In honor of Labor Day today (and because I’m working and don’t have time to put up a fresh post!) I thought I would re-post a popular article that I wrote last November. I normally don’t do re-post, but this one is all about taking care of yourself as a mom and person, so I think it fits into today perfectly. Enjoy!
And don’t worry. I’ll relax tomorrow. 🙂
I want to function with all of me. I want to live with all of me. I want to do everything with all of me.
I have days when I wake up when my son does because I went to bed to late. I play with him on the floor and I stay in my sweats all day long. I rest when he does, I clean up here and there and I stumble wtih every activity. I eat what I find in the fridge and I have a grumpy attitude. I’m not functiong at my best.
Then I have days that are completely opposite. I wake up before my son does. I get ready, I eat breakfast and I think about my day. I check my email before he wakes up, I take time for myself and I make balanced meals. I do fun activities with my son, I get out of the house and I’m happy. I’m functioning at my best.
I want to function at my best more often.
What kind of mom do you want to be? Do you want to do things with a little of you? Or do you want to do things to your full potential and with every ounce of you?
Here are a few tips for having more energy and being more productive throughout your day. These will in turn allow you to live more fully and function at your best.
- Start your day off by writing a “to do” list. Prioritize this list.
- Assign certain activities for specific days of the week. For example, Tuesdays and Fridays (right. I know. We need more days than that) are laundry days.
- Do only the most important things and don’t waste your times on the little things that don’t matter.
- Balance your day. Don’t spend all your time on cooking or all your time on taking the kids to soccer practice. Find balance between all these things.
2. Eat well.
The food that you eat during your day should be your fuel. Foods that are good for you will give you energy and make you feel better. Healthy foods will also help you think and function better. There are some simple ways you can make eating healthy easier.
- Keep fresh foods stocked in the fridge
- Cook healthy meals for your kids. If they are eating healthy, chances are you are too.
- Snack on fruits and nuts
- Keep an emergency energy/protein bar in your purse for the sudden I’m starving! moments.
3. Drink Water.
Not only does drinking water have many health benefits, it also makes you feel better. When I’m drinking water I just feel cleaner and healthier. I feel better.
Some ideas for teaching yourself to drink more water:
- Keep a water bottle in every room. Have a water bottle (or glass of water) on your nightstand, in your office, and on your coffee table. The more you see it and are reminded of it, the more you will drink it.
- Drink a glass of water before any other beverage. Before you have a glass of juice, milk, soda, or alcoholic beverage, make yourself have a glass of water first.
- Find out how you like your water and make it available. I love cold water in water bottles. I am much more likely to drink water if I see a bottle in the fridge, so I try to keep it available like that as often as possible.
5. Give yourself a bedtime.
Going to bed “whenever you feel like it” or “when you feel tired” is not preparing yourself to get a good night sleep. By having a somewhat flexible bedtime you can make sure you are getting enough sleep every night and waking up with (more) energy and a clear head.
Here are a few tips and things to think about:
- What time do you need to bed that will allow you to get enough sleep but also let you do what you want to do at night?
- Make yourself a routine. Just as we have routines with our kids before bed, it helps to have our own routine as well. Read a book, take a bath, or do whatever it is that relaxes your mind and body. For me, it’s taking a shower and reading. Nights when I get in bed at 10:00 and read until 1030 are nights that give me a good night sleep. I wake up on the happy side of the bed
- Don’t eat, drink or exercise too close to your bedtime You need time to unwind before you sleep.
- Before you go to bed, write down everything that’s on your mind. Just take 5-10 minutes to jot down words or sentences that come to you. This allows you to clear your head before bed.
It is possible to fit exercise into our crazy and busy lives.
- Go for a walk with your kids. Put them in the stroller or have them ride bikes with you. Walking is the simplest and probably easiest way to exercise.
- Do a workout DVD while your child is napping. I know, I know. When they’re napping you have to clean or cook or sleep or pay bills. But remember, this is about prioritizing and fitting all key elements into your day.
- Go to the gym early in the morning or late at night. I go to the gym around 8:00pm. My baby is sleeping and my husband is home. It’s not the ideal time, but it’s either that or 6:00 am and I am certainly not a morning person. Especially after I just woke up three times!
7. Connect with others like you.
The other day my brother mentioned that he thought I was updating my status on Facebook too often. And I joked with him, It’s the only grown up interaction I get all day! Sometimes that’s true. If we stay home all day for one reason or the other, it’s just me and baby talk all.day.long. Connecting with other moms and adults has been a saving grace for me.
There are several ways you can connect with and meet others like you
- Join a “play group” of sorts. This allows you to talk with and meet other moms while your child is able to play.
- Participate in community activities.
- Make a girls night or a date night with your husband a priority. Get away from the house and the kids. Be yourself without them for a night.