How to add self-care strategies to a crazy schedule

I get it. I really do. As a mom, I LITERALLY go to sleep after everyone (including my husband) and get up before them. Who’s exhausted? Raise your hand!

You have to take time to re-fuel your energy tank, because it IS exhaustible. It will run out. By taking care of your energy tank, you’ll actually be a better employee, mom, wife/partner, friend, sibling, etc. It feel counter intuitive, but it’s not. Think about your car. Can you just drive it without ever stopping to rest and give it gas? Nope. Can your dog go on endless walks with you without getting a sip of water or some kibble? Nope. Neither can you my friend! Below I’ve listed five quick and easy things you can do to add self-care to your schedule. Hope you find them helpful!

1. Do activities you love

If you hate running, for example, don’t include it in your physical self-care routine! Choose an exercise or activity you LOVE doing. For instance, I love Barre class, but I can’t make it to one because studios near don’t offer childcare. So, I type into YouTube, “Barre Class”, put my AirPods in, and do the class while the girls play in the living room. I’ve also seen moms who love to run, but it hurts their knees do the treadmill at a 12% incline for 30 minutes. It gets their heartrate just as high but without the impact to their knees.

2. Starting small is good.

If you want to eat healthier, you can start by having one more veggie per day than you did the day before. Or if you usually get the large-sized Blizzard (r) at Dairy Queen, try ordering the medium for the next visit. Small changes over a long time will lead to significant and long-lasting changes.

3. Pay attention to how you feel

You may have bulldozed your body’s needs so that you can finish your to-do list, be ‘productive’ or to meet a goal. If you feel terrible or ‘off’, it’s a sign you should be doing something in a different way. Did you grub on the donuts in the break room? Now are you full of gas during a meeting with your boss? This is your body telling you to take a walk around the office instead of the break room next time. Contrary, if you feel good, it means you are on the right track. When I get stressed out, I’m driven to eat. But, if I force myself to take a quick 5-10 minute walk, I feel even better! It’s not easy, but I try to remember how much more my stress was relieved from that walk vs. binging in the candy bowl. Our emotions never lie and act as our compass in life.

4. Reward yourself generously

If you feel satisfied with how your day went, give yourself something to look forward to: binge Netflix, have a cup of ice cream, a glass of wine or scroll on Tik Tok without regret! The goal is 80/20. 80% of the time, do what drives success, 20% of the time, let yourself off the hook, and recharge. In the same way, if you didn’t achieve your goals today, then you need to face the consequences. For example, let’s say you set a reward that for every cup of water you drink today, you get 5 minutes of social media scrolling. If you only drank 1 cup of water… then you set a timer and log off after 5 minutes of Facebook. Or maybe don’t reward yourself with Facebook at all and try again tomorrow. This will train your brain that it doesn’t “get off the hook easily” and has to meet your goals to get the rewards.

5. Be flexible and tweak a habit if it’s not working.

If a new habit or routine does not work or fills you with dread, look for ways to tweak it. Make minor changes and adjust as the days go. My husband and I loved to work out in the morning together at the house because the girls are asleep, and we can connect. But, during Lacrosse season, working out in the mornings wasn’t possible with late-night games, stress levels, and drop-off schedules changing. We tried it, but ended up more exhausted and irritable. So, we gave ourselves grace and switched to working out together on the weekends. This empowered us to do our own schedules during the week and still connect on the weekend. When the season ended, we went back to morning workout “dates”!

So mommas, this is all to say. Take one step at a time. Have grace with yourself. It’s better to do something little than nothing at all!

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#mindfulness #motherhood #selfawareness #selfhelp

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