Motherhood is the biggest blessing in my life. I never imagined that having a child would give me so much joy! Although motherhood gives me great joy I would be lying if I said there weren’t times I wasn’t stressed. As a single mother I’ve learned that it is important to distress from parenting. Since I don’t have a partner living in my household my responsibilities are doubled. Now that I’ve adjusted to my lifestyle I find it imperative to take care of myself just as well as I take care of my daughter. Too often mothers neglect themselves and end up feeling depleted, exhausted, and unhealthy. Below are a few suggestions on keeping a healthy mind, body, and spirit.
Exercise is an integral to our well being. If we don’t exercise our health will suffer, if our health suffers, our family suffers. Keep yourself on track by exercising a few days a week. Previously, I wrote an article about creating a home gym, an inexpensive way to stay fit without draining your bank account. Try exercising when you are stressed you’ll be surprised at how much better you’ll feel after a good run or workout. My tips for exercising:
- Take a brisk walk during lunch or after dinner.
- Squat while doing the dishes, this is great for your thighs.
- Lift arm weights while watching television and be pleasantly surprised at how quick they become sculpted.
- Try activities such as gardening, biking or swimming.
I can’t tell you how often I get tempted to order a pizza after a long day at work, but I always feel better when I don’t. Eating well gives you energy and keeps your body in good shape. When you cook at home you’ll most likely eat healthier. Stay away from junk food that lowers your energy level and keeps you feeling sluggish. When you are stressed the worst thing to do is overload on food of no nutritional value. Here are my tips for eating well:
- Buy fresh fruit and vegetables and put them in baggies so they are ready to snack on at work or while running errands.
- Invest in a slow cooker and let a nutritious meal cook itself during the day. Coming home to a cooked meal gives you free time in the evening to decompress.
- Plan your meals for the week. You will be less likely to order that pizza.
- Take your vitamins!
Take a Time Out
Life can beat you up! When the kids are misbehaving, work is overwhelming, and everything seems out of control one of the best things you can do is take a time out. Diffuse the situation by walking away and spending time breathing and relaxing. Don’t be ashamed to tell your kids, “Mommy needs a time out.” It is better to walk away than lash out in anger. Here are some suggestions for getting away from it all:
- Take a drive or sit in the car and listen to music.
- Go to the coffee shop and grab a latte or browse in a bookstore.
- Find a quiet room and slowly breathe in and out for 5-10 minutes.
Find a Hobby
When we become mothers our life doesn’t stop. We should continue to grow as an individual and nurture our creative interests. Find something you like to do and do it. Don’t lose yourself so completely in motherhood that you have no interests of our own except your children. I have been guilty of this, but I’ve discovered that I am a better mother when I am fueling my creative fire. Here are some ideas:
- Check out classes in your city that are inexpensive and convenient.
- Convince a friend to try something new with you, for example take an art class together.
Take Time for Beauty
If you look good you feel good. Take time to pamper yourself you deserve it! When Anya is with her father one night a week I take time to fill up a bubble bath, give myself a facial, and do body maintenance. I feel great afterward! You don’t have to run around in sweat pants every day, pulling yourself together gives you confidence and it is a great mood booster. Here are some inexpensive beauty ideas:
- Relax in bubble bath, light candles listen to music or just close your eyes and relax.
- Give yourself an inexpensive pedicure/manicure at home if you can’t afford a spa. All you need is a basin, some oils, nail clippers, a filer, moisturizing lotion, nail polish, foot scrubber, and a pair of comfy spa socks.
- Get your hair cut, your eyebrows waxed, and buy a new dress if you really want to indulge.
Nurture Your Spirit
When you are stressed the biggest stress reliever is turning to God. When you feel unappreciated and like the world is working against you, it is time to pray. As a single mom God has truly been my partner on this journey. Whenever I feel like I am heading toward dangerous water I turn to my father. Read the Bible and spiritual literature to enrich your spirit. Without God we can’t be effective mothers or women so always turn to God in good and bad times. Boost your spiritual life by:
- Keeping inspirational bible verses in your desk at work.
- Praying daily and keep a prayer journal.
- Creating a prayer hot line with your friends.
We all have days when it all seems too much. The key is learning how to respond to stress. Figure out what puts you at ease. Whatever makes you feel better as long as it isn’t destructive I encourage you to do it. Moms aren’t machines. We must take care of our physical, spiritual, and mental well being if we plan on being healthy and productive mothers. Take care of yourself so you can take care of your family.
Copyright © Chere Williams, Moms of Faith, All Rights Reserved
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