Put your health first. Yes, first—above your kids, your husband and your job. The longer you go without taking care of yourself, the more severe the consequences. Here are 10 ways you can put yourself first—with your family benefitting most.
1. Eat well. You can be a healthy role model for your kids – they follow your lead. If you aren’t eating well, neither will they.
2. Exercise. Your children should see that mom values her health and enjoys exercise. Maybe your partner will also be inspired by your increased energy. The whole family will benefit from you being less stressed and less tired.
3. Reclaim just a little personal time each day. Ask for a small block of time from your spouse or a friend, or get a babysitter so you can recharge. Don’t feel guilty about taking care of yourself!
4. Drink water. Dehydration will lead to a feeling of exhaustion. To keep your body healthy and your energy up, make sure you drink at least 64 oz of water each day.
5. Date night. Make your marriage a priority and get out for some grown-up time. Connecting and communicating with your significant other is good for your health.
6. Take a bath. Water is soothing to the body and the brain. Pour in your favorite bubbles, light a candle and take a dip. This small ritual can be quite replenishing.
7. Connect with a friend. Research shows that women gain health benefits from friendships, so carve out some time to connect with your friends. If you don’t have time for a mom’s night out, consider an online coffee date. Oxytocin, our feel good hormone, spikes after childbirth and also during friendship.
8. Laugh. Children laugh about 300 times per day, whereas adults laugh about five. Our entire sense of life lightens when we laugh. Listen to a podcast, get a joke of the day or just giggle with your kids.
9. Touch therapy. Feel-good hormones such as serotonin, dopamine and oxytocin are released from touch therapy such as massage. Consider it body maintenance!
10. Give Gratitude. Women who feel grateful have more energy and happiness. Create a gratitude journal and write in it each day. As a mom, the days are long, but the years go by far too fast. Being thankful may help you appreciate each day a little more.
American Council on Exercise
ACE Fit Workout Library: Top 25 Tips for Busy Moms
Cleveland Department of Public Health: MomsFirst