Being a mom is the most rewarding yet at times one of the toughest roles we play as women. Our days begin early and are filled with the duties of caring for our families and our homes as well as working outside jobs in many cases. Many of us are caring for elderly family members as well. But too often, self care comes dead last on our list of priorities.
Nobody is going to take care of us and we’ve got to carve out the time to nurture ourselves so that we can nurture our families. Vehicles run on fuel and if the supply isn’t replenished, they eventually won’t move.
Now, as women we aren’t going to stop moving but if we keep taxing ourselves and pushing past our physical limits, we will eventually begin to pay the price with adrenal fatigue or other physical disorders.
Here are seven tips to help you manage the stress in your life:
- Find time to nurture your spiritual self. You can easily make it a part of your day by keeping devotional books by your bedside, apps on your mobile device, listening to music or podcasts while driving or taking a walk. Even five or ten minutes of meditation and prayer will help clear your mind.
- Get moving. Physical activity in some form at least four or five times a week is an important part of managing stress. Exercise will energize you and you’ll feel the stress slip away. It may be hard to put everything aside to go on a walk or get to the gym but you will always feel better afterwards.
- Find creative outlets that you enjoy. Writing, gardening, crafts, cooking or painting are all activities that give your mind a change of pace. Try taking an outside class and learning something new.
- Find time to laugh. Watch a funny movie or TV show with your family, get together with friends or even just find some fun Pinterest boards to follow that make you smile.
- Manage your social media time wisely. Avoid the temptation to always be connected and check your messages at set times. Take social media breaks and fully engage where you are. Be a “no drama mama” and avoid online conflicts as they are stressful and draining. Be engaging and encouraging.
- Learn to meal plan. Making the time to plan ahead will help you avoid finding yourself at 4:00 in the afternoon wondering what you are going to make for dinner. Investigate meal planning services. Eating nutritiously is part of managing stress.
- Get enough rest. This one seems obvious but cutting out sleep is the most common way moms try to get everything done. But moms need their sleep! Don’t stay up late watching TV after the kids have gone to bed. Take a quick nap when you need it. Observe a weekly day (or afternoon) of rest. It’s so important that you take the time to recharge.
Take the time to care for yourself and you will find you are a more patient mom, wife and friend.
Written by Marya Mesa – Marya is a mother of 4 children with multiple special needs. She blogs about special needs and faith at www.suncoastmomma.com.