I haven’t written a blog for the last 2 weeks and I try not to pressure myself to come up with one. I have been swamped with back to back events that I have planned and designed. I’m also giving more attention in helping my son improve his study habits. Although he is not officially diagnosed with ADHD, we have been going to a support group how to help him with his weaknesses. And of course, the huge part of my schedule is being present for Austria’s daily therapy and setting up play dates to improve her social skills. To top it all, I’m in the middle of coming up with a business plan! Is it exhausting? Yes!
With the roles that I have, spinning 10 plates at the same time is stressful. When my children’s needs began to be more challenging, I realized I needed to have a plan how to take care of myself too to combat and manage my ‘go, go’ lifestyle. If you are a full time mom, it is very important to care for yourself. Do not feel guilty for taking a ‘me’ time. You deserve it.
The best thing you can give to your child everyday is being a happy mom. I have been adopting ‘S.E.L.F.’ from Kathleen Hall to keep my sanity with my crazy schedule. This always works for me because it’s easy to remember and it is not complicated!
Even a few minutes of meditation or listening to music can lower blood pressure and reduce stress hormones, says Hall. Sit silently in a comfortable place and take deep, cleansing breaths to the count of four. I do this in between my children’s activities. On your downtown, listen to calming music or nature sounds, which are scientifically proven to reduce stress. I also listen to New Age or inspirational songs while doing my chores. I live near the beach so whenever I have time, I go and just listen to the waves or watch the sun go down and be amazed of the horizon. S is also Spirituality for me. I do my best to read a short scripture, a Psalm or Proverbs for encouragement that I need daily!
Endorphins from exercise are known relaxants. As adhering to a gym schedule can be tough for working moms, Hall recommends investing in a treadmill and placing it near a TV, so workouts feel fun. If you are a fulltime mom, walking or running outside your home is preferable during your weekend schedule. Or make exercise a family affair by putting up a basketball hoop or badminton net in the backyard. Since I don’t have a yard, we just go to the nearest recreational park and play ball with my kids. I do my best to walk them to school if I’m not in a hurry!
Sharing your stress and concerns helps the mind and body relax and renew. Hall recommends keeping at least three commiserating ‘besties’ on speed dial, or meeting up with a friend or co-worker at least once a week for a healthy meal or coffee. I have 5, not 3 women in my life that I call my ’lifeline’. When I have something that bothers me and weighs me down, I know they will pick up their phones for me anytime of the day. Most of all, the best person who can give you love is your husband. At the end of the day, do your best to connect before going to bed.
Yes, it can be your friend. Food regulates mood, sleep and health and stress, if you eat right. Don’t skimp on breakfast, says Hall. A good, protein-rich one increases metabolism and decreases hunger later on. Stave off stress with moderate portions of mood-regulating foods like those containing serotonin- boosting vitamin B6 (bananas, sweet potatoes, turkey, salmon) and omega-3s (nuts, fish and or supplements). Since I’m vegan, I use tofu to substitute my protein intake and I eat a lot of legumes and spinach. If you are a working mom and always on the go, try to at least drink a fresh squeezed a combination of fruit and vegetables daily.