All women need to learn how to treat themselves to rest and relaxation.
Like many of you, I am a busy mom. I run my own business and I have since my two girls were two years old and an infant. I understand the time pressures that we face. It’s really hard to fit it all in and get it all done. I’m not even sure that it is even possible. But just because we are stretched doesn’t mean that our self-care should be shoved to the back burner.
Moms are often the hub of the family. The one’s that the primary household and childcare responsibilities fall to in addition to many of us juggling full- or part-time work. I’m not dissing dads, but in my experience moms are still the one’s running the majority of the household the majority of the time. If we don’t take care of ourselves the hub breaks down and the whole system is affected. So, if you can’t do it for yourself, do it for your family.
In an already crunched day, it can feel difficult or even impossible to make the time for yourself, that is why I recommend starting with a morning self-care routine. Why in the morning? For two reasons, 1) you know you’ve gotten it in and then can focus on all the other tasks that are calling your name for the rest of the day and 2) because it sets the right positive tone for the rest of your day.
I have spent enough mornings barreling out of bed only to rush to wake up the kids, make their breakfasts, make their lunches, get myself ready for work and get everyone out the door on time to know that starting the day that way only leaves me feeling crunched, rushed, and like there is no time for me.
In contrast, when I start my day with a self-care routine, whether it is yoga, meditation, exercise, or a few quiet moments to myself to conjure up feelings of gratitude and set my intentions for the day, it starts my day off on a positive note, I feel healthier and happier, I feel less rushed, I am calmer even as I have to still move quickly through my morning to get us all where we need to be. And this feeling tends to last throughout the day for me. Now, sometimes I do need a reset; a few moments during the day to conjure up those feelings from my self-care routine or take a few deep breaths or close my eyes and visualize my happy place, but I am much more likely to have a positive and more productive day when I start with a morning self-care routine.
So, here is my challenge to all of you moms out there. Tomorrow morning get up a little bit earlier and give yourself time for self-care. You can choose whether it is 5, 10, 20 minutes or even an hour. You can choose the activity: breathing, exercising, writing, praying, reflecting, bathing, etc… But commit to one self-care routine every morning for 30 days. You might want to keep a journal to track how you feel and any changes that might occur. After 30 days, check-in with yourself and notice how your feeling, how your mornings are going, what worked and what didn’t. Read through your journal if you kept one. Then you can choose to modify your program, add on, subtract something, throw it all away or start over. But give it a try and see what happens for you. I would be shocked if you did not see some improvements in your well-being, but hey, I always say, You Are the Expert of Your Own Life. Try it on and see how it fits.