The Busy Mom’s Guide to Wellness and Self-Care
The reality is, most moms feel overwhelmed. Especially in a culture that doesn’t offer six months paid leave for new mothers.
The secret to being a successful high-performing busy mom is having a plan. And that includes having a good organizational system in place, like meal planning on Sundays or using an app like WeekPlan to manage your schedule.
1. Take care of yourself.
Self-care may sound indulgent or selfish, but it’s an important component of stress relief and wellness. When you neglect your own needs, it can make you feel tired, irritable and susceptible to burnout. It can also affect your ability to take care of the people and things you’re responsible for.
To avoid burnout, try to incorporate small acts of self-care into your daily routine. Even if it feels counterproductive to your busy schedule, you’ll find that even just a few minutes of time to do something for yourself can help you feel reinvigorated and better equipped to handle the rest of your day.
For example, if you work at home or you have a nanny to watch your kids, try leaving your house for an hour or two during the day to get some fresh air. Or, you could go on a quick hike to soak up some Vitamin D. Or, if you have a spouse or partner, consider trading off chores to free up some time.
Another way to take care of yourself is by eating a balanced diet. This will nourish your body and give you the energy you need to be the best mom possible.
2. Get enough sleep.
A good night’s sleep is essential for all of us, but it can be especially challenging for busy moms. Sleep deprivation affects our ability to complete tasks and creates a cycle of stress and fatigue that makes it even harder to fall asleep.
The average person needs 7 to 9 hours of sleep per night. But getting enough sleep is easier said than done, especially for new moms who are up all night with a newborn or colicky baby. It’s also hard to sleep when you’re worrying about the kids, working on house projects or juggling work and family responsibilities.
To help you get the restful sleep you need, try to go to bed around the same time each night and keep a regular pre-bedtime routine. Also, try to turn off all electronics 30 minutes before you go to bed—the blue light from screens can disrupt your natural sleep cycle and make it difficult to fall asleep. By making these small changes, you can get the restful sleep you need to feel energized and be your best as a busy mom. A good night’s sleep can help you decrease feelings of burnout, stress and depression, so it’s well worth the effort!
We all know that exercise is important, but as a busy mom, it can feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day to work out. Between running errands, doing household chores, taking care of kids, and carting the kids from one activity to another, there’s not much time left for anything else.
Those rare moments of spare time may seem to be reserved for scrolling through social media or binge watching your favorite show, but you can use these moments to your advantage by working out instead of sitting down to a Netflix marathon. Even if you don’t have the luxury of going to a gym, you can still workout at home by doing bodyweight exercises or walking during your lunch break.
You can also make fitness fun by working out with friends, finding a fun group fitness class to join, or creating playlists of upbeat music that help you stay motivated. When you’re trying to find a way to fit exercise into your hectic schedule, it helps to have a supportive community that can help keep you accountable and encourage you along the way.
4. Have a plan.
Whether you’re at work, on a play date or tucked in at the end of the day, having an actual plan can save your sanity. Without a clear understanding of your own priorities, you may find yourself catering to the needs and schedules of others, which will leave you feeling stretched, exhausted, or burnt out.
Carving out time to create a weekly schedule can give you an immediate ROI by saving you tons of stress and energy throughout the week. Use a digital calendar like Cozi or WhoMi to sync schedules and keep track of all the family’s appointments and events.
If you’re finding that you don’t have enough time in the day, try waking up early to fit in some exercise or using spare time after the kids are in bed for a quick workout or jog. You can also turn down a night out with friends or say “no” to some events and instead use that time to make plans for a relaxing evening at home.
It’s not always easy to say no, but you should try to do it whenever possible. If you have to, ask a friend or a family member to watch the kids so you can get some much-needed rest and relaxation.
6. Make time for yourself.
It’s not easy being a busy mom, but it is important to make time for yourself. If you don’t, it will be harder to get everything done and you may end up feeling stressed and frustrated. Plus, your kids will benefit from a happy and healthy mom!
The problem is that many moms confuse busyness with self-care. They feel they have to constantly be doing something in order to be a good mother and wife. This can be very dangerous and cause a lot of stress.
Instead, try to set aside a few hours for yourself each day. This can be anything from a quick workout to taking a bath or reading a book. It’s also a great idea to make sure that you’re getting enough sleep! Sleep is essential for everyone, and it will help you think more clearly and be a better mom.
Also, try to eat healthy foods and drink plenty of water. It’s also a good idea to make a list of things you like to do during your personal time, so you have a goal to focus on throughout the day. And finally, be sure to use any time-saving services available to you.
7. Take care of your health.
You know what they say: “You can’t pour from an empty cup.” And if there’s one thing that busy moms need to remember, it’s that their health should take priority over everything else. Whether it’s carving out a little ‘me time’ or practicing breathwork at the traffic lights, a healthy lifestyle is what’s going to get you through those hectic days.
Exercise is a great way to reduce stress, improve mood and sleep quality. And if you’re looking for workouts that won’t break your busy schedule, try high-intensity interval training (HIIT). This exercise method uses short bursts of exercise with periods of recovery or rest to provide an effective full-body workout in as little as 20 minutes.
Hep B is a serious liver infection, but it’s also preventable with just 2 doses of Hep B vaccine. So, if you’re a busy mom, be sure to prioritize your health and get vaccinated against hepatitis B.