Moms are conditioned by society to be tireless warriors for their kids, but what your child needs most is a well-rested and reasonably balanced mommy. Provide yourself with self-care so you can put your best foot forward.
Steps for self-care
Overworked and underpaid
It doesn't take a rocket scientist to know that mothers across the U.S. are stressed out and overworked. According to U.S. News & World Report, women tend to work slightly fewer hours at the office than men, but we log long and arduous hours in housework, cooking, household management and child care. Needless to say, the combination of hours spent on career and hours spent managing a home can take a toll on women over time.
But what's really at stake with a full schedule? A lot more than you might think. Chronic stress from a jam-packed schedule can result in disease, chronic headaches, fatigue, mental health issues, weight gain and marriage and interpersonal problems. And frankly, the outcomes of chronic stress won't help you be a better mommy. One of the best things you can do for your kids is to reduce your stress by providing self-care every week.
What is self-care?
Self-care, unfortunately, is easier said than done. It's not like you can quit your job or stop cleaning the house so you can log more hours at the gym or hair salon. You can, however, take important steps to safeguard your health and mental state by implementing small chunks of self-care into your weekly schedule.
So what is self-care? Simply put, self-care is a powerful choice to willingly engage in the activities and behaviors that you know are good for you. Self-care isn't about drinking three glasses of wine at night because you "deserve it." Instead, it's actively participating in the behaviors you know you need for your health, even if they're hard to work into your day.
If you're not sure where to start, here are some ideas for self-care that can reduce stress in just a few minutes a day.
How to get started
Once you know that self-care is important, it's important to get started with a self-care plan. Put your plan on paper so it doesn't get lost in the daily shuffle of kid activities and work obligations, and then follow through.
Once you implement your self-care plan, you'll likely feel better equipped to manage the challenges of child rearing. Not only that, your kids will have an excellent role model for what it looks like to care for themselves as they grow older.
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