For too long you have been putting yourself last, I know because I do this too. We want to be good moms, wives, coworkers resulting in neglecting our own self-care. I have gone to work dead tired after being up all night with a sick kid because I didn’t want to leave my coworkers with extra work. Instead I made mistakes and wasn’t much use at all, to top it off I got written up for something silly that would never have happened if I had just used a sick day and stayed home.
The airlines say to put your own oxygen mask on first for a reason! You are no good to your family if you don’t have any oxygen. Have you gone too long with oxygen deprivation? Or is it sleep deprivation?! Either way, momma we are tired and trying to do too much in too short of time.
Its ironic because I remember when I first started putting a priority on myself and thinking about my own needs. What do we do first when we want to know more about something? Pinterest of course!! I have an entire board all about what I found on Pinterest regarding taking care of myself. I started noticing a theme mentioned over and over again…want to know what it was?
What I found was a surprising answer and yet it wasn’t! The answer is good old-fashioned common sense – which unfortunately isn’t so common anymore…or maybe it’s just flat out ignored (like my 8 year old when he is watching power rangers and i want him to take out the trash!). Remember when your parents made you eat your vegetables? And insisted you go to bed on time? Yeah, that was for a reason…yet as kids we think it is punishment and can’t wait to be adults so we can “do whatever we want.”
Didn’t really turn out the way we thought, huh?!?
Instead, as it turns out these are the very things that we need to do each day to keep operating at our peak functioning levels. The top 6 six tips I found over and over again as I was researching this topic were:
- get your sleep, momma! 7-8 hours every night optimally. And remember, the idea that we can “catch up” is just a myth! If you sleep until noon on Saturday and then have to get up at 6am on Monday, your body will pay for it. We aren’t 19 anymore! Those nights that the little one gets sick 5 times and you are up hourly cleaning the mess, again (!), give yourself some grace and realize you will not be solving all the world’s problems that day. Try to take a nap when the baby naps and leave world peace for another time!
- eat right (moderation!) no crazy diet plans here! Just make sure you have fruits and veggies, protein, dairy, and a whole grain at each meal. – can you say overnight oats, fresh or frozen berries, and Greek yogurt in a mason jar waiting in the fridge for you to grab in the morning to start your day out right?? There must be a thousand pins about this on Pinterest, I like this one: </li>
- go for a walk – I know, I get it – we don’t even have time to shower some days – so I am not about to tell you that you need to go spend an hour at the gym! Get outside, put the kiddos in the stroller and take a brisk 10 minute walk around the block. This has worked wonders for me; when I get home I feel so much more energized and ready to tackle that big project I have been putting off for two weeks. Now, I have to admit I am a fair weather walker – if it’s raining forget it! But when the sun is out this has quickly become one of my favorite things to do to keep my sanity.
- journal – i love to write, part of why I started a blog! So curling up with my favorite cute journal and a warm cup of coffee is my favorite way to dump out my brain in a private and quiet manner. I know a lot of people are more of external processors but just be careful who you process with – just sayin’!
- another favorite quiet activity of mine is getting lost in a good book with a hot cup of coffee (see the trend?!?) I can completely lose track of time when I am engrossed in a good book! Sometimes though I can find myself spending too much time reading personal development books and don’t make time to read something just for me and just for fun! I like Tom Clancy, my BFF likes a good romance, what do you like to read (you know if you had a spare minute!)?
- water,water, water – i know, I know, ironic coming from me! And I admit that if you popped over to my house you probably wouldn’t find me with a tall cold glass of water! Just keeping it real! But I am trying really hard to alternate my way too many cups of coffee each day with a glass of water every now and then. Apparently it’s really good for you! LOL!
To help with keeping track of which days I actually manage to put myself first – at least in one way or another – I am utilizing both android and humanoid resources. I downloaded a free habit tracker app on my phone which pops up with a reminder a few times a day to drink my water or go for a walk. I can either snooze it for later, mark that I have done it, or just dismiss it if my day has gone haywire and quiet time just isn’t in the cards for me.
I have also printed out my habit tracker and am having fun coloring in the days that I manage to put in at least a little effort towards taking care of numero uno for a change.