by Joy Adamonis
As a mom, we often feel pressured to give so much of our attention to our children. Add in other responsibilities such as a job, partner, friends, family and everyday tasks, there doesn’t seem to be much time for ourselves! Sometimes our own health (physical and mental) get put to the way side in order to care for others. Self-care can seem time consuming and discretionary time isn’t something most moms have a tons of.
Here are five simple steps to help you on your path to becoming a happier, healthier mom:
1. Get Dressed
This may sound silly, but getting dressed can help set your mood for the day. Chances are, if you stay in your pajamas all day, you will be less likely to leave the house or less motivated to get things done. If being a stay at home mom is your job, you can still dress the part. It doesn’t need to be all dresses and heels. Pick something that makes you feel good about how you look without comprising comfort. No matter the task at hand, feeling comfortable in your own skin will do wonders for your mood!
2. Eat Breakfast
Surely you’ve heard the saying, “breakfast is the most important meal of the day.””? Having breakfast provides you with the energy and nutrients you need for the day ahead. It influences how we perform physically and mentally. Breakfast eaters tend to have an easier time with weight management. Eating breakfast also helps keep hunger at bay. We all know we can make poor eating choices when we are hungry! Try eating breakfast for one week straight and see how you feel.
3. Get Fresh Air
Fresh air cleanses the lungs and helps bring more oxygen to each cell in your body. The amount of serotonin your body has is hugely affected by the amount of oxygen you inhale. Serotonin is known to lighten your mood and promote a sense of happiness. Fresh air will leave you feeling more refreshed and relaxed. Go for a walk or sit on your porch and flip through a magazine. Sleeping with your windows open is a great way to get some fresh air as well. Keeping plants indoors can also improve the air quality.
4. Go to Sleep
Sleep plays an important part in regulating our moods and reducing stress. Most new moms find it hard to get adequate sleep the first few months or even years. Ongoing sleep deficiency is linked to an increased risk of heart disease, kidney disease, high blood pressure, diabetes, and stroke. Make sure you find time wherever you can to close your eyes, even if only for 30 minutes. Perhaps you nap when your child does or skip that late night movie and go to sleep early. Sleep can help boost your mood, weight control, sex life, and heart health. Naps aren’t just for children anymore!
5. Move More
Each day, aim for 30 minutes of physical movement. It doesn’t need to be all burpees and pushups. A leisurely walk, yoga, riding a bike, gardening, and swimming can all have positive effects on your mood. It takes 20 minutes for the brain to produce endorphins, which produces that exercise-induced rush of happiness. In addition to endorphins, working out also triggers neurotransmitters, such as dopamine — the “feel-good”, mood-boosting chemical. What can you do to move more?
These tips are universal to everyone, not just moms. While life can sometimes get away from us, we need to be reminded that we all need to be taken care of. How can anyone successfully take care of others if we are not taking care of ourselves first? Not only will these simple tasks boost your mood and overall sense of happiness, they can also boost your energy level and productivity. Taking care of “you” is not selfish; it’s self-love.
Joy Adamonis is a local freelance writer and blogger. She is a devoted mom and wife who enjoys living an active lifestyle. Running and yoga has transformed her life and helped maintain her 75-pound weight-loss. She advocates for positive body image, mental illness awareness, and better education. Read more from Joy at www.mysensationalkid.com