Whether you're a new mom, second-time mom or mom with adult children, you'll always be a mom. This revelation is sometimes overwhelming, so scheduling and taking "Mommy Me Time" is critical at any age. On those super-busy days it may seem impossible or feel selfish—except, of course, when you need to jump in the shower. Make a promise to yourself to shower daily (You'll be surprised how many moms forgo this simple pleasure) and tack on five more minutes to stretch, focus on your breathing, empty your mind of all tasks, and turn attention to your needs. During this time, identify one way to show yourself some love this week…then do it! Your new-found five-minute 'Mommy Me Time' empowers you to stay motivated to achieve your goals while being the best mom you can.
Plan out your days, every day, with your own joy in mind. What would YOU love to do, for and with yourself and for and with your children. Set aside a special time every day for you to participate in your own joy—a hobby, a phone call, an online event, that book you've always wanted to write, a letter, a poem, a craft or a work of art. Then DO it. If you don't finish, that’s okay, you've had some time for joy, and that makes everything else weigh a little less.
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As mothers, we're always feeling guilty, and too often over the wrong things! Like putting time and energy into our primary grown-up partner, or even just reading a book alone. The fact is our kids need to see us modeling self-care, which means quiet, alone time and tending other relationships. Then we're more there for them when we're with them.
Pray to see it differently! Instead of seeing the toy-littered floor and the dirty kitchen as evidence of "not being good enough," find the goodness in it. "I'm grateful that my children have all these creative outlets for their energy, and I am preparing such nourishing meals to help them thrive."
When we take a walk in nature, the energetic vibrations of the trees, plants and birds literally recalibrate our energy so that we feel refreshed and rejuvenated. Nature walks are an ideal opportunity for parents to connect with nature's healing energy while teaching children to appreciate and connect with the natural world. Sharing nature as a family creates more peaceful interactions and a reduction in stress levels for the entire family.
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There is only one way to self-soothe that is always accessible, free, and plentiful−your breath. In times of stress, or in times when you simply need to connect with your spirit and soul, close your eyes, and take several deep, cleansing breaths. First, blow all the air out (focusing on ridding yourself of stressors and toxins and negative thoughts/beliefs), then breathe in deeply (focusing on taking in abundance, connection, and love). Finally, finish with a deep exhale, once again ridding your body and mind of what is not needed and retaining the love and positivity that is needed to face the day with grace and equanimity.
Dr. Hillary Goldsher