Self care is always on the back burner for moms. We are so used to taking care of everyone else that we forget that we are people too and we deserve to be taken care of as well. It is so important to find things that bring you happiness and to feel like you are doing all things in life that you enjoy. For me, I used self care in the form of alcohol for a while. I thought that sitting down with my glass of wine at night was “my time” and I used it to escape my reality. What I didn’t realize was that the wine was actually hindering my growth and progress in every other aspect of my life.
So what changed? After going on antidepressants I decided to see follow the directions that say “Do Not Drink While Taking This Medicine” – which got me into Dry January. Once I got over the hurdle of breaking the habit of sitting down with a glass of wine each night it really was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. I have noticed so many positive shifts in my life since cutting out wine. Not only do I wake up feeling great each day, my skin is much clearer and healthier looking, I have never been in better shape, and I overall feel more optimistic and happier each day. Now I am not going to say that I quit drinking forever – I still drink in social settings but my goal is to not sit down and watch tv with wine each night. It’s amazing how one small change in my life made such a big difference.
I also started working out, which has helped my mental health immensely. I find it very cathartic and use it as a stress relief because while I am working out I forget about everything other than the task at hand.
Going to bed early is always a struggle as a mom because it is finally some free time that you have to just relax and be yourself and do whatever you want. You can finally eat that snack you have been craving all day without the fear of your kids asking for a bite then taking the whole thing from you, you can watch whatever you want on TV, listen to your own music, be on the computer or your phone without hearing “what’s that?”, or focus on reading that book that you’ve been wanting to finish. For me, sleep is always a priority. If I don’t have a solid 8-9 hours of sleep per night I am so cranky the next day. So although that free time is a luxury at the end of the night, I have to be in bed by 10 pm otherwise I know my morning will not run smoothly. As long as I am in bed by then I am also able to wake up before the kids and get all of my little morning tasks done without hearing “mom what should I do?”. Starting the day off on the right foot without being overwhelmed helps me get in the right headspace for the rest of the day and helps me stay calm when the kids finally do get up and starting asking me questions or talking a million miles an hour because I know I have already crossed a ton of things off my to do list.
The last thing that I have incorporated in my life is trying to view myself as a “lucky girl”. If you are on TikTok maybe you have seen some videos about “Lucky Girl Syndrome” and they have been flooded my page so I decided to give it a try. The idea is that you say to yourself “I am so lucky” about the smallest things in life and you will start to really believe that you are lucky. Now, I really am lucky and blessed in my life with my family, my house, my friends, etc., but sometimes I find myself being so pessimistic and focusing on the negative things in my life that when I started to practice this Lucky Girl Syndrome I found my whole mindset shifting. It reminds me of everything I have in this life to be grateful for and it helped me to remember what my goals are in life. I honestly forgot that I was even allowed to have goals after becoming a mom and a wife because that was consuming so much of me, but now I am really happy to be focusing on everything in life that brings me happiness. When I am happy, my family is happy. Sometimes I take for granted how much power my mood has in my house – if I am in a bad mood then so are my kids, if I am stressed then my kids can definitely feel it, and when I am happy and feeling like my needs are being taken care of then my kids are happy as well. It is very powerful to be a mom and in charge of a whole household, sometimes it can be overwhelming, but it is so important to remember that this is a privilege and for me personally, this was what the life that dreamed about having when I was younger so it’s almost like I am living my own fairy tale that I personally created. How lucky is that?