One of the hardest things about being a mom is learning to prioritize. Between taking care of your family, cooking, cleaning, work, family commitments, friends and other priorities -- sometimes it can be almost impossible to find a balance. One of the best things you can do to de-stress is to simplify your life. This could mean anything from cutting a few activities out of your week and taking more shortcuts in meal preparation to getting rid of some of the clutter in your home and hiring a housekeeper once a week. Take the time to think about what is most important to you and your family. Focus on those things and say goodbye to the rest.
Kyra Holmes, mom of three, talks about how becoming a mom for the third time affected the balance in her life and helped her to get back to the basics, "When I had just two kids, I still tried to do everything: PTA, cooking, cleaning, sports teams, church events, play dates… the list was never ending. But I was running myself ragged. When I had my third son, something clicked inside me. I realized that I didn't need to do it all. I don't know why it took having a third child to figure this out. Maybe it was because it truly became physically impossible to keep up with everything. After that, I began to simplify my life. I realized it was okay to say no. That has made all the difference."
In order to take care of other people, you have to take care of yourself. When you are depleted, there is nothing for you to give. Take the time to refuel each day. What are the things that make you feel fresh and rejuvenated? Do you need 30 minutes alone in the bathroom? Would you like to spend a few minutes reading a good book? Are you dying to catch up with your sister on the phone? It's okay for you to set boundaries and prioritize a little "me" time every day.
Regular exercise boosts everything from your energy, mood and immune system to your sex life. In addition to phenomenal health benefits, it keeps you mentally focused and helps you sleep better at night. Instead of thinking of daily exercise as just one more thing to fit in, remember the ways it will improve your productivity and reduce the overall stress in your life.
Before you were a mom, you probably didn't think twice about scheduling a trip to the spa. Nowadays, it's hard to imagine getting five minutes alone in the bathroom, much less an entire afternoon. It's not always easy to find the time to do so, but nurturing yourself is important. An afternoon at the spa or a night out with your mom friends might be just what you need to refuel, recharge and come back in ready to clean those peanut butter fingerprints off the drapes... one more time.
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