If you are like me, Spring is here and your life has become even more hectic. The weather is breaking, days are longer, kids activities are increasing, and you just find yourself constantly on the run.
The last thing you want to do is think about taking care of yourself. You are grabbing food on the go, checking homework in flash, spot cleaning your house, and life is constantly moving!
I don’t know about you, but that is how my life has been the past few weeks. Between travel basketball, committee meetings, and other duties, I haven’t been taking the best care of myself. Before spring, I was packing my lunch, making sure I got the proper nutrients, etc. but once this change of season occurred (with the weather and my life), I stopped packing my lunch, I was snacking a lot and really not paying attention to what I put in my body.
And guess what?
I completely felt the negative effects. I started feeling tired and sluggish again; drained throughout the whole day. Lately, when I get home from all the meetings and activities, I want to rush straight to bed.
Then I realized, somewhere along the line even though I was prioritizing my wants and needs, I had stopped taking “care” of myself. Well this past weekend, I decided enough was enough. I was falling back into old patterns and that wasn’t good. So I came up with a self-care survival guide for all moms (and women) who find themselves falling victim to “not enough time-itis”.
TIP #1: CREATE A SCHEDULE
You need to schedule or plan out your day if you want to survive busyness and self-care. This plan can be as formal or informal as you’d like. You can use a planner, the notes app on your phone, or simply a piece of paper to jot down your plans for the day or week.
No matter the method chosen, make sure your daily plan includes some sort of self-care
This past weekend was super busy for me. My son had prom and then two basketball events, but I also knew I needed to do my hair. So I had previously made arrangements for my daughter’s to spend time weekend with my sister. Friday came and I plotted out my day so that I could accomplish getting my hair done. As much as I wanted to go the hair salon (which I will soon incorporate back into my self-care plan), I simply didn’t have time that day. Instead, I focused on how can I get my hair done in the midst of the crazy weekend schedule.
So here’s how I planned my day to make everything happen and still get my hair done:
- Worked my regular job from 7:30 am-2:30 pm (I worked through my lunch cause I knew I was going to need that extra hour later in the day)
- Left work and went to the hair store
- Got home and took my girls to grab dinner for everyone
- Returned home and spot cleaned while girls packed and son got dressed for prom
- Girls went to play with a neighborhood friend and I squeezed in time to wash my hair while my son finished getting dressed for prom
- Time is now 6:00 pm and son is preparing to leave. I pulled my freshly washed hair back into a ponytail so we could go and take pictures before he left.
- Once he left and my girls departed shortly thereafter; I blow dried and braided my hair then decided to relax for a little while.
- My son had a tournament the next day so I woke up early and finished my hair.
Whew… I know this sounds like a lot, and it really is, but because I paced myself and the ultimate goal was going something good for myself; I didn’t feel overwhelmed.
By the way; my son had a ball at prom and looked great in the process. Take a look.
This is just a sample of one afternoon in my life, however, since I knew I wanted to squeeze in my self-care I planned accordingly. Sometimes self-care planning is not straightforward and you have to maneuver to accomplish your goals, but as long as you remain flexible; you can do it.
If you want more information on jump-starting your self-care plan now, check on this post on “10 Ways to Take Better Care of Yourself Now”.
Tip #2: Get Creative
This tip is related to the first one. As you can see, I got very creative with my schedule for Friday, but I was happy because I managed to get my hair done before my weekend I got too hectic. If you find that life is getting in the way of your self-care, make adjustments and get creative.
For the longest time, I have been slacking on exercise. I have been focusing on making healthier food choices and have seen a greater weight loss than when I was exercising. However, I can only imagine how much progress I can make if I am somehow able to incorporate exercise into my healthier lifestyle. Previously I woke up early in the morning and went to the gym, but honestly, I am just not a morning person. I was able to exercise early morning for a few months, but then I adjusted my time at work and needed to leave home early so getting the gym was just not happening. Plus I’d much rather sleep a little longer than exercise early AM (just being honest LOL).
