In 2016 I started something I never thought I would do: I began weight lifting, and I’ve fallen in love with it!
This is the first time since my first baby (14 years ago!) that I’ve been consistent with an exercise routine. And it’s the first time in a long time that I’ve felt this good.
From my perspective now—on the other side of the baby and toddler years—I realize that one of my biggest regrets is that I didn’t take more time to focus on my own health. I was so busy keeping little ones alive and maintaining some semblance of sanity that things like exercise and nutrition were an afterthought.
They shouldn’t have been; I should have made them a priority.
It took finally sending my four kids off to full-time school for me to take this time for myself and really focus on my wellness. The physical results I’m seeing are encouraging, but nothing motivates me like the way I feel. I feel stronger, more energetic, and more positive.
But moms: I know you’re busy and overwhelmed with the demands of life as it is. I want to help you see that it’s easier than you think to care for yourself, instead of always putting yourself at the bottom of the list.
No matter what stage of parenting you’re in—whether you’re up to your elbows in diapers or endlessly playing chauffeur—these simple suggestions can help you feel like you again.
5 Simple Tips for a Healthier YOU
1. Drink more water
I can’t stress enough how important this is. I have some underlying kidney issues, and it’s imperative for my health that I drink enough water. Keep your energy up and your systems working smoothly by fueling your body with simple H2O. This water bottle is such a great visual reminder to help you drink that water daily!
2. Get rest
I’m a huge advocate of the power nap. Twelve minutes is my magic number. If I set my alarm and lie down, twelve minutes is just enough time for me to fall asleep but not feel groggy when I wake up, and it gives me the burst of energy I need to get through a busy day.
I know most of us moms can’t squeeze an hour nap into our afternoons, but twelve minutes? That’s possible.
3. Be active daily
A casual game of soccer at the park with your kids; fifteen minutes of wrestling a toddler into head-to-toe snow gear; a walk around the neighborhood; a simple, 20-minute workout at home. Being active doesn’t have to mean anything complicated or pre-planned. Watch for opportunities to move throughout your day.
4. Unplug and be present
I find that unplugging is as beneficial for my mental health as my physical. My body feels better when I close my laptop and play a game of tag in the yard, but my mind feels better still. Setting aside my devices and being present in a given moment is the fresh air my soul needs.
5. Eat a fruit or vegetable
I remember well that during my survival years of young motherhood, I made it through by eating leftovers off my kids’ plates or grabbing something convenient (but less-than-healthy) on our way out the door. It doesn’t take a lot more preparation to reach for an apple or some baby carrots, but I can promise that you’ll feel stronger and more satisfied with yourself when you do.
The last plea I want to make to you is on behalf of our daughters.
If there’s anything I want to emphasize to my three girls as they grow into womanhood, it’s that they NEED to take care of themselves. It’s not just a nice idea; it’s essential to fill yourself up before you can take care of others.
I drew from an empty well for so many years, and it took its toll—both on my health and my day-to-day happiness. I pray that my girls will avoid my mistakes and never feel like taking a moment for themselves is a selfish thing.
Reading a book, taking a nap, enjoying a warm bath, going for a jog or scheduling a girls’ night out—These acts of self-care are simple but essential ways you can prioritize your health and treat yourself with more love.
Don’t forget to check out my new, free one-page, fitness planner, which will help you visualize the small things you can do to make your wellness a priority again. I really hope it supports you in working toward a healthier, happier YOU this year.
If you enjoyed this post you might also like…
- A Beginner’s Guide to Strength Training at Home
- Free Printable Fitness Planner
- 18 Ways to Treat Yourself with More Love