If you are a busy mom, you know that your personal needs are often first to get "demoted" on the priority list. The problem with this is that you are like a filling station, and if you don't take care of yourself, you will start being as frustrating to your family as those fuel pumps with the little yellow "out of gas" signs on them! Additionally, you are dry and "running on fumes." Try one, some, or all of these tips to create a less stressed you:
1. Get up at least 15 minutes before everyone and get dressed, including makeup and shoes. Rushing to get yourself ready while shouting at everyone else to do the same (or helping really little ones get ready) is not a fun way to start the day. By the way, if you do this AN HOUR early, you can always snooze afterwards for 15 minutes! (Mmmm!)
2. Schedule errands which require waiting with close access to personal care things: Put your car in the shop for an oil change, and cross the street to get a manicure; or take a "snooze cruise" with your infant, and once she is asleep, enjoy a hot drink and a good book at a coffee shop!
3. Be nice to yourself by getting things ready the night before. In the morning, look in the mirror, thank yourself, and take a bow!
4. Buy yourself flowers.
5. Try doing whatever you can sitting down. Be creative!
6. Indulge in something that relaxes you: bubble bath, reading a good book, sitting in the sun, antique window shopping, lighting some candles, a crafting hobby, playing an instrument, listening to music, or the like.
7. Teach the ones you love to enjoy something you enjoy. If your child is young, teach her to enjoy one of those (appropriate) things with you, and let her see how much you enjoy it. Promote relaxation in your children to help lessen their stress AND yours!
8. Don't think of taking care of yourself as a guilty pleasure or as an occasional reward, but as maintenance, which when neglected can cause serious damage!
9. Identify and ruthlessly fight against self-destructive behaviors which are disguised as self-care:
"Reward" food, incessant TV viewing, long phone or computer time, pity parties, blaming others, self-justification and habits such as smoking and drinking all belong in the same category. They simply hurt more than they help!
What things do you like to do to take care of yourself?