So I always had great intentions of exercising in the evening, but by the time I cooked, cleaned, etc, exercise was last on my list. And now that my evenings are packed with meetings and activities, yeah getting the gym at night is not happening.
Instead, I have had to get creative.
First, I began taking short breaks and going for a walk around building at work several times a day. Now, that the weather is breaking, I will be using my lunch hour to go to a nearby park for a quick walk.
Another way you can be creative as a busy mom is to get out and play with your kids. That’s right. Join in on your kids’ activities while they are outside and you’d be surprised how much exercise you really get.
My latest form of creative exercise has come from my youngest daughter. My son and oldest daughter now play basketball, so my youngest daughter has decided to she wants to learn how to play. I told her I can put her on a team at the local YMCA, but she is completely against (play with boys…no way.. LOL– My baby girl is “GIRL POWER” all day long.).
We are a basketball family and she knows this. I played in high school. My husband and even my mom and dad both played basketball. So my baby girl says to me “I want to learn from you. You can teach me how to play.” I brushed it off seeing as how I haven’t’ picked up a ball in over 10 years, but she is insisting that I can teach her and the only person she wants to learn from is me. That being said, last week we started practicing on the side of the gym while her brother and sister practice with their teams, and for the first time in months, I registered over 10,000 steps on my Fitbit.
I say all this to say, get creative during your kids’ activities. Exercise doesn’t have to look like your typical cardio/strength training to count as activity. If you are at your child’s practice, take a walk around the gym or the field. Play with your other kids while you wait. Find a way to get active because all activity is exercise.
I am glad for my baby girl who has motivated me to get moving in a different kind of way and look forward to teaching her (and her sister) how to play basketball (no pressure LOL).
Get creative and get moving! Your health matters!
Tip #3: Relax Momma, you got this!
This is my favorite tip and I think the one that we all struggle with the most. Sometimes we need to simply take a step back, embrace our surroundings, and realize it is impossible to get everything done in one day. Some days you may not feel like “adulting”. You may not feel like practicing self-care. Some days you may not even feel up to participating in activities with your kids. Remember, it’s okay. Realize that self-care sometimes comes in the form of doing nothing.
Prime example, I have committed to #MeMonday posts for my blog weekly. However, with all that occurred this past weekend, I simply did not feel like fine tuning my post and prepping it to go live Monday morning. I tried but after my busy weekend, I couldn’t produce. Instead of pressuring myself to get it done and produce sub-par content, I decided to table that blog post to a later date and do something different yesterday.
So for #MeMonday, I took care of ME. If you follow me on Instagram or Facebook, you may have caught my live videos where I showed you what I was doing for this week’s Me Monday. If not, now is a good time to hit that follow and like button, so you can always keep up to date for those weeks when I simply don’t feel like posting.
Anyway during my lunch hour yesterday, I decided to get out the office and take a walk in between meetings. I went to a local park and enjoyed the nice spring breeze while listening to one of my favorite podcasts and enjoying time alone with my thoughts. At that moment, I was at peace and did some much-needed regrouping.
I could have easily pushed through my blog post, but bottom line I needed to give something back to myself. In a day full of meetings fresh off a weekend full of activities, I needed that moment of time to center myself so I could be my best in my afternoon and evening meetings, and I’m glad I did.
So let go of that guilt of not accomplishing everything, and realize sometimes you get better results when taking a step back, relax and regroup.
You may have accustomed your readers to new content on certain days of the week or dedicated yourself to posting on social media certain times in a day, but your profile, your blog will still be there even if you skip a day or week. It’s my blog so I give myself permission to not post. I learned a long time ago that the work is not going anywhere, and if you lose subscribers or followers because you take a break than those people weren’t loyal anyway.
Don’t wear yourself out trying to be everything to everybody. Listen to your body. Listen to your mind. But most of all, pay attention to the signs that you need to slow down before something happens that gives you more of a break than you intended.
Make a schedule. Get Creative. Relax, momma. You got this.
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Until Next Time,