We are always being shown different ways to take care of ourselves physically. Eating healthy, exercising regularly, taking supplements, everything in moderation, etc…but one of the most important factors that ties into overall wellness tend to get pushed to the back-burner; our mental and emotional health.
Obviously eating right and a decent amount of cardio will jump-start the process of feeling good, but as moms, I think we tend to forget that we need more than a salad and twenty minutes on the treadmill each day to ensure our cups are full.
Here are just a few ways you can incorporate a few minutes of each day towards your emotional and mental well being.
- Set aside time: Seems straight-forward enough, right? I would argue that this is the number one killer of every half-empty mama cup out there. It’s so easy to internally remind ourselves that we will do something we enjoy every day; that is until we’re on day 7 of our popular dry-shampoo regime and can’t remember the last hot meal we had. We become so wrapped up in the day-to-day hustle that we truly lose sight of ourselves. Even something as simple as setting an alarm every day at the same time for a 15 minute *uninterrupted* shower can make a world of difference. If we choose to make excuses for why we can’t find time to practice self-love, we are not only denying ourselves vital emotional recharging but letting it lead to an imbalance in other areas (s) of our lives. Set those alarms and mark those day planners, ladies.
- Pick your “thing”: Reading, writing, sudoku, crochet, binge-watching murder shows….whatever makes your heart over the moon, butterflies in the stomach, energizing bunny happy, go for it, girl. If you don’t know what your thing is, or don’t really have one, that’s fine too. It could be that you honestly just want more than anything 10 minutes of complete silence, without being nagged, screamed for, or tugged at. If you can focus in on even one small “thing” that you miss being able to do, or want to do more of; make that baby a priority. Don’t overwhelm yourself trying to come up with something either, that just defeats the purpose and then we’re back to square one. It’ll come to you, don’t you worry your pretty little head about it!
- Take your brain on a walk: I work at a desk job, so I find myself getting foggy headed sometimes just staring at a computer screen all day. I have a few apps that I use to focus solely on stretching my brain (I know that sometimes mine feels like a monkey playing cymbals). These apps have specific exercises that don’t take long, but sort of snap you out of it and give you a boost. Some include mini puzzles, matching tiles, mazes, etc…nothing you need to be a rocket scientist to figure out, I promise. You could even take a walk outside and catch some fresh air while you’re at it. Win-Win.
- Disconnect: I don’t know about you, but I’m on my phone or computer pretty much from the time I wake up, to the time I go to bed. It’s easy to forget how awful and unhealthy this habitual routine is. If this speaks to you, then you also know that even though we don’t always love the idea, disconnecting from all of our devices really has its benefits. I’m going to Sedona this weekend, and plan to really just be present with my family sans electronics. It’s something that can be really effective, but equally hard to do – try it and see if it lifts a little bit of the stress off of your shoulders. You might even find a new “thing” that you love!
- Know your limits: I think the most important thing that I am always trying to remind myself of is that I know myself better than anyone else knows me. The biggest key to being in touch with your mental health is reaching a certain level of self-awareness. You have to learn to set boundaries, say no, and disengage. This can be the most difficult ‘ping’ to listen to within ourselves. When that buzzer in your head goes off, and you can feel yourself starting to become overwhelmed, you have to learn to step back, take a deep breath, and advocate for your emotional wellness. Just like we wouldn’t want our kids to feel pressured to perform, you should extend yourself the same grace and kindness. Take a break, mamas. We are only human; our sanity should not be dictated by the world around us.
I hope some of these tips help get you on the right track to loving yourself. I don’t mean that in the cliche, kitty on the branch, ‘hang in there’ poster type way; but as a simple reminder that you are worth 15 minutes a day. More in my opinion, but let’s be honest, who has the time?!