Tips for prioritizing and making time for your health as a mom: physically, socially, mentally, emotionally and spiritually.
I’ve been working on this post for a LONG time! It’s a post that I really need right now, as a reminder of some of the super simple and almost daily habits and ways I can make time for my own health.
Because that’s so so important (but so so hard), to take care of yourself as a mom, a wife, a woman. Especially right now, when we’re at home almost 24/7 in the middle of covid-19 quarantine and social distancing from friends and family. But, I truly believe that it’s possible and (so necessary) to make time to take care of yourself.
As I was thinking about how I make time for my health right now, I noticed there are a lot of little things I do; small but impactful habits. Not every single day, but pretty consistently. And consistency with your health is key. I try to make room for most of these things regularly because I feel my best when I do.
BUT I don’t want to come across as perfect in these areas. I’m still (and always will be) learning how to always be healthier and happier. Ironically, while writing this post, I was struggling with feeling frustrated with not prioritizing my health that week. So this is as much a list and reminder for myself of all the simple ways to do that right now, as I hope it helps give you some ideas too. ♥
So, here are some really simple ways to make room in your life for your health. I genuinely hope you find at least one of these things helpful.
Making time for my physical health
- Getting outside every day: Either to let the girls play, to swim, to walk … any way. I notice such a shift in my mood if I’ve been inside all day and then I get some sunshine.
- Moving my body: I aim to workout at least 4 times a week by doing an at-home workout of strength training, yoga or high-intensity interval training (HIIT), a walk with a friend or a hike/nature walk with the family. Here are some of my favorite at-home workout resources. Do some squats every time you wash your hands; do some push ups while you wait for water to boil; do some lunges as you walk to your bedroom; if you move your body regularly I promise it will boost your mood.
- Focusing on good nutrition: Eating whole real foods 80 percent of time and leaving room for treats and wine and other foods is when I feel my best. I don’t feel guilty for having my peanut butter cups at the end of the day. 🙂 I follow the 80/20 rule when it comes to nutrition.
- Drinking a lot of water: I try to drink about 80 ounces of water every day. Some days it’s easy, others it’s hard. Keeping a cute water bottle full helps though.
Making time for my social health
This is an especially hard one right now, but here are some ways I’ve invested in friendships and my marriage during our quarantine time:
- Social-distancing walks outside with a girlfriend. Fresh air, exercise and conversation with a friend — it’s all good for the soul.
- Social-distancing drinks with girlfriends in our front yards. It has been good to keep in touch with friends, vent and catch up.
- Zoom dates with girlfriends. Coffee or wine and catching up. I always feel good after “seeing” my girlfriends from college via zoom, when we can’t meet up in person.
- Checking in via text or zoom with friends and family. Sometimes just a quick text to say hi or ask how things are going can make someone’s day a little better.
- Pool time: Our neighborhood pool is open, with social distancing, so that has been great for adult social health but also our girls’ social health, to see and interact with other kids in the pool (at a safe distance :))
- Social-distancing dinners outside with friends. Lawn chairs, dinner and drinks with friends in the front or back yard. This always feels really nice to catch up with friends and feels sort of normal.
- At-home dates: Coffee in the morning or a glass of wine at night on the front porch with Alex before the girls wake up, while they watch tv or after they’ve gone to bed. These are our quarantine dates. 🙂
Making time for my mental health
- Waking up early: On a perfect day, I wake up between 5:15-6 a.m and I’m awake before the girls. Alex and I have some quiet time to think, or talk, or workout. It makes such a difference starting the day this way, instead of waking up to the girls.
- Getting ready for the day: It’s SO easy to wear the same leggings and tank top every day since I’m not going anywhere, but I find that I feel my best when I take a shower, get dressed and put a little effort into how I look. When I find myself having a string of bla days, I’ll put on a cute pair of jeans, a t-shirt or tank and fun sandals and it helps boost my mood a little.
- Afternoon quiet time: Between about 1-3 p.m. everyday we do quiet time in our house. Some days Jo naps while the other girls read or play quietly (They’re definitely not quietly in their rooms for the full 2 hours… there’s lots of interruptions, and me reminding them to be quiet, and encouraging Jo to go back in her room). Alex gets some work done, and I get some time to myself. Most days I’m folding laundry or doing dishes while listening to a podcast, or I’m writing on my blog. Every once in a while I need a mental break from everything and I read or choose to watch a show to relax.
- Reading: I’m usually reading two books — one for fun, whatever I’m in the mood to read; and another that’s usually an audio book about personal development or business or improvement or an autobiography. I listen while folding laundry, doing dishes, tidying the house; and read mostly before bed. I’m currently reading Imperfect Courage by Jennifer Honegger and for fun Shadow of Night, part two in the All Souls Trilogy by Deborah Harkness. I’m also about to (finally!) start Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens. I wish I could spend hours reading but right now I fit it in when I can even if it’s just 15 minutes a day. Any book recommendations?!
- Asking for alone time: I need more alone time than Alex does, so sometimes he takes the girls on a bike ride while I get some alone time at home. I try to do the same for him too. This doesn’t happen as often as I’d like, but it’s great when it does. Usually we can recognize when the other is in need of some space and try to take the girls for a bit if possible to give the other time alone.
- Getting enough sleep: I feel my best when I wake up early and get about 8 hours of sleep every night. With kids, sleep can be really inconsistent when you are dealing with kid wake-ups in the middle of the night, or early risers. Going to bed early works best for me; like shortly after my girls are in bed. And when there have been a lot of kiddo wake-ups, I’ll listen to my body and sleep in until the girls are awake. Sleep is so important for physical, emotional and mental healthiness!
- Tidying the house daily: Mentally, I feel so much better when the house isn’t cluttered and things are put away. I know this isn’t possible all day, but I like ending the day tidying so that the house is tidy when we wake up in the morning. The girls have daily chores, and they include putting away toys, shoes, clothes, messes, and unloading the dishwasher. Waking up to a picked up house is so nice! Also, making the bed every morning is such a nice way to start the day.
- Listening to music: Listening to good music instantly makes me feel happier.
Making time for my emotional health
Being emotionally healthy doesn’t mean you’re happy all the time. I think of emotional health as listening to and being aware of your feelings, emotions, mood and thoughts, both positive and negative. Some things I do to improve my emotional health and recharge right now are:
- Recognizing there are hard days: Some days are really hard with everyone home and everything that’s going on in the world. Sometimes talking about it helps, other times just being aware of big feelings helps. And if I can pinpoint to what’s causing the stress or emotion, that’s even better. It’s also recognizing that Alex and the girls have hard days too and being mindful of those days too. Deep breaths help.
- Being grateful: Finding things to be grateful for can instantly help boost my mood and helps me focus on the positive. I’m pretty good at focusing on the positive, but some days that’s harder. Making a mental list of the things I’m grateful for helps. And they don’t have to be big things; little things like enjoying a delicious cup of coffee, snuggling with my girls, listening to a favorite song, going on a walk, etc.
- Making time for little luxuries: These are super simple things that bring me a lot of joy and happiness and help me recharge, like: sipping on a glass of iced green tea or kombucha; listening to music while I make dinner, buying fresh flowers for the house, diffusing citrus essential oils.
Making time for my spiritual health
I’m not a religious person, but I am spiritual. I believe in doing things I’m passionate about, that bring me peace and align with my personal core values. For me, I make this a priority by:
- Getting outside: I feel more energized, peaceful, positive and happier when I’m outside in nature.
- Doing things I’m passionate about: For me, that’s working on this blog. I don’t make money doing this, but it’s something that makes me feel like I have a bigger purpose and can help others. I’m also launching a brand with a good friend called Good & Kind Co. and proceeds from our products will go toward organizations that fight human trafficking. It’s something we’re both passionate about and it makes my soul happy imagining the impact we’ll have. (I can’t wait to share more once we launch!)
- Reading inspiring books: I love books that inspire me and get me thinking differently.
- Learning: I enjoy learning about personal growth and development. I’ve always been fascinated with personalities (I’m an INFJ :)) and in the last couple years have also enjoyed learning more about the enneagram (I’m a 9w1 :)). I find that learning about myself also helps me connect with something bigger.
If you’ve read this far, thank you! I hope you find a couple simple things that might be doable for you right now, that will help you feel healthier and happier.
What are some ways you make time for your health right now? I’d love to incorporate other simple habits.