Thursday, April 19, 2018

MOM LIFE :: On Finding Time for Self-Care

As Moms, it is very easy to get lost in the sea of to-do's that floods our everyday lives.  We have school schedules, after school activities, house chores, medical appointments for the kids...The list is never-ending.  When our days are so packed with activity it is very easy to let go of ourselves because there is only so much of us to go around and, lets face it, we are exhausted most of the time. This 'letting go' will be gradual but it will slowly build up.  It can start with something as simple as not putting your contacts in and just wearing your glasses because you can't find those extra five minutes.  I've been there.  Then you find yourself reaching for your prescription sunglasses in the middle of the afternoon because the sun is blinding you as you drive.  And you will tell yourself that you really need to be wearing those contacts because sunglasses are so much easier and fun, too.  But will you find time to put your contacts in the next day?  Will you remember to in the midst of trying to get your kiddos ready and out the door?

So I'm here today to encourage you to take a look at how much or how little you invest in yourself daily because we can't forget ourselves in the process of taking care of our families.  I am a work in progress in this department but I have come to understand the importance of finding time for myself.  It just makes me feel more centered and happier in general.  I think it's important too for our daughters to see that we are making ourselves a priority.  Now by making yourself a priority I don't mean that you need to take off to the spa every weekend.  You just need to make sure you are taking care of yourself too in your everyday life.

Here's how I go about practicing self-care:

1. Exercising ::  I try to aim for at least two workouts a week.  I set my goals low so that they don't feel overwhelming to achieve.  Most weeks I can workout three nights a week which is not bad.

2. Personal Care :: I always make sure I follow my skin routine in the morning and before bedtime.  This involves washing my face, removing make-up, using a toner and moisturizing (which includes SPF in the morning).  I have been known to do this with my son on my left hip in the mornings if he's being rambunctious.  When it comes to make-up, my routine is not very involved but it does include the basics:  foundation, concealer, eye shadow, blush, highlighter and eyebrow liner.  I have been known to do part of this with my son on my left hip too.  It just makes me feel more put together when I go out.  Since I started getting grays early, coloring my hair is a must and I will go every 5 weeks.

3.  Medical Appointments ::  I keep up to date with all my appointments.  Granted, they are very challenging to fit in a lot of times, but our health is worth going the extra mile.

4.  Nutrition  ::  Being on a gluten- and dairy-free diet is not easy.  Gluten-free foods are not fortified so you really have to stay on top of what you eat to make sure that your body is getting all the nutrition it needs.  In addition to making sure that my meals are balanced I do not skip my snacks and I make sure that I drink lots of water during the day to stay hydrated.  I supplement with a multi-vitamin, vitamin D, fish oil, probiotics and calcium.  I find them all very helpful.

5.  Fun Stuff ::  In this department, I group things like making sure my husband and I have a monthly date for example.  This is something that has fallen into place very recently.  The kids both love the Saturday events our gym puts together and it gives us a couple of hours to have a quiet dinner and adult conversation.  It's so worth it!  Other things I try to do is keeping up with a favorite show and then working on my baking.  Baking is a bit of a meditative practice for me.  I find it so relaxing at the end of the day and it's nice to have home baked goods that you know are well-balanced to serve for breakfast.

So here you are. These are a few of the things that I do to stay balanced and take care of myself.  How do you practice self-care?

Thank you for reading!

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