OK, ladies, let’s be honest for a second, shall we? How well do we really invest in ourselves? I mean taking the time to fill our tank, refuel the engines, and just taking care of ourselves so we can take care of our families?
Why is it so hard for us to do this?
We get stuck into feeling guilty that all of our energy, time and efforts should be placed on our marriages, our children, in our home and on a whole host of other things before we can even begin to invest in ourselves. I know I do!
Here’s the cold hard truth, when we don’t invest in ourselves, like AT ALL, we are not only hurting ourselves but we are doing our families a huge disservice. Take it from me, I was on a fast pass to burnout ville a few months ago and it ‘ain’t pretty!
After going full throttle my brakes slammed to a halt and I was left with absolutely no energy or motivation to do anything. On top of my exhaustion, my health started to take a turn. From May until August of this year I had 3 sinus infections, 2 stomach bugs and a recurring muscle spasm in my neck and back that lasted for a few weeks off and on. All of this during the prime summer months, not the typical cold and flu season. Ladies, this wasn’t normal.
I knew something had to change in a big way and I had to stop what I was doing so I could focus on what I wasn’t doing… taking care of myself!
At the start of the year, I had chose wellness as my one word and was doing really well with focusing on that… for the first 2 months of the year. Then life got busy, work got insane, and I was burning the midnight oil trying to accomplish more than is even realistic.
My own health was pushed to the back burner and I was so focused on everyone and everything else, that I didn’t stop to take care of myself at all.
My summer sickness and breakdown was a big eye opener for me so I hit the pause button on everything and let myself get the rest I so desperately needed. As a result, my summer turned out to be the break my body needed.
I hardly cracked open my computer for most of July, the blog sat a little quieter than normal, my home wasn’t cleaned as often but you know what? No one noticed… or at least they didn’t say anything 😉 (Smart people!)
It took me a few weeks of really resting to heal my body to overcome that season of burnout but it made me realize just how important investing in myself daily is.
It’s like the popular airline advice, put on your oxygen mask first. As wives and mothers that go against just about everything that is in us but I learned just how crucial that advice is. Investing in ourselves physically, emotionally and spiritually is crucial for a thriving life, not just survival mode.Investing in ourselves physically, emotionally & spiritually is crucial for a thriving life!Click To Tweet
To be clear when I’m talking about investing in ourselves I’m not talking about spending one full day a week at the spa (wouldn’t that be nice?!?!) or completely ignoring our roles and families with the excuse that we need “our time”.
Quite the contrary!
I’m talking about finding small pockets of time in the midst of daily lives to spend a few minutes here and there to fill our tanks so we can pour out.
3 Important Ways to Invest in Yourself Today
Taking care of ourselves physically is so important, especially if we want to do the basic things like the standing, the walking, and the talking as Lorelai Gilmore so eloquently put it 😉
I’m coming off 5 years of being in back-to-back baby mode so I totally understand the eye rolling that is taking place by all the young moms right now. I remember all too well thinking “If one more person tells me to sleep while the baby sleeps, I’m going to scream!”
It’s insane advice, mainly because it feels like the baby NEVER sleeps and when they do we have to get a shower in, go potty, rotate the laundry, eat food, make that phone call to hear another human voice, and about a million other things.
My kids are now regularly sleeping through the night but that beloved nap time (2 hours every afternoon when everyone was asleep… joyful, joyful!) is disappearing.
So how do we get to rest in during this season of motherhood? We have to make it a priority!
- Set a go- to-bed time and stick to it
- Mid-morning or mid-afternoon (whenever you start to feel sluggish and tired), set the kids up with an activity or even a TV show (yes, it is OK to let your kids watch a little bit of TV, check out my approved list) and then sit in your comfy chair or lay down with a good book and cup of tea. Take about 20 minutes to give yourself a little rest.
- If you are really exhausted, enforce nap time for everyone, including you, so you can get a little-shut eye yourself.
You knew this one was coming, didn’t you? 😉
It sounds crazy to exercise when our bodies feel so tired but our bodies were designed to move and be active. It is so hard to motivate myself to do this but I always feel so much better after I exercise.
Exercise doesn’t mean we have to spend hours at the gym daily (who has time for that business?) but there are plenty of things we can do at home for less than 10 to 20 minutes to get our blood pumping and our bodies moving.
- Put it on the calendar and stick to it! My husband is my accountability partner, in fact, he is the one who pushes me out of bed every morning. He helps me make time in my schedule to exercise a few times each week.
- It doesn’t have to be long or drawn out, you can easily fit exercise in under 10 to 15 minutes a day! My current favorite YouTube channel is Robin Long of The Balanced Life. She has great 10-minute pilates videos to target different areas of your body.
- Wearing my FitBit this year has really changed the amount I move on a daily basis. I like to set daily goals and compete with myself to hit them.
- Need even more ideas of how to fit exercise in when you are a busy woman? Check out this post.
… water that is! 🙂
When we are tired, exhausted and sluggish, it’s often because we are dehydrated. Also another sign we need more water is dry skin.
I keep a large mason jar filled with water on the kitchen counter all day. My personal daily water intake goals are:
- Drink it once before coffee
- Fill it up twice before lunch
- Fill it up twice before dinner
If I’m going to out and about, I keep a reusable water thermos on had. My kids also have their own so we all have our water handy.
The taste of water doesn’t bother me but if you need a little extra add some lemon slices, cucumber, raspberries or make a Good Girl Moonshine to sip on.
I have a sweet tooth and a craving for salty snacks which isn’t great for my waistline. I have learned that depriving myself doesn’t work, in fact, it backfires in a big way, so I have to find a balance.
Eating well means we getting the right balance of fruits, vegetables, meats, healthy fats, and carbs in our diet. When we fuel our body well, we can run with more endurance.
Personally, I have found the Trim Healthy Mama eating plan to work the best for me. I don’t use many of the fancy special ingredients they recommend, rather I just focus on balancing my meals and separating the fats and carbs. You can read all about the plan here if you are unfamiliar with it.
Investing in ourselves emotionally is also so important. Just like fueling our bodies, we have to give our brains some refreshment and rest too!Just like fueling our bodies, we have to give our brains some refreshment and rest too!Click To Tweet
Make Time for Fun
The to-do list is long and there are always things to do but sometimes we just need to stop for a while and just have fun, either by ourselves or with our families.
- Turn on some fun music and have a little dance party in the living room. This is great for both moms and kids because when a bad case of grumpies hit, it’s hard to stay in a fussy mood when everyone is up dancing and laughing
- Play with your kids. Actually get on the floor or run around outside with them. Make memories together, laugh together, and let everything else go for the next 30 minutes.
- Go on a date with your husband. Spend time together having fun outside of the house (and the daily tasks) and just be together.
- Watch a favorite show or movie, even better if it’s something you think is really funny.
- Do something you find fun all by yourself. If it involves going somewhere, make a plan, hire a babysitter and get out of the house for an hour or two. I make this a priority to get out of the house by myself at least once a month.
Make Time for Friends
We were designed for community but motherhood can often feel lonely and isolating. If doesn’t have to though if we make some time for investing in our friendships.
- If friends live far away, stay connected by regularly sending texts but also make a plan to speak on the phone when you two have a longer set aside time.
- Plan a girls night. It takes some work to get everyone on the same schedule as far as availability and childcare but the occasional girls night (or lunch or coffee) is so refreshing for your wellbeing.
- Host a playdate. Not only do your kids get the benefit of playing together but it also usually means mom gets a little bit of social interaction too.
- Join a Bible study or mom’s group, like MOPS. Yes, it takes a bit of planning and commitment (getting everyone out of the house by 9am takes work!) but the fellowship and friendships that form during these times can be so valuable. An added bonus is that you also feeling yourself spiritually through solid teaching during this time!
Do Something Your Love
Are you a reader? Do you love to craft? Bake? Do your favorite thing and try to do it daily or at least a few times a week.
I love reading so I make it a priority to read a few minutes here and there each day. Figure out what it is you absolutely love doing, something that lets you relax, you look forward to and refreshes you.
Finally, the most important thing we can do is invest in ourselves spiritually. We need the Living Water to quench our dry and weary souls.We need the Living Water to quench our dry and weary souls.Click To Tweet
Become a Woman of the Word
God gives us the greatest gift through His written Word. We have access to the ultimate story of grace and redemption. We get to know His heart better when we spend time reading the Bible daily. And our hearts are instantly blessed.
Being a wife, mother, home keeper and woman in this busy day is hard but we have the greatest source of inspiration at our fingertips,
Not only do we have access to His Word, but He has also spoken into several talented and gifted authors to provide excellent and Scripture-based Bible studies, devotional and resources if we are new to Bible reading or just need help digging deeper.
Become a Woman of Prayer
Do you want to know what I love most about God? I can speak to Him whenever I want and He listens!
He is approachable, compassionate, ever loving and merciful. He desires a relationship with us and we have access to Him through prayer.
Praying isn’t something overly complicated. You don’t have to have a dedicated prayer space and have elaborate prayers. You can just speak to Him throughout your day.
Washing dishes, folding laundry and take a shower are my primary prayer times. I use those mindless tasks to share my heart and concerns with him. Sometimes when I’m driving, I simply turn off the music and listen for His gentle voice.
When I’m so frustrated with one of my kids I often say aloud Jesus I need you right now! He helps calm me down before I’m about to lose it (Please tell me I’m not the only one?!?!?)
Prayer isn’t only about sharing my own struggles, I also pray for concerns of others, our country, this sinful world and thank Him for what He has already done.
Taking the time to invest in ourselves in these 3 important areas really does wonders to your heath, mindset, and spirit!
Have you invested in yourself physically, emotionally or spiritually today?
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