Moms rule. I mean, who else do you know that can juggle mopping, meal planning, grocery getting, disciplining, chauffeuring, appointment setting, booger wiping, cooking, errand running, vacuuming, kid entertaining, dishwashing, education advocating, party planning, diaper changing, laundering – WHEW! I need to take a breath!
Taking care of kids, a partner, a home and a business are hard work. The rewards are many, but honestly, the job benefits can kind of stink. (Literally, sometimes.) No days off, no sick time, and a lack of appreciation can really wear you out after awhile.
Because we are juggling so many balls in the air, it is vital that we make time to take care of ourselves a priority too. And you may be wondering how on earth you can find time to take care of yourself when just getting in a shower every day feels like a medal-worthy accomplishment.
Self care may seem a little self-indulgent, but it is so necessary for warding off resentment, anxiety, even depression. Since I started putting myself on my own to-do list back in January, I have noticed that I am slower to get angry, I feel less rushed and overwhelmed, and I feel – and even look – more relaxed.
Here are my top three ideas for taking care of YOU:
CREATE A SOLO DAILY RITUAL
At my house, even though my kids are 4 and 6, they are still always underfoot. Since I work from home, I am constantly interrupted for drinks and snacks and book reading and snuggles and more snacks. I’ve gotten used to a certain constant level of noise, but I crave quiet time. (I’m sure you can relate!)
Carving out time each day for some quiet alone time is really helpful in maintaining your sanity as a working mom. For me, especially when I’m getting frustrated, it’s like hitting a reset button on my mood.
Whether you get up earlier than everyone else in the house or take some time for yourself during the baby’s nap, having a daily ritual to read, journal, pray, meditate or simply savor a hot cup of tea can soothe your soul.
SCHEDULE TIME OFF
Last month, when we talked about our No Way, No How List, one of the things I mentioned personally doing was taking Sundays off. Unfortunately, with our crazy schedules at my house, taking every Sunday off just isn’t a possibility right now. But I do make sure to schedule at least one day off every week – no housework, no yard work, no business work. Taking time to relax and rejuvenate helps me to be more productive when I do sit back down at my desk again.
Scheduling vacations is key to taking care of yourself too. Before allowing your calendar to be overrun with meetings and appointments, block off days and weeks for vacation, even if you don’t have plans to go anywhere just yet. Scrambling to find time to take off when you’ve already reached burnout doesn’t bode well for rest and relaxation. (Side note, while you are reading this, I’m bopping around the Happiest Place on Earth!)
HEALTH REALLY IS WEALTH
As moms, we know there’s never truly anything called a sick day. We’ve toughed it out through runny noses, sinus infections, stomach flus, you name it. But what happens if something more serious than a spring cold comes along?
Our health is our number one asset. Once it’s gone, our way of life is gone as well. Think about someone you know who is dealing with a chronic illness. What do their days look like?
Taking preventative measures to protect our health is huge. Getting enough sleep, eating a healthy diet, and exercising need to be major priorities in our lives, even when we don’t have the time. Especially because we don’t have the time!
I know personally, it’s hard to stay on the health wagon. I’m constantly falling off! In my case, I know it’s due to lack of planning. When my schedule starts to overwhelm me, I start skipping exercise, staying up too late, and grabbing whatever is cheap and easy to put on the table. But I re-commit to taking care of my health again and again, because I have to, for my kids. And for myself.
Are you taking care of yourself? What do you do to relax and refuel? Leave a comment below to share your thoughts and ideas, or even your frustrations or concerns. Let’s help each other learn to take better care of ourselves so we can take better care of the ones we love.
Christy Johnson has two amazing little girls and a rock of a handsome hubby. She photographs Raleigh’s most adorable families and blogs her photography work and personal stories at Be True Image Design. Email her with your own struggles and triumphs with work/life balance at firstname.lastname@example.org.