As a stay at home mom, you likely have a long to-do list, which never totally gets done. This is especially true if you’re also working at home.
Chances are great that you are nowhere to be found on that to-do list. And if you do manage to squeeze some “me time” activities in there, they’re likely the first ones to be forgotten when you’re short on time.
Truth is, if you don’t take care of yourself, it’s going to make all of those taking care of other people and things tasks harder to complete.
You may not believe it at first, but practicing a little self care will actually save you time rather than take up your time, as you’ll find yourself more productive and engaged when it comes to your other tasks.
Here are five easy things you can do that will make a better life for you and your children.
1. 10 Minutes: Always take at least 10 minutes for yourself in the morning. Use this time to meditate, visualize your perfect day, reflect, pray, whatever feels good to you. Make this a quite and intentional time. Use it as an opportunity to set the mood for your day.
2. Get Physical: Movement causes your brain to release chemicals that make you happier. You don’t have to run a marathon or show up at the gym every day in stylish color-coordinated outfits. But you should do whatever you can do.
Get outside and take a walk if you can. The benefits of being outside make the benefits of getting physical all the more powerful.
Going to the gym and participating in group exercise classes with other people is also beneficial. But again, do what you can. It may just be your own little physical routine in your living room, or an exercise DVD you enjoy.
Whatever it is, find something you like to do. This should be something you look forward to, not dread.
3. Exercise Your Brain: Your brain loves and needs a good workout too. Adult coloring books are great for this, or some kind of crossword puzzle that gets you thinking. Reading a book or writing in your journal will also get your brain going.
The important thing here is to try different things. Your brain likes new challenges. There are apps you can add to your phone such as Lumosity that will help exercise your brain. You can also just google “brain games” and get an endless number of ideas.
4. Connect with Adults: One of the few downsides to not working outside your home is that you may get to the end of the day and realize you haven’t spoken to anyone over the age of 10 all day.
Yes, your kids are great, but it feels really good to have a little break and hook up with someone who understands your grown up joys and struggles and can bring a little of the outside world into your day.
Some days this may just be a phone call with a friend. But try to make it in person when you can, even if it’s just going to a friend’s house for lunch or inviting her over to your house for a cookie break. You can even multi-task your me time here by taking a walk with a friend!
5. Have a Hobby: If someone asked what your hobbies were, would your answer include something you’re currently engaged in doing on at least a somewhat regular basis?
If the answer is no, change that. Whether it’s a craft, a sport or birdwatching, pick one of those things you may have loved to do pre-children and can’t find the time for anymore, and make time. Commit to enjoying your hobby at least once a week.
If you’re skeptical about whether this self-care will really have a marked improvement on your life, at least commit to giving it a try. Likely within a few days, and easily within a month, you’re sure to feel like a new and better person. This benefits you of course, but will also make everyone in your family happier.
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