As the saying goes, the hardest job in the world is being a parent. And while raising a family brings an immense amount of joy, it also all too often finds Mom in a situation where she’s putting everyone else first and herself last.
“As a Mom and business owner, I know first hand how difficult it is to find the time for self care,” says Stacey Morgenstern, co-founder of Health Coach Institute. “But it’s critical to make yourself and your health a priority!”
“I know it sounds overwhelming to start,” echoes Carey Peters, co-founder of HCI and mother of a newborn. “But once you take the first step, you’ll notice a meaningful difference in your overall wellness.”
Here, the pair share their top habits for moms to adopt to add some self-care and wellness to their daily routine:
When starting a healthy lifestyle, you have to remember that you’re probably not going to be a heavyweight champion the first week in. Like a child, you must walk before you run. But DO walk. Start small, get up and walk around the block. Dance in the morning to some great pop music. Instead of taking the elevator in your office walk the three flights up to work or park at the other end of the garage at the grocery store. It will add up, and you will find that you’re naturally getting more exercise in your daily routine without realizing it.
Getting enough sleep at night is a challenge to say the least – but it is critical to your overall wellbeing. Try unplugging for at least 30-minutes before sleep. This gives your brain a moment to disengage and your stress levels a chance to come down. Other things that may help – taking a warm bath, meditating, or snuggling up with your partner. You’ll be catching some quality zzzz’s in no time.
Cooking doesn’t have to be a chore anymore – there are loads of apps, services, and websites to help. Play around in the kitchen – try to learn how to cook. Test different recipes using fresh seasonal produce, lean meats, and complex carbohydrates. Plan your meals in advance and get a grocery delivery service like InstaCart, PeaPod or FreshDirect to help take the stress of the shopping trip off your plate. Instead of buying unhealthy but easy snacks for your kids, get inventive. Hummus and carrot sticks are just easy as goldfish crackers, and way more nutritious – not to mention delicious.
Maybe you feel bad about the fact that you’ve been living an unhealthy life until now. Maybe you have a day when you just cannot resist the chocolate chip cookies at your child’s school luncheon or you’re so tired from working late that you turn off your alarm instead of getting up for your morning walk. Remind yourself that it is OK. We are humans, not machines. Acknowledge the slip, forgive yourself, and move on in the healthiest way possible. Letting it hold you back, or chalking up the entire day, week or month as a loss and dropping your healthy habits altogether will only make you feel worse. Be kind to yourself, and you will notice that these slips happen less and less, and when they do, you’re able to pick yourself right back up again.