Every day moms take care of everyone else. That is just what we do. We make sure the kids are loved, fed, bathed and supported. Likewise our partners. We do our best to carry our share, or more, at work and always try to be a shoulder to cry on for our friends.
What we aren’t good at is taking care of ourselves. We set goals to go to the gym, or sleep more or eat better but in the end life gets in the way and we just let it go.
We don’t have to do this!
Here are 5 Little Ways for Women to Feel Healthier…
#1 – Every day do one thing that makes you happy. It doesn’t need to be a big thing but do something. Make a playlist for your car and listen to music that makes you sing out loud. Serve breakfast for dinner (because no one ever complains when dinner involves pancakes). Bring your book in the car and read a chapter while waiting to pick up the kids at school. Whatever small thing it is that makes your heart sing.
For me, when my kids were little, every Sunday was pizza night and then my People magazine and I would retire to the bathtub for an hour. I went to bed Sunday night happy and Monday mornings were much easier.
#2 – Replace the Oreos. I am willing to bet that before you had kids Oreos were not a staple of your diet. Am I wrong? But now they are because they are in the cupboard. You get tired, or stressed or bored, and there, right in front of you, is a little disk of self-indulgence. So you eat one, or 20, and you feel better for 30 seconds and then you feel not so good.
Keep something that you really love in the cupboard that will fill that need, when you get tired or stressed or bored, and go for that instead. Chocolate covered almonds or honey roasted peanuts or individually wrapped chocolates (so you can’t take a handful). And, if you have something that combines sugar and protein (like sweetened nuts) you won’t be affected by the sugar so quickly and you won’t get that Oreo cookie crash.
#3 – Play with your kids. We all have grand plans when our kids are born, to get down on the floor with them and play. And we do, at least until their sibling is born, and then we as often as not let them have at it.
Playing with your kids is proven to make you happier and happiness leads to healthiness. First of all, play makes you smile and the physical act of smiling actually makes you happy. Also, by sheer definition, play is fun, more fun than work. So put on a tiara and frolic with your kids, at least for a bit. Try it!
One of my clients plays a game of cards with her kids and her husband every night after dinner. It only takes 20 minutes and they laugh and kid and enjoy each others company. And then off they go to homework etc. She reports that the 20 minutes makes the transitions easier and sets up a much smoother bedtime routine, every mother’s dream.
#4 – Get just a little more sleep. I know you are saying, “Yeah. Right.” But I am serious. Try to fit just a little more sleep into your day. Actually I am suggesting you build it into your schedule. Right there between going to the dry cleaners and finishing your project for the meeting. Make a plan to take a 15-minute nap right after lunch, before you head out to do errands. Or sleep 15 minutes later 3 times a week. Wherever you can fit in just a little more sleep.
If you sleep in 15 minutes 3 days a week that’s 45 minutes more sleep. Add two naps in there and you have more than an hour. Every bit of sleep makes a difference.
#5 – Do one thing that will get your heart rate up. Can’t make time for the gym? No problem. Even a little cardio is better than none. Why? Because getting your heart rate up produces more endorphins and endorphins actually produce a euphoric feeling.
Ideas? Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Dance around the kitchen while cooking a meal. Walk the dog. Ride a bike. Kick a soccer ball. Jump on the trampoline. Getting your heart rate up regularly is a very healthy thing to do.
I have a client whose family got a dog. My client was worried because she knew it would make more work for her, which it did. Of course it needed to be walked but taking it for walks actually changed her life. Not only did getting out of the house and getting her heartbeat up make her feel good, she also made more friends when she was out with the dog, and we know what more friends can do for your health!
So there you go: 5 Little Ways for Moms to Feel Happier. Give them a try for week. See what a difference it makes. Let me know when it does!
Have I missed anything? Do you have something you do that makes you feel healthier in your daily life?
Are you having trouble implementing healthy habits into your life? Do you feel guilty when you try to set aside time to make yourself feel healthier? Let’s talk.
I am a NYC based Certified Life Coach and mental health advocate. My writing has been published on The Huffington Post, Prevention, Psych Central, Pop Sugar, MSN and The Good Man Project, among others. I work with all kinds of people to help them go from depressed and overwhelmed to confident and happy in their relationships and in their world.