When Mom Is Happy & Healthy…

AdobeStock_164091519.jpeg

Taking Some Me Time is Key Time to a Happy & Healthy Mom

In the mad rush to take care of our children, our homes, our marriage and our jobs, we often lose sight of the most important person in our lives — ourselves. And in the midst of that mad rush, sometimes the crazy seems to seep into every corner of our lives and selves. So take care of yourself, and all those other priorities will reap the benefits. Here are 10 habits that can add up to a big difference in our own health and happiness.

1. Eat well. We all know it, and think it, but do we do it? Our children will ultimately do what we do, and not what we say. When you make healthy choices, you’ll feel better, and the kids will see you setting a good example. You can even get them to participate: pick a time during the week when you can get your family to discuss meals and snacks, and see what healthy snacks you can all agree on to replace the sweets and junk food. Stock them, and see how you all do at making better choices.

2. Exercise. This is another one of those things you always mean to do, but somehow your turn slides off the calendar. When you exercise, you are less stressed, less tired, and your energy and mood benefits from the endorphins. Studies show when moms make exercise a priority, the rest of the family values activities too. So, find an activity you enjoy and join a class or a club. Pilates, Zumba™, yoga, and walking are all accessible to most fitness levels, and reap tremendous rewards. And you might even make a friend or two.

3. Make time for you. Set aside a small period of time each day to recharge yourself. Even just a half hour is enough time to read a chapter in a book, practice some yoga in the living room, go for a Core Barre class, or chat with a friend on the phone. Protect your time from interruptions by making an agreement with your spouse or even hiring a babysitter, and commit to doing something for you. This is not a stolen moment to fold laundry, but for doing something that makes you feel like yourself again. And don’t feel guilty — you’re taking care of yourself!

4. Drink water. Many times when we’re just SO tired, we’re actually dehydrated. Drinking water is great way to boost energy and flush out toxins. Ideally, try to drink 64 oz. each day. One way to keep track: wear a beaded bracelet with 8 beads. Every time you drink an 8 oz glass of water, slide a bead over. When all the beads are on the other side of your wrist, you’ve finished all 64 oz., and you’ll feel great!

5. Date night. Make your marriage a priority. Connect with your spouse and enjoy some grown-up time. Go out to dinner. Or lunch. Take a long walk together.  Spending time together will strengthen your connection, improve your communication, and enhance the support you feel for each other.

6. Take a bath. Water soothes the body and the brain. Run some warm water with bath salts, oils or your favorite bubbles, light a candle and ease aches and troubles away. Relaxing music or a favorite magazine can make this small moment a relaxing and replenishing luxury.

7. Connect with a friend. Make sure you make time for friends. Whether it’s a Girls’ Night Out, meeting a friend for Pop Pilates class and a coffee afterward, or even just an online or over-the-phone chat, connecting with your friends has been shown to be good for your health. And it also makes you happier.

8. Laugh. When was the last time you remember having a good laugh? Laughter lightens our hearts and lives, and adults rarely laugh enough. Compared to children’s 300 laughs a day, most adults only laugh 5 times in a day. Find a funny program, podcast, or social media group, or just get silly with your kids, and start to exercise those laugh lines. 

 9. Touch therapy.  To most of us, the ultimate indulgence is a spa day. But studies show that feel-good hormones like serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin are  released from touch therapies such as massage. So go ahead and make an appointment for a massage, a facial, or even a pedicure or manicure. So many touches for moms are about giving hugs or snuggles. Consider letting someone else soothe your body’s tension away as a great way to replenish so you feel ready to give more hugs and snuggles.

10. Give Gratitude. People who feel grateful have more energy and happiness. Creating a gratitude journal can help us take note of small special moments each day. In the long days of being a mom, we often feel burdened by our day-to-day lives, and finding 3 to 5 things for which to be grateful can lift that burden. It doesn’t have to be flowery or even written in complete sentences. Grab a notebook and list off a few detailed moments for which you can be grateful.  As a mom, the days are long, but the years go by far too fast. Being thankful may help you appreciate each day a little more.

Susan McInnis