or make it a goal to invite neighbors over for cocktails or dinner